You've Got Your Cat Harness. Now What?

Before you take you transform your kitty into an adventure cat, there's a few important points we'd like you to consider first. I know you're excited and thinking, can i walk my cat straight away. Please check to fasten the harness properly. Please evaluate the size of your harness inside your home first before your outdoor activities.

When fastening the harness, there should only be enough room for a finger gap between the cats body and the harness. Their elbows should not be able to fit through the gap! Test to make sure you have purchased the correct size prior to taking your cat into the great outdoors.

It is very expected that your cat wont walk on leash straight away. It's common for them to go "floppy" or freeze in their new cat walking harness because it triggers a survival response. It is important when this happens to encourage your kitty by praising them with lots of treats, playtime or pats (whichever they love the most).

We recommend training your cat in their harness inside the home first.

Please see below initial steps which explain how to train a cat to walk on a harness.

1. Let your cat sniff the packaging/cat harness and leash first so they can familiarise themselves and know it isn't scary.

2. Try 5 minutes everyday (inside your home) with your cat wearing the cat harness without a leash. Encourage your cat with not "flopping" by helping them up and walk towards some treats or their favourite toys. If your cat is more anxious than most, try every second day for 5 minutes inside your home only. You'll know when your cat has had enough, then removing the harness is the best option and praising them with treats, playtime or pats.

3. It is important to recognise when your cat has become confident is their harness. Take note if they are playing with their toys by themselves, running around the house, jumping up on their cat tree, sofa, beds or benches. Once you can recognise the cat is confident then it is time for Step 4!

4. Attach the leash to your cats harness and open the front door or back door. Make sure your first adventure outside is somewhat familiar to them, somewhere that your cat can recognise from a window that they regularly stare out of. Keep the front door/back door open at all times and let your cat do all the walking and sniffing they need to do. It is important to know cats are not like dogs AT ALL! Their version of "walking" is just a lot of sniffing the ground, flowers and shrubbery.

Cats are very curious and all they need is a good 10 minutes and then they are usually happy to go back inside. If your cat gets spooked, the front door/back door will be open for them if they need to run back to their safe space. Do not force your cat to walk in a particular direction, be patient with your cat and let them explore on their own terms.

Happy Catventuring FURRIENDS!

Please contact us at catharnessaustralia@gmail.com if you need extra support in your cat harness and lead training.

You've Got Your Cat Harness. Now What?