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Unread 07-12-2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cat leashes

I'm thinking about getting a leash for my kits. Dante loves to try to get out any open door, so I thought I might buy a leash and take him out in the garden with me. Has anyone tried this? I don't want to put any undue stress on my cats, by putting a harness/leash on them.
This is the harness/leash combo I was thinking of buying: Premier Gentle Leader Come with Me Kitty Harness & Bungee Lead - New Kitten Center - Cat - PetSmart
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Unread 07-12-2009   #2 (permalink)
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Crystal, of course I have that experience taking them out in a leash ... but, mind my word, Dante just like any other indoor cats, is curious about getting out (dashing out an open door), but once he's out, he'll freak out !
So, you need to harness train him for a while before you can lightly say : 'Kitty, come with me !'
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Unread 07-13-2009   #3 (permalink)
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I use that kind of leash on Anastasia. Works fine. We never really had a problem with the leash walking itself. You should just try it on inside and see how it goes first, then try it outside. As Irene mentioned, he might freak out. Mine was freaking out for a long time, hehe. I even made a thread about it some time ago. She was on "duck, crawl, hide while you cry mode". Now it's going much better
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Unread 07-13-2009   #4 (permalink)
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When Dante gets outside, he hesitates for a second, chooses a direction, and bolts. Usually by the time he hesitates, either my husband or I are able to grab him. He's never gotten beyond the backyard patio or the front of my car in the driveway. Cami, if she gets out, will simply stop and lie down. She seems content to just sit outside on the porch but I don't want to take any chances with either of them. We live behind a sound barrier wall, with a busy highway on the other side (semi-trucks 24/7) and I don't want them to get out and over that wall.
I'm going to go out and buy the harness this afternoon, start getting them used to them. I'll post pictures if I can!
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Unread 07-13-2009   #5 (permalink)
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Cami and Dante, each one of them is just individually unique, like all our babies.
Yes, please can't wait to 'see' them with harness, 'walk' on leash (I hope even Cami will not just 'lie down' on leash or 'sit' on leash)
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Unread 07-29-2009   #6 (permalink)
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are those expensive? what's the price.
 
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Unread 07-29-2009   #7 (permalink)
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Default How I harness train my cats

My cats wear figure 8 harnesses, with a swivel loop. I use light weight 1/4 inch poly rope. the "String" (as the cats call it) is not tethered to anything, they drag their Strings (about 8 foot length) freely through the fenced in yard.

This is how I harness train:

I first leave the harness lying around the house for a few weeks until it becomes a Familiar Object.

I then begin draping the harness over the Trainee.

This next was an important step for me. Before ever trying to put a harness on any cat, I practiced on a stuffed animal until I had the technique down pat.

My hands don't always do what I tell them, and especially managing things like clasps and those slid-y things (some vocab, eh?) to adjust the size are very difficult for me.

Tolly was the Pilot, and even after all these years, 8 years in harness, he has still not really ever mastered his harness and String, still gets tangled in it and steps on it, which pulls him up short, but ever since the time he slipped the gate on me I never left it off him again.

(Ootay and Bibbs, both Bridge Angels now, never needed the harness, they were already aging and didn't even think of trying to get out of the fenced area. So Tolly was the first.)

When Mazy came I trained her thus: (after leaving Mazy's harness lying around for a while, and draping it over her so it became hers) I put Tolly's on him while Mazy watched closely.

Then I put Mazy's on. Mazy went berserk, tearing around the apartment, by the time I caught up with her she was in the bath tub and had the thing half ripped off. This was back in the days when Mazy was still not quite socialized either.

I took it off her, and proceeded to take the other three out, while Mazy watched from the window. Brought them back in after a while, and later that day, did it again, harnessed Tolly first, then put Mazy's on her.

Mazy made the connection between the harness and the yard after that one try and didn't even blink this time, and never had a moment's problem with it since.

Jennie, introduced the same way, had a few weeks adjustment, she never went berserk, she's a Pudding, but would walk as if there was a 50 pound weight on her back, hehe. Even after she got used to it, that first summer, if she saw me looking at her she would suddenly sag in the middle again. She's as much as a pro as Mazy now though.

When I first begin taking them out in spring, the first few times they are reluctant to come in when I call them, but after a few outings they realize that even though it's time to come in, they will go out again, and then they come right away.

I say, Tolly, you ready? C'mon, Tolly! and he comes, while Mazy dashes in and out of the doorway impatiently, wanting to round everyone up. Tolly stops at the door and waits for me to undo his harness and he goes up the stairs.

Mazy reminds me that Jennie is still out. Jennie (like Bibbs, oddly enough) likes to be chased in. She waits until I get near her, then she dashes around the tree once or twice, then tears across the yard, ears back, heels kicking up, leaping over a Jungle patch, in through the door, and up the stairs. (where Tolly is usually waiting to ambush her)

I never ever ever leave them in the yard alone. I putter in my gardens or read my book or play with Mazy. Tolly and Jennie like to do their own thing but Mazy likes my attention in the yard. She likes me to run around the yard dragging a weed while she chases it, and if I am not playing she frequently comes over to check in.


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Unread 07-29-2009   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flx89 View Post
are those expensive? what's the price.
Each harness was $8.00 at the local Petco. I bought a pink one for Cami (naturally!) and a light blue one for Dante. I know I know, pink for girls and blue for boys? How cliche! hehe

I have a small extender leash I used when my dog was just a puppy, I plan to use that with the kits once we get around to going outside, which will be hopefully soon, as the weather is actually cooling down! I'll be taking the kits out one at a time, easier to handle in case they get scared.
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Unread 07-30-2009   #9 (permalink)
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Your better off constructing a fenced yard or enclosed cat run, i too thought it was a good idea to let my cat out on leash and harness, lets just say this, it was torture to him at the end( didn't get harmed but he HATED being confined) and for my family having to hunt him down after dark, we keep a bottle of water to spray if he tries to get out.
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Unread 07-30-2009   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PantherPride View Post
Your better off constructing a fenced yard or enclosed cat run, i too thought it was a good idea to let my cat out on leash and harness, lets just say this, it was torture to him at the end( didn't get harmed but he HATED being confined) and for my family having to hunt him down after dark, we keep a bottle of water to spray if he tries to get out.
That's not the case in all cats. Some do fine with a harness on, so why not? I think Acerit's cats seem to like it after training them. My own cat walks with a leash, she actually walks like a dog on the way home. It's never been a problem for her wearing a leash. In my case I think she'd hate it if I were to let her go, as she feels safer with me holding her.
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