Cats should never be allowed to run-at-large. By harness training your cat, you are providing a safe method for your cat to enjoy the outdoors. Below is a list of guidelines to assist with harness training. These are only guidelines and some methods will work better on your cat than others.
- Purchase a lightweight ‘H’ shaped nylon harness that buckles at the neck and the stomach. Ensure that you attach an ID tag securely to the ring located on the back of the harness. Measure your cat’s neck and stomach snuggly, not too tight to ensure the correct size.
- Place the harness, lightweight leash, and ID tag where your cat can sniff, paw, and play with them. After several days, gently, but firmly, put the harness on the cat. Allow two fingers width at the neck and stomach. Your cat may exhibit odd behaviour, but as long as it is safe, leave the harness for five minutes. Repeat several times a day for the next week or so.
- Once your cat is comfortable with the harness, attach the ID tag and leash. Let your cat drag the leash around. Again, repeat this throughout the day for the next few days. Do not leave your cat unattended with the leash attached, they may become tangled and frightened.
- Once there is acceptance, now hold the leash. While gently pulling the leash, offer food and say ‘Come’. Be patient and persistent. Reward any movement your cat makes towards you.
- Cats will not WALK like a dog. Cats will usually sniff, run, roll, and sniff again before moving on.
NEVER LEAVE A HARNESSED, LEASHED CAT UNSUPERVISED. ONCE YOUR CAT IS TIED OUT, THEY ARE COMPLETELY DEFENCELESS AND COULD FALL PREY TO ROAMING ANIMALS, BECOME TANGLED, FRIGHTENED, OR INJURED.