Catwalk with Catitude
Going for a stroll with your cat may not seem like the typical thing to do. You may have seen someone walking with their cool cat. Do you have questions? Such as, why do people walk their cats? Or how do you go about walking your cat? The cat is out of the bag. You too, can walk the catwalk with catitude.
Why walk your cat?
Do you have a crazy cat who is climbing the walls with boredom? Maybe they are starting to show signs of behavioural problems, scratching the furniture or showing aggression. Perhaps your cat is timid and lacking in confidence. Or you have a lazy Bagpuss putting on weight.
Outdoor stimulation can enhance a cat’s quality of life. It can boost their confidence, help them destress, lose weight, and thrive physically and mentally.
Not every cat owner lives in the countryside and has a safe environment to allow their cat to roam. Many owners live in apartment blocks or busy urban areas. Taking your cat for a stroll could be the answer to enabling your feline predator to enjoy a good stretch.
Before you start
A few checks to carry out before you start walking your cat:
- Check your cat’s vaccination record is up to date
- Check your cat has been recently wormed and their tick and flea treatment is up to date
- Get your cat a health check if you think your cat might have an underlying condition
- Buy a good quality and well-fitting harness and leash
- A Safer Pet GPS cat tracker is an ideal accessory for tracking your cat's walks. The app features activity logs, which make it easy for you to ensure your cat is getting enough exercise
Choosing a harness
Harnesses are an essential item when taking your friendly feline for a walk. Using a standard collar can be dangerous. Your cat might panic, choke or slip their collar, injuring themselves if they try to escape. A Safer Pet cat GPS tracker will help you find him if he disappears.
Fitting a harness for comfort and safety is crucial. A harness distributes the pressure all over the body, reducing any strain to its neck or back. A rough guide is to fit two fingers between the cat and the harness.
Get your cat used to the harness
Building positive experiences is vital when getting your cat used to walking on a leash. Start with introducing the harness.
Gently put the harness on your friendly feline friend, using treats as encouragement. Watch your cat’s body language for any signs of stress. Talk softly and calmly, and if you think your cat is not happy, remove the harness and try again, even leave it to the next day, if necessary.
If your cat is a bit of a scaredy-cat, spraying pheromones on the harness can make it smell more familiar and encourage your cat to feel more secure and content. Allow your cat to wander freely around the house, getting used to the feeling. Now is also the purrfect time to introduce the Safer Pet GPS cat tracker, so your cool cat gets used to wearing both items.
Introducing the leash
Once your cat is confident with the harness, attach the leash, either hold it loosely or let your cat drag it behind him.
If you have a secure yard, great! Let them wander outside, check where your cat feels comfortable, on the grass or concrete. They might want to flop on the warm concrete and sunbathe, or they might love the feel of the grass between their toes. The main objective is for your cat to feel safe and secure, and relish the experience of his new surroundings.
Once your cat feels confident and is walking on the leash nicely, it is time to venture out into the big wide world. Remember to manage your expectations. Your cat will not behave like a dog. Cats are slower than dogs, they want to sniff, and so you will cover less ground. They have different fears and phobias, and road noises will be new to them, dogs will be frightening, and smells could be overwhelming. Remember, it is all new if your cat is a house cat.
How much exercise do cats need?
Your curious cat needs about 30 minutes a day. Exercise keeps your cat healthy, develops good muscle and bone health. Outdoor stimulation helps cats suffering from boredom and depression by improving the production of serotonin, a chemical that helps to stabilise their mood improve sleep, appetite and digestion.
Try not to think of it as exercise but as stimulation and quality bonding time. You might be following your feline hunter as they sniff out scents, scratches at trees, listens to the birds and explores their new outdoor playground. Your Safer Pet cat tracker will record your adventures in your activity logs in the app, so you can always look back at the areas they enjoyed the most and revisit them.
When to exercise cats?
Cats need exercise every day. However, cats are not fond of rain. Although they have a water-resistant top-coat, the rain will soon drench them, making them uncomfortable and difficult to retain their body heat. If you get caught in the rain for a short time, the Safer Pet cat tracker is splash proof.
Cats love the warm sunshine, but it is better to avoid taking them for a walk in the hot weather. Cats are no different to us. They can get hot and bothered in the heat and suffer from heatstroke.
Cats embrace routine and prefer everything to be familiar, including their walk. If you are late going for a catwalk, or the weather is not suitable, they may get demanding. Remember, you are looking after their wellbeing.
Expect some funny looks when you are out for your cat walk. Some people think it is a novelty or a gimmick. Remember, you cannot force your cat to do anything they do not want to do.
Take a look at Instagram, there are hundreds of photos of cats, paddle boarding, walking, going cycling, holidaying in caravans, and boating.
Introduce your cat slowly to walking on a leash, and you can both walk the cat walk like the cat that’s got the cream.