Does walking a cat serve any health benefits?

zylaai

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I've been considering walking my cat for a while now, and I may be staying in a condo on the beach this Summer. Since I'm bringing my cat - Oliver- with me, I thought it would be a good idea to train him to walk on a leash and to take small trips to the beach. However, I've been quite hesitant on doing so because I'm really scared of him becoming "used" to being outside; and darting out the door someday. Of course, he has all his ID tags and such, but with busy roads around, I'm afraid he'll get struck by a car.  I'd be completely devastated if something like that happened, so I wasn't sure if it was worth the risk.

Is there any way to train a cat not to run out the door? Is it worth it to take my cat outside on walks? Does it serve any health benefits, or any significance to their well-being?

I'd like to note that he isn't overweight, and gets plenty of enrichment at home. 
 

bottledspirit

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What a cute cat!!

I trained my cats that the only way they're "allowed" outside is with the leash on and then we go on the balcony or out the front. The problem is that didn't seem to discourage the sneaky behaviour of trying to get past me when I open the door. However, they would have done this anyway...

It looks like Oliver is used to having a collar on on a regular basis which is great! I only wish I could get my boys used to that just in case. Has he tried to sneak out before?

Mine have snuck out but I've been living in apartments for a while now so then they don't really have anywhere to go. Even still I didn't want to have cats "at large" in the apartment building so I read up on what I could do to discourage it. 

If you have a spot Oliver likes away from the door (like a perch at the window or something), you can stop greeting him at the door, but instead reward him by a treat each time you come home at THAT location only. Don't acknowledge him at the door. I tried this and it worked for Tyson over time, but I'm real bad at rewarding Benji with pets at the door because he's just so cute when he purrs and rolls around to greet me. =P

At any rate, you could start trying to train Oliver to be at "his spot" before he's rewarded when you come home and that may help.

I think it's nice to walk cats if they'll do it! That way it's a safe way to let them have some outdoor time and they aren't cooped up in a box of a house/apartment constantly.
 
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zylaai

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What a cute cat!!

I trained my cats that the only way they're "allowed" outside is with the leash on and then we go on the balcony or out the front. The problem is that didn't seem to discourage the sneaky behaviour of trying to get past me when I open the door. However, they would have done this anyway...

It looks like Oliver is used to having a collar on on a regular basis which is great! I only wish I could get my boys used to that just in case. Has he tried to sneak out before?

Mine have snuck out but I've been living in apartments for a while now so then they don't really have anywhere to go. Even still I didn't want to have cats "at large" in the apartment building so I read up on what I could do to discourage it. 

If you have a spot Oliver likes away from the door (like a perch at the window or something), you can stop greeting him at the door, but instead reward him by a treat each time you come home at THAT location only. Don't acknowledge him at the door. I tried this and it worked for Tyson over time, but I'm real bad at rewarding Benji with pets at the door because he's just so cute when he purrs and rolls around to greet me. =P

At any rate, you could start trying to train Oliver to be at "his spot" before he's rewarded when you come home and that may help.

I think it's nice to walk cats if they'll do it! That way it's a safe way to let them have some outdoor time and they aren't cooped up in a box of a house/apartment constantly.
thank you for your input! i really want to train Oliver to walk on a leash with no problems, so we can both enjoy it! he has not tried to sneak out before aside from the occasions where he crawls out to the patio to check things out; which isn't too big of a deal imo, since it's screened in.

i'm going to look into buying a better harness, and maybe some kind of GPS tracker thing for him, just in case he slips away. thanks again!
 
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