Harness Training

Donall

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Hey everyone, I've been trying to get my 6 month old kitten, Alfie used to a harness (Using a vet harness, the one with the pad on thier chest)

I've only done one day of him wearing it for about an hour at a time and he wore it twice. Used treats and food and all that good stuff.

While wearing it I understand if he's annoyed or uncomfortable and doesn't wanna play. But after taking it off he seems more subdued and doesn't want much to do with play most of the time.

I suppose what I'm asking is if this is just him being annoyed at me and will fade or is it possible the use of tge harness has already negatively affected him. Sorry if all this is a bit incoherent, not sure what to think about it all.
 

LokiWolf

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He might be draining his energy getting used to the harness so he's tired. It takes a lot out of a cat. When I take Lizzy to a new place she tends to be sleepy after cause it drains her. She's seven months old. What exactly does the harness look like?
 

Antonio65

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While wearing it I understand if he's annoyed or uncomfortable and doesn't wanna play. But after taking it off he seems more subdued and doesn't want much to do with play most of the time.
Is it possible that the harness is too tight to his body?
 

catloverfromwayback

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Could it be you need to try him wearing it for much shorter periods? I think I’ve read that it should only be a few minutes to begin with - or did I misunderstand your post, and you’ve already passed that stage?
 

di and bob

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I started out for about 15 minutes, then increased it to an hour in a week. It takes a long time, actually weeks, before they actually get comfortable wearing it. It was always so funny when I first started on my Chrissy. I would put it on while she was standing, and the minute my hands came away from her she would fall over sideways and laid there until I took it off! One thing for sure, DO NOT take them outside until they are comfortable wearing the harness inside. They can panic and a panicking cat can slip out of anything, almost like Houdini. I found that out the hard way!
 

Antonio65

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I started out for about 15 minutes, then increased it to an hour in a week. It takes a long time, actually weeks, before they actually get comfortable wearing it.
I think it mostly depends on the cat's age.
Giada was around 7 months old when I first put the harness on her. She fought a bit, but she got used to it rather quickly and in a few days we were out.
With Freya it was much easier (she was 3 months old) I put the harness on, she didn't even realize, she kept playing, eating and sleeping with that thing on for half of the day. I repeated the experiment the next day, same result, so I knew she was ready right away.

So I think that the cat's age plays a big role, along with the cat's attitude, in the successful training with the harness.
 

Father of furbabies

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I agree with the age of the cat and their temperament playing a key role in how fast you should move through the various stages of harness training.

I've never used a padded harness when getting my cats use to a harness. The one I used starting out was a simple strap one. Shade and Noka wore it in the house just like they would wear their collar. No special attention was given to it and they treated it like they would a collar. When they would go outside on the back porch, they would have it on but for the most part they ignored the harness and leash as they prowled around.
 
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