Indoor cat on leash?

Zylalove18

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My indoor only cat has never been outside. We live in a small space and I play with her and she loves looking out the windows. Overall she seems content but I keep reading that cat owners should put their cats on a leash and train them to go for walks. I am interested in taking my cat outside on a leash but my biggest worry is she will want to go outside all the time and try sneaking out. What is everyone’s experience with indoor cats on leashes? Should I do it?
 

Azazel

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If she's content inside then I don't think there's any reason to do it.
 

Mamanyt1953

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Cats are very bright, and they LOVE their routines. If you decide to leash train her, I strongly suggest that you take her outside at the same time every day. This will set up her little kitty brain to expect "Outside now, but no other time!"
 

KarenKat

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Olive started her life as an outdoor kitty and has always tried escaping. Over time she adapted to an indoor life.

I tried leash training her and took her out in the backyard about a year ago. She loved it, but an hour after we came back in she started howling at all the windows trying to go back out. For two weeks straight :frustrated: This is behavior that was not necessarily new - everytime she escaped out a window previously and went on walkabout she’d do it too. We decided not to take her back out for everyone’s sanity.

Over time she forgot again and hasn’t been begging to go out as much. So I say give it a try and see if your kitty likes it. You can always decide not to do it more if she tries to escape because of it.
 

kittenmittens84

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It’s not necessarily cats “should” walk on leashes, just that if your cat is interested in going outside but you’re concerned about the safety aspect of letting a cat roam outdoors, a leash could be an option for supervised outside time. Many cats that aren’t introduced to leashes and harnesses as kittens don’t take a liking to it anyway. If you want to try it you can, if you don’t then you don’t have to.

I have a leash and harness for my cat for when I took him on the plane (had to take him out of the carrier to walk through the metal detector) but I’ve never taken him outside for a “walk” because he can get out of the harness in about 5 minutes. It can be hard to fit a harness for an animal whose shoulder blades are so flexible they aren’t attached to any other bones :D
 
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Zylalove18

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It’s not necessarily cats “should” walk on leashes, just that if your cat is interested in going outside but you’re concerned about the safety aspect of letting a cat roam outdoors, a leash could be an option for supervised outside time. Many cats that aren’t introduced to leashes and harnesses as kittens don’t take a liking to it anyway. If you want to try it you can, if you don’t then you don’t have to.

I have a leash and harness for my cat for when I took him on the plane (had to take him out of the carrier to walk through the metal detector) but I’ve never taken him outside for a “walk” because he can get out of the harness in about 5 minutes. It can be hard to fit a harness for an animal whose shoulder blades are so flexible they aren’t attached to any other bones :D
She sniffs the air when the door opens but has zero interest in going out. I could keep the door open and she wouldn’t do anything lol. I’m going to think about it more. I guess I feel worried because we live in a small space and I wonder if she needs more stimulation but I’m probably overthinking it lol
 

Mamanyt1953

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If you have wall space, GO UP! Shelves that are set like stair-steps, a cat tree with a good view out a window...there are a LOT of alternatives for enriching a cat's environment. My cat bought me Jackson Galaxy's book, "Catify to Satisfy" for Christmas this past year. I think she is hinting.
 

ameliashuman

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We take one of our cats outside, she loves it, she doesn't really walk but will snif everything and ineffectively stalk birds. She begs to go outside. She didn't like the harness initially but we trained the harness up by pairing it with wet food and brushes.

Our other cat is scared to death of outside. We trained him to the harness but l we tried to go outside he was so clearly scared we stopped immediately. Our cat who passed away in October was too intent on ndoor darting and we found the walks increased that behavior. But in his last month we went outside and he liked sitting in the grass and sun.
Moral of the story, try it and see if she likes it. It's good stimulation if it works and easily stopped if it doesn't.
 

di and bob

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If she is satisfied with being indoors, I wouldn't do it. They do get very pushy to wanting to go out when they get a taste of it, it is really not worth it unless you have the time to take her out each and every day. Cats love routine. After having so many killed outside, all of mine except for one little feral who showed up, are inside cats.
 

SpecterOhPossum

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I don't see any reason not to take your cats outside leashed. Sure they're going to want to go out more, but any responsible owner can avoid escapes. I don't see any good reasoning behind sacrificing the complete and rich mental & physical stimulation of exploring their natural habitat just for the sake of them not potentially escaping or wanting out.
Any animal owner - I'd also argue, has the time for at least a 5 minute walk daily.

Specter gets a about a 20 to thirty minute walk outdoors pretty much everyday unless the weather is bad or there's construction work being done and what have you. This has been her routine for almost a full year now and I've never let her escape. She's not crazy about forcing her way out or demanding to go out either since she does it so frequently. My old cat was however for the first few weeks, but you just have to grin and bear that behavior for awhile and stick to your guns. I'd set a time frame/schedule for it, and after that time frame, no more. Ignore the crying, ignore the fits and they'll realize that doesn't work. Cats are routine based animals so I personally think that's the route to go.

On another note, if you don't have a fence, I would purchase perhaps one of those cat backpacks or a weapon to carry in the off chance there's a dog or the backpack for if kitty gets spooked and you're far from the house. A carrier can work for this but I can't imagine lugging one around while simultaneously walking a cat..But if your cat isn't super strong or anything or you're confident in your ability to control it, this doesnt have to be an issue

Another tip I'd offer is to not let them eat anything outside. No grass no plants. I have a method of shaking or bouncing the leash to stop unwanted behavior and there's also just picking them up and relocating or tugging them if you have a bungee leash. You're in control here.

IMO escapes are up the owners negligence. If you're not negligent, it won't happen, so don't worry
 
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lucky luc

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Some cats like it, but not all. Don't force it
 

Colin's Mama

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My indoor only cat has never been outside. We live in a small space and I play with her and she loves looking out the windows. Overall she seems content but I keep reading that cat owners should put their cats on a leash and train them to go for walks. I am interested in taking my cat outside on a leash but my biggest worry is she will want to go outside all the time and try sneaking out. What is everyone’s experience with indoor cats on leashes? Should I do it?
 
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