Taking an indoor cat for walks outside... worth it?

Jillian CampagnolaJillian Campagnola Member Posts: 61
edited 1 March, 2012 in Behavior & Training
I live up north so I wouldn't want to take little Toast outside until the snow is gone, but once that time comes, is it worth training him on a harness to take him outside? Would this be good for him as some extra stimulation? Or would that make him desperate to get outside all the time? He is strictly an indoor cat, and the less he tries to get out the door when I'm coming in or out, the better.

Comments

  • Faye DufourFaye Dufour Destrehan, LA/New Orleans areaMember Posts: 4,648
    edited 24 February, 2012
    Hi Toast:-h:-h I take my meowmy out for walks, and I LOVE it!!! Just make sure you have a harness you cannot get out of easiyly - we know other CATSTER members will post with suggestions. We saw one that others suggested it is for a small dog, but would be fine for a guy like you. It looked like a little vest, and fastened with velcro. My meowmy usues a retactable leash, it gives me some "space", but then she can hold me closer if necessary. Now would be a good time to get him used to the harness and leash so he is ready to go out when the weather gets warmer. Of course here in the New Orleans area that can mean yesterday, when the temp got up to 78 degrees!!! You are growing into one handsome mancat Toast.....the lady cats will be sending you Paw Mail before you know it....MOL...MOL. The New Orleans Kitties
  • Hannah EastmanHannah Eastman Member Posts: 182
    edited 24 February, 2012
    i go for walks on my leash and harness. and i love it. i like to explore the outside world. and sniff the grass and lay down it. i like to see the birds. to me it is worth it.
  • janice lancasterjanice lancaster temple gaMember Posts: 2,505
    edited 24 February, 2012
    'd say it depends on the cat. Meowma says tell you that with cats it's usually either they are ok with the harness right away, or never, and the age doesn't seem to matter. The cats she has used it on lately have been 4-5 months. Any younger, she thinks is just too immature. We suggest getting a fishing pole toy or peacock feather, and once you put on the harness and they seem ok, use the teaser to entice them to play, then to follow you and only do VERY minimal tugging; training like for a puppy upsets kitties. We also suggest, if you are going to take him outside, always CARRY him out, don't walk out the door on the leash, and continue to encourage him to stay OUT of the door area when he is on his own little feet. Meowma isn't SURE this will dispel notions of shooting out the door alone, but it can't hurt. Some cats also like to wear a leash and harness to ride places in the car (Petsmart, etc) but don't really like going outside. Bodrouex goes to the pet supply places and rides in the basket but doesn't like to get out. Other kits like walking around on their leashes there. With a cat, leash and harness 'training' isn't really training, and it is certainly different for every cat!
  • Arlye DruryArlye Drury DartmouthMember Posts: 826
    edited 24 February, 2012
    I was an indoor cat...I loved going out for walks with my mumma. She got me the nice cat holster in my picture. It was easy to put on and almost impurrsible to wiggle out of! The furst time mumma put it on my I walked normally - she had tried other harnesses and they made me want to fall over or walk all crouched down.:))
  • Renee RyzRenee Ryz Member Posts: 2,164
    edited 26 February, 2012
    Hi Toast! I looove to go for walkies. I have a regular harness right now, but Mom is getting me a jacket one like Purrcy has. We only walk in the yard & around the shed, and I like to sit on the adirondack chair & doze when mom is gardening. Now Smitty will fall over when you put a harness on him. Maizy has no interest at all. I will usually yowl at mom every day for my walkie, and we enjoy it. I have even gone out in the snow, but it pretty much is "walk out - holy catness it is cold what is this stuff yikes- back in" Mom does not take me down the street or anything because if I did get loose, she feels I would more likely stay in the yard, and we sometimes have loose dogs from bad pet owners, and she does not want to take the chance - as our yard is fenced. It does not make me want to really escape - one thing Mom does to reinforce this, is my harness goes on, I GET PICKED UP and then carried out the door & only then do we go out. If I walked right out the door, how do I know that I can only go out certain times ya know? ~a~
  • Jillian CampagnolaJillian Campagnola Member Posts: 61
    edited 26 February, 2012
    Love the carrying out the door ideas, I think I'm going to get a harness for sure. :) Would be nice even to read a book out the back and be able to have him out with me for a little bit... I feel like he would really enjoy it! Yes, Toast is growing up, he's getting so handsome it's really very exciting. :) Sad too though, I miss his round, fat little kitten self.
  • Kimberly BoydKimberly Boyd ErieMember Posts: 58
    edited 27 February, 2012
    Hey I have two indoor cats and we live very close to a school that has a GIANT bit of land (they have softball and soccer practices there sometimes) and I'd like to take them for little walks. Can you tell me where you got those jacket harnesses??? Our Petco only seems to have the flimsy ones for cats. I bought one a while back and Wallace got out of it in minutes. Wallace is about 5 or 6 pounds and Newton is 7 so they aren't very big..
  • Kitty_Pryde_and_JackKitty_Pryde_and_Jack los angelesMember Posts: 317 ✭✭✭
    edited 28 February, 2012
    OH!!! I love it FUR SHURE! Tha behaviorist suggested it, and boy does it keep me kewled out and calm! We has this thing called the Kitty Holster, and were skeptical of the velcro, but it really is strong and tuff. I have been going longer outside, and exploring new places. It's at tha point now where I kow when I sees the holster and my leash that I goes to the door and I walk Mommy. I think if you wanna try it, it's def worths it!

    Kitty Pryde and Jack

  • Jillian CampagnolaJillian Campagnola Member Posts: 61
    edited 28 February, 2012
    I'm not sure Wallace, PetsMart didn't have any either, so I'm gonna try the internet!
  • Faye DufourFaye Dufour Destrehan, LA/New Orleans areaMember Posts: 4,648
    edited 29 February, 2012
    If I remember correctly - another CATSTER who posted about he "Velcro" harness, said they had gotten them in the Dog Department at Petsmart. Just look for one for a small dog. They may well be availalbe on the Internet as well, I am sure another CATSTER person may be able to post the link. Can't wait to see photos of Toast in his harness. The New Orleans Kitties;):-h
  • Karen LeeKaren Lee The kingdom of Mer-lotMember Posts: 89,020
    edited 29 February, 2012
    Here's one walking jacket: http://www.kittyholster.com/ If you Google "walking jacket for cats" you'll get other web sites. Don't use the harnesses that are nothing more than a thin piece of string in a figure 8 shape or H shape like this one. They will not securely hold a cat and it doesn't seem very comfortable. A pet stroller is another option to safely explore the outdoors with your Human :)
  • Kitty_Pryde_and_JackKitty_Pryde_and_Jack los angelesMember Posts: 317 ✭✭✭
    edited 29 February, 2012
    Yah! www.Kittyholster.com! we got ours at amazon.com! If meowmy remembers right, we clicked a link and got led ta amazons. I is a big dude, and we gots size medium. Mom thought it would be too big at furst, but it's totally secures and my hair doesn't get caughts in the velcro either, 'cause Mom worried bout that too!

    Kitty Pryde and Jack

  • Marla BradfordMarla Bradford Palm Beach CountyMember Posts: 630
    edited 1 March, 2012
    If your cat loves it, I say go for it!! But yeah, they'll have an opinion :D Pepper REFUSES to go outside. She hates it. If we even carry her outside (no harness, just in our arms), she'll start shaking. I can have the door open and she'll just stand on the threshold, staring out, but never go outside. I figure this is because she spent the first two months of her life "roughing" it outside in a parking lot/condo common areas and associates being outside with being cold, no food, and not being happy. As my mom says, she had her fill of the outdoors!! That's not to say she doesn't enjoy our patio -- she practically lives out on the patio on her perch :p
  • Debra PietrowskiDebra Pietrowski Sussex CountyMember Posts: 1,833
    edited 1 March, 2012
    We started taking our cats outside on the patio last year (harnessed of course) we carry them out the door. Usually they like to MOP themselves all over the concrete on their backs and from side to side (?? I have no idea why they do this except they may like the sun and the heat) but they do pick up dirt on their fur and I am very afraid of them getting any kind of flea or tick. They will walk around but they lead the way. Only thing now is my female MEOWs by the back door to go out (UGG its annoying) - its been winter here in NJ so shes laid off since we havent gone outside, im not sure if im going to do it this year although I do love to hold them in a chair and bask for a bit in the sun. Just be careful.
  • katharine smithkatharine smith torontoMember Posts: 4
    edited 1 March, 2012
    I live in an apartment building and my owner sometimes takes me outside on a leash. I do not like it very much though and always try to hide under the bushes, the sounds are too loud!
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