General Cat Care and Tips

5 Great Reasons You Should Walk Your Cat.

Recently I decided to start walking my cat. It is a new trend that seems like a good idea, and I thought my cat was a great candidate for it. However, you may also wonder, “Should you walk your cat?” The simple answer is; it depends on your cat and how active they are.

There are many reasons to walk your cat or not walk your cat. It all depends on your cat’s personality, breed, size, and home life. Here are a few reasons for and against walking your cat.

walk your cat

Why you should walk your cat

During my research, I found there are many reasons you should be walking your cat. If you have a very active, but friendly cat they may enjoy going out for a walk.

If you live in an apartment and don’t have a lot of space then you may also consider walking your cat. You may be thinking it’s weird to walk your cat however, more and more cat owners are doing it.

How big is your cat?

Larger housecats do tend to need a bit more exercise than smaller cats. Because of a large domestic cat’s size, they may not be able to move as easily through a small space, making it hard to get their energy out.

Related post: Can You Have a Large Cat in an Apartment?

Benifits of walking your cat

  • Increase in exercise for both you and your cat
  • Help reduce excess energy
  • Helps with curiosity
  • Allows social cats to meet new people

Tips for walking your cat

Make sure they are up to date on their shots

Schedule a visit with your vet if you have not gotten your cat all of their shots, they need these shots to be protected from deseases that indoor cats are not normally exposed to.

Make sure to let your vet know that you are planning on taking your cat for walks. They may have some tips for you or they may suggest your cat is not a good candidate. Sometimes we think a cat would like a walk, just because we like to get outside, however many cats would not benefit from a walk.

Buy the right harness

You may be thinking that just buying a leash as you would for a dog would be enough, however, having a harness is the best way to walk your cat. Cats are very flexible and can easily get out of a collar during a walk. Even a poorly adjusted harness can cause problems. Here are a few tips for the right harness.

Buy a harness that fits your cat

Harnesses for cats come in different sizes as there are different sized cats. Large cats, of course, need a large harness, however, if you have a smaller sized “large cat” a small harness may work as well.

There are three basic types of harnesses available for cats:

  • The figure-8
  • The figure-H
  • The V-style

The style you choose depends on your personal preference and the preference of your cat.

Adjust the harness while still inside.

You don’t want to lose your cat if you need to adjust the harness outside. Put the harness on your cat and then add the leash. If your cat pulls and the harness comes off you need to make it tighter. Test the harness a few times before taking your cat out.

You want to make sure the harness is not too tight either. When fitting the harness to your cat make sure you can fit one finger between the harness and your cat’s neck. If you can fit two fingers the harness is too lose if you can’t fit your finger in at all it’s too tight and could harm your cat.

Prepare them for their walk

Let your cat roam around your home with the harness and leash on. They get used to the feel of it before going outside. This can help reduce the anxiety your cat will have when going outside.

However, some cats will still not be comfortable with the harness. If you know your cat well and know that they would really love a walk, try taking them outside after getting the harness fitted correctly. I ended up doing this as my Ragamuffin just did not understand what this thing was used for.

We let him do what he wanted, mostly just sitting, but after some time we were able to get him walking and he loved it. Again you really need to know your cat and be ready to take them back inside at any time.

Make sure the first area you walk is calm and safe.

Making sure your cat has a safe place to walk is important. The first few times they are out they are going to be a bit stressed, they need to get used to this new world and if something threatening shows up, this could put them off a walk forever.

If you live on a busy street or in an apartment your cat may already be well acquainted with noises such as cars, people, and even dogs. This will help them in their transition outside. This does not mean you don’t have to make sure your cat will feel safe. Find an area where dogs and people are not going to be out and let your cat roam around that area.

Give it a few tries if your cat seems to be okay with a walk

Your cat may seem okay with that first or second walk, however, they may change their mind at some point and decide a walk is not for them. You may notice your cat purring during their walk, but, don’t assume that means they are happy according to this article from Scientific American, cats also purr when they are stressed.

When you don’t need to walk your domestic house cat

If you have a smaller cat who would rather hide from the world then be anywhere near new people, then that cat would not enjoy a walk and it’s probably not necessary. In the case, make sure they have a few toys and a cat tree for them to climb on.

If you are decideing if you should walk your cat, taking these tips and of course knowing your cat well should help you decide if a walk is right for your cat.