Walking your cat on a lead

Walking your cat on a lead

You have probably seen articles and videos of people taking their cats out for a walk with a lead and harness. It is becoming ever more popular, particularly in America. We thought we would present you with some information on this so you can make up your own mind whether you think this is of… Read more »

You have probably seen articles and videos of people taking their cats out for a walk with a lead and harness. It is becoming ever more popular, particularly in America.

We thought we would present you with some information on this so you can make up your own mind whether you think this is of benefit to cats or if leads should be kept for dogs only!

  • Indoor cats are limited with their surroundings and sometimes, despite all the toys and climbing apparatus in the world, they just want to get outside and explore. If you’re hesitant to let your cat out, perhaps some training with a harness and lead would be beneficial for them.
  • Like dogs, cats can be trained in certain activities, but unlike dogs, cats are much more likely to do things on their own terms and not because they want to please their owners. Certain breeds of cats may be easier to train to walk with a harness and lead. For example Bengals have been known to adapt quite quickly to walking with a lead which can perhaps be attributed to their high intellect and strong desire to be outside exploring the world.
  • In 2017 the RSPCA were quoted in a Metro article as warning cat owners that walking a cat on a lead can actually be more stressful than beneficial. “A sense of control is very important to cats and being walked on a collar or harness prevents them from having control.”

However, the head of RSPCA’s companion animals department, Dr Samantha Gaines, did also advise the following “All we want cat owners to consider is that every cat is that every cat is individual. For some, walking on a lead may be suitable, but we need to be careful that we’re not just thinking of cats as dogs.”

What do you think?

Should cats be given the option of walking with their owners on a lead or is this an activity just for those with dogs?