Sunday, May 23, 2010

walk like an egyptian mau: kitty harness how-to

the problem:  kitty wants to go outside but it's a scary world out there and kitty might run away
the solution:  harness-training

many cats can be trained to wear a harness and enjoy the outdoors safely.  for reals.  the key?  manipulating them into thinking it was all their idea in the first place.  mwahahahaha.

jump jump!

get kitty used to the feel of a harness, like the come with me kitty, by having her wear it around the house for short periods of time, during feeding or play.  you want her to associate the harness with good things:  food, treats, attention, toys.  this removes a lot of the stress from trying a new environment.

once your cat is used to the harness (read: doesn't slump over like a downed tauntaun the second its on) try taking her outside.  do this during a quiet, calm part of the day to avoid loud sounds and distractions.  if your cat is a nervous nelly only stay out for a few minutes or until kitty gets scared.  you do not want her to associate the outdoors with hell on earth.  if you have a brave, relaxed cat you can stay out there 'til the cows come home as long as kitty is cool with it.  do this once a day or so at the same time and eventually kitty will come to anticipate and enjoy the new freedom.

you can use a tie-out to secure them to a clothes-line or stake in the ground.  if you're the kind of person who likes to live dangerously you can try walking your kitty on a leash in a low-stress area.  take treats or a favorite wand toy with to keep kitty entertained and happy as you explore.

just remember that cats choose where you go, not the other way around.  there is no forcing a cat to do anything.  garfield taught us that.

No comments: