Posted by Jenny Richards on

Yes, it is possible to train a cat to walk on a harness. While cats are known for their independent nature, many cats can be trained to accept and even enjoy wearing a harness and going for walks. Here are some steps you can follow to train your cat to walk on a harness:

1. Choose the right harness: Look for a harness specifically designed for cats. It should fit snugly but not be too tight or uncomfortable for your cat.  

2. Introduce the harness gradually: Start by placing the harness near your cat's favorite resting spot so they can get used to its presence. Allow them to sniff and investigate it on their own terms.

3. Positive associations: Associate the harness with positive experiences by placing treats or using a favourite toy near the harness. This will help your cat form positive associations with the harness. Our chicken thigh treats are a winner!

4. Harness desensitization: Once your cat is comfortable with the presence of the harness, gently touch them with it without actually putting it on. Reward them with treats and praise for remaining calm.

5. Putting on the harness: Start by putting the harness on for short periods, gradually increasing the duration. Make sure to fasten it securely but not too tight. Reward your cat with treats and praise when they allow you to put it on without resistance.

6. Walking indoors: Once your cat is accustomed to wearing the harness, attach a leash to it and let your cat walk around indoors. Allow them to explore at their own pace, rewarding them with treats and praise for positive behavior.

7. Gradual outdoor exposure: When your cat is comfortable walking indoors, you can gradually introduce them to the outdoors. Start in a quiet and secure area like your backyard. Allow your cat to explore while keeping a close eye on them.

8. Reinforce positive behavior: Reward your cat for good behavior while walking on a leash, such as walking calmly and not trying to escape the harness. Use treats, praise, and gentle petting to reinforce positive behavior.

Remember that every cat is unique, and the time it takes for them to become comfortable with a harness can vary. Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key to successfully training your cat to walk on a harness.

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