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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:57 am 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:43 am
Posts: 41
I want to start training Jagger to walk on a leash. I have a collar but it's too big (he's got a skinny neck still - 6"), and it dangles a bit and he goes crazy. I tried a harness but he took one step and rolled over on his side. Didn't like that either.

So my question is collar or harness? Any recommendations on a particular brand?

Once i get him used to wearing it and walking around the house I'll try attaching the leash.

Thank you for any ideas.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:40 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:32 pm
Posts: 21
Persist with the harness...cats can slip out of the collar and also can damage them if they panic.
They will do the "army crawl" with the harness at first but once outside and things get their interest it is forgotten and will walk normally...that's what I have found with 2 of my cats.
A jacket type harness is the best and most comfortable for them.
Make sure the lenght from the collar to the belly harness is long enough (the bit that runs down over the shoulders) as I have found that on larger cats or cats with a long body that it wont let them put their head down and restricts movement and they dont settle into the harness at all.
I am just about to go through the same process with my new cat in a couple of weeks.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:15 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 9162
The proper way to leash train:

1. Get the right harness. There are walking jackets (fabric with velcro), Figure H harnesses and Figure 8 harnesses. The Figure 8 has only one clasp at the neck and cats seem to easily slip out plus it places pressure on the neck if you pull back. A Figure H harness has the clasp at the back which does not put pressure on the neck area. Walking jackets have the harness at the back as well.

2. Getting your cat used to the harness takes time. Most cats will fall over as if they are paralyzed. Others may fight the harness. Try enticing with treats or toys. Once the cat realizes it can walk wearing the harness, they are fine. If the cat refuses to cooperate, take the harness off and try again in a few hours. Eventually, the cat will come around -- but it may take time.

3. NEVER take your cat outside on a leash until they are 100% used to the harness. It will only cause problems with thrashing and possibly escaping. When you are ready to take your cat out, most recommend carrying your kitty outside and putting the cat down. Note that walks are on THEIR terms, not yours. The initial walk may go nowhere. That's fine. Taking things slow is what needs to happen. There are strange smells and strange things out there that your cat will want to investigate. Do not use a long leash as that can get tangled up in shrubs -- they are a magnet for a cat. I use a 10' retractable leash and it works great.

4. Wrap a large towel around your shoulders (or carry it). Your kitty may want to stop and rest and just lay on the ground. A towel will allow you to rest as well -- and it's good to snap at a loose dog that may come running up to you (has happened to us many times).

5. Know that once you start these walks, they must continue. Your kitty will see to that! When they get the confidence to want to travel farther, the walk can be great exercise for you -- abet a very slow pace.

Raiden gets two walks a day. We travel about 8 blocks total. When the weather is too cold, he will walk a little and want to come back in. In the heat of the summer, we take the towel and just lay on the grass. Perfect temps, we are in for the long haul. About 45 minutes to an hour each walk.

People will look at your strangely and comment, "I've never seen a cat on a leash." Many will comment on your beautiful kitty. "What kind of cat is that?" Actually, I've lived in my neighborhood for 25 years and only after I got Raiden did I meet up with so many neighbors. They all know Raiden so if he ever ventures out and about, at least they know where he lives.

Don't give up.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:23 pm 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:43 am
Posts: 41
Thank you both for the sound advice. At least I know that when he fell over it was normal :rolleyes:
I'll keep at it.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:52 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 9162
A harness places a "restriction" on the cat and it feels strange to them. You also always need to make sure the harness is tight enough. You should be able to put one of your fingers through the straps, but too loose and if your cat starts to struggle because something has frightened it (UPS/FedEx trucks, garbage trucks, street sweepers freak mine out), you want to make sure you can secure your cat.

And, you might want to attempt to walk your cat in your home once it seems okay with the harness. It is a different world outside versus a familiar world in your home. As long as you take things slow ... you should be okay. Note that when I first put a harness on my bengal, he had no issues and we were outside in minutes. Rarely happens that way.


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