The other day our feline friend Boris decided to take a trip to his favorite, best local pet store! It was a hot day, so he found some nice cool places for a rest on our shelves and on our floor, but all in all he had a wonderful time exploring Wags to Wiskers Pet Supplies and got many compliments (and questions leading to this post) on his harness!
Some other members of the Wags Family in the store at the time asked about the harness, whether Boris liked being out and about, whether they should be walking their cat, and the discussion grew enough to where we decided we’d put out a PUPDATE on walking your cat. We work hard to be the best place for pet supplies, knowledge, resources, and advice in the Ann Arbor and Chelsea areas, so we hope our cat lovers learn a thing or two from this post!
Walking Your Cat
Should you? Should you not?
Well, it really depends on the cat. There are a lot of things you could ask yourself regarding your cat that might help your decision here:
Does my cat spend a lot of time outdoors?
Is my cat active?
Is my cat social and friendly or timid and shy?
Is the area safe to walk my cat?
Our personal opinion is that if your answers to those questions are positive, then you should give your cat the opportunity! Stop by your local Wags to Wiskers Pet Supplies stores in Ann Arbor (2270 W. Stadium Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI, 48103) or Chelsea (1192 S. Main St, Chelsea, MI, 48118) and you’ll see we are well stocked for cats that want to go for walks. We’ve got harnesses, leashes, cat carriers, and more. If you don’t see something that you’d like, ask us about it and we can probably special order it for you! We are always trying to be the best place for pet supplies, advice, knowledge, and resources in the area so feel free to chat us up.
Benefits of Walking Your Cat
Walking a cat can provide your pet with a more enriched life. Lots of cats love the outdoors and everything it brings - stimulation, sunshine, smells, new textures. They can roll around in the sand, grass, and dirt, they can scratch real trees and chase real critters. When out for a walk a cat will use their brain in different and more thoughtful ways than they would just prowling your home.
Walks might also help transform a scaredy-cat into a cool cat, providing a platform for confidence, security, and comfort in their surroudings.
Last and certainly not least, just like walking dogs, walking your cat can be a real bonding experience for you and your feline friend.
Important Tips & Advice
There are some cats that will be easier to harness- or leash-train than others. Similar to dogs, the younger you get them started, the easier it will be. Regardless of age though, you should start your training indoors. It is a safe space that your cat is comfortable with, and if they bolt you don’t risk too much.
We suggest purchasing a harness and leaving it inside the house for your cat to play with and smell, so they aren’t afraid of it. Next, strap your cat into the harness and make sure it's properly fitted and that your pet is comfortable. Then let the kitty wear the harness around the house. Let them drag the leash and grow accustomed to having something strapped around his body. Make sure to reward your cat throughout the process!
Pet parents should know how to recognize signs of stress in their feline. Even if your cat wears the harness it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s enjoying it or the outside experience. Cats display stress in a variety of ways - some may be quiet and lay down on the ground, others could be on the other end of the spectrum and be hyperactive. Be patient and observe, recognize, and understand your cat’s limitations.
If walking a cat doesn’t seem like a future opportunity for your cat, swing by your local Wags To Wiskers Pet Supplies in Ann Arbor or Chelsea and check out our great selection of cat castles and towers! We’re certain that we have one that’s in your price range and will be enjoyed and loved by your feline family.
Walking your cat is a new trend and it could be a great bonding experience and a lot of fun for you and your fur family! However, it’s best to take things slowly and test the waters first. Not all cats are going to be cats that will love walks, and it’s important to know and understand that. They’re family too!