Cat walking is a topic that has become more and more popular recently. On the Internet, not only can you see all kinds of cute cat walking photos and videos, there are also many pet trainers promoting the benefits of cat walking.
[Five things you must know before walking the cat]
Not all cats are suitable for walking
It is recommended to convert the mood of wanting to walk the cat into: thinking about "Does the cat need to go out to explore" and "Does the cat need to go out for a stroll". Because cats are slender and have a territorial personality, they are not necessarily suitable for being forced into contact with unfamiliar environments.
In fact, as long as the home environment and behavior are enriched, most cats don't need to go out to vent their inexhaustible energy. Therefore, please make sure that you have done these points first: "There is a height difference in the home that allows the cat to jump, there is a window and a view to see outside, there is a place to hide, and the cat is fixed every day to accompany the cat to the owner’s satisfaction. "Toys/solo toys" are all done, and the cat still has the energy to vent, and then seriously consider walking the cat.
If your baby cat happens to be "extroverted, has a battery that is difficult to discharge, and when the door is opened, he looks out curiously and wants to go out. It is in good physical and mental health." It may be suitable to go out for a walk.
Buy the right equipment and practice well before walking the cat
When you are sure that your cat needs to walk, you must first do the "chest harness & leash" exercise. Let the cat get used to the feeling of having a chest strap and a leash on the body (many cats really can't accept having something on their body, I think you may have seen the video of the cat falling down after putting on the strap).
Also be prepared: cats like to go out of the cage/backpack, so that when they encounter stress, fear, or fright outside, they can run inside to hide, and make themselves feel safer. If your cat hates going out of the cage very much, you may have to do some exercises to make it accustomed/favored, or buy a suitable new outing cage/backpack and retrain.
Please buy the "H-shaped" style for the chest bag, and make sure that the size fits the cat's body shape; the leash should buy the most basic style that cannot be stretched.
Before walking the cat out, make sure that the cat and you are ready
In addition to making sure that the cat feels comfortable when wearing a chest harness & leash, it is also necessary to use drops in addition to ectoparasites every month. It is also important to administer the vaccine regularly. The precautions for the vaccine are as follows: Give the vaccine without adjuvant at least every three years. The recommended positions for the beating are: limbs, tail, and belly. Please also record the position of the beating.
In addition to the cat’s preparation, it is recommended that you also learn more about the cat’s expression and body language, and try to understand whether the cat’s current message is happy, relaxed, or nervous. In this way, you can know whether you should return the cat to the cage and go home as soon as you walk the cat, so as not to cause the pressure to explode or even the situation of struggling to escape.
Please find a "safe" and "appropriate" cat walking place
When everything is ready, you can go to a safe and suitable place to walk the cat and start trying!
The best places to walk a cat are: closed, close to home, few people, and no dogs. If you want to be outdoors, you may have to be near your home: quiet, crowded, and dogs alleys.
At the beginning, please start training in the stairwell and stairwell of your home, and start to read the cat's facial expressions and body language; at this time, the door of the home can also be opened, so that the cat can go home immediately if it is scared or stressed. After waiting for the staircase hall and stairwell to really not satisfy it, then slowly challenge the safe place near home.
Walking the cat under inappropriate conditions makes cats under pressure
Why keep talking about stress? Because cats are very delicate and sensitive, long-term chronic stress will reduce the cat’s immunity. "It's very. Tolerance. Easy. Sick." That's why it has always been emphasized to create a stress-free life for cats to avoid causing cats to feel Stressful situation!
When a cat is faced with an unfamiliar environment, people, dogs, sounds, etc., it will easily produce huge pressure. Cat walking is like a double-sided blade. A good cat walking can create rich and positive stimulation. A bad cat walking is a source of negative and stress…
[Four steps of actual cat walking training]
Chest strap + leash training
Since Zhou Pi has never worn a collar/chest strap since he was a child, he should start practicing by letting him get used to the chest strap + leash. If you are accustomed to cats, practice making them accustomed to being gently pulled back!
Key point: Break down each action, and reward snacks for every action you do.
Put on the collar and give snacks. After getting used to it, it becomes: pull down the collar (not buckle it) and give snacks. After getting used to it, buckle the collar and give snacks. Let's practice the part of the breast ring again (same steps for the collar). Finally, after removing all of them, snacks should be given immediately.
After you are all used to it, try walking at home first. If you have a struggle or a reaction to the road, shorten the practice time of the upper chest strap, or go back to the previous step to avoid impatience during practice! Because once you have bad feelings, the progress of the practice will go backwards. Therefore, the practice time should not be too long, start with 30 seconds at a time, and then slowly stretch for a long time.
If you are more used to it, practice the "pull back gently" and give snacks. This action is to be practiced: in case of a dangerous situation outside and the cat needs to be stopped, it will not scare it or make it unhappy. (Definitely not to provoke it)
On the first day of practicing the chest harness and leash, I felt that Zhou Pian was quite used to it, so he took it to the stair hall, but fell on the ground and rolled around. I filmed the video and asked the behavior counselor, only to know that Zhou Pian paid it back. Not used to chest straps! It is recommended that we still practice well at home first, and then try to take it out after we really get used to it, so as not to let the progress go backwards.
After practicing for two or three days, I try to take it out again. It will roll around outside, but I feel very happy. I took another video and asked the behavior counselor to find out that at this time, it has no chest strap. Opinions are just leaving the smell, or want to taste the smell of the environment. So it was announced that this stage of practice can be graduated, and move on to the next level~
Walk the cat in a closed place near your home
You can finally go out. At this time, you must start practicing from a place near your door! Closed places such as staircases and stairwells are recommended, and the door to the home should also be opened first.
The suggested way is: After putting on the chest strap and leash, open the door and let the cat step out by himself~ At this time, you should also prepare snacks. If there is any sound or situation, you can give it to the cat immediately, so that it can get used to these strange sounds and sounds. Status (hearing these things but something good happens, making it feel happy~).
Zhou Pi would usually find a way to rush to the staircase, so when he was ready, he opened the door and quickly walked outside to explore. Also observe its body language at this time to see if it feels any tension or fear. Fortunately, Zhou Pi is very used and very happy. He always has his tail high and is exploring the environment with super confidence. Then I quickly got tired of the staircase hall and forced me to take it to the hall on the first floor for a stroll.
After getting used to it, slowly challenge places a little bit away from home
When you leave your house to walk the cat, you must prepare a "going out cage" or a "going out backpack", so that if there is a danger or the cat is afraid, there is a safe place to hide! (So be sure to let the cat trust and like this to go out first~)
In fact, in the process of taking the elevator from the door to the first floor, you should first do elevator desensitization exercises so that cats don't be afraid of elevators. But since it often takes the elevator and is also in the cage, it is quite accustomed to go in and out of the cage by himself, and be taken to the doctor… So I skipped this exercise.
When you go to the lobby on the first floor, after opening the cage, you must wait for it to come out by itself, don't force it! At the same time, prepare snacks. When it comes out, give it to it immediately and encourage it. At first, Zhou Pian hesitated for about 30 seconds, then walked out slowly, and began to explore the lobby with confidence.
Do I need to do anything after I go home?
When you return to the outing cage or at home, immediately give him snacks so that he does not feel unhappy about being taken home. After removing the chest strap, you should also give him snacks immediately to let him get used to this action.
As for whether or not to wipe the body, it depends on the condition of you and your cat… Zhou Pi personally hates "anything other than human hands" touching it, and rubbing the body with a non-scented wet tissue is still as necessary. It is fateful, not even willing to eat snacks, just want to escape. But since walking the cat is to make it discharge, let it relax, and be happy, so I gave up wiping hands and feet that made it feel great pressure… (crying)
[Four common questions about walking cats]
After sharing the practice process, you may also have some small questions in your mind. Here are some common questions to answer~
How long does it take to walk the cat?
It depends on how long your cat wants. If it thinks 5 minutes is enough, don’t force it to go home; if it takes 30 minutes or 1 hour, please wait for it, or take advantage of it as if it is already there. When lying down to rest, take it home and compensate with delicious snacks.
How often do you walk the cat?
The behavioral counselor suggested that weekly batches need to walk the cat twice a day, but this also varies from cat to cat. Cats who need to go out twice a day are rare. In my experience, when a cat wants to go out for a stroll, he will let you know! (Crying again)
Can you take it to walk the cat in parks, exhibitions, etc.?
Basically, it is not recommended to take cats to walk in places where people, cars, and animals are complicated! Because of these unfamiliar states and sounds, the cat is really nervous, and may even break away from the harness and escape and disappear…
Of course, there are cats that can accept these places, but if there is no special situation, it is not recommended to challenge the limits of cats. It is safest to walk in a house in a building or in a quiet, car-free, unmanned, and animal-free alley.
How do I know the mental state of the cat during the stroll?
Generally speaking, if the cat is curious, exploring, willing to eat snacks, rolling on the ground, and leisurely grooming, it is all in a good state. But if there are other reactions and performances, you may need to pay special attention, or even take them home as soon as possible!
This part is also quite difficult to walk a cat, so if you want to walk a cat, it is recommended that you consult a behavior counselor or participate in a course that enriches environmental behavior, so that you can better understand the details and precautions (after all, the devil is hidden in the details) ), will be the safest and safest approach.
To sum up
Walking a cat is really something that needs to be understood and practiced with the cat. Don't feel that "it will get used to it by taking it out a few more times anyway." This will continue to put pressure on the cat, causing the cat to be more repulsive, and it will take more time to retrain at the end.
My personal experience of walking a cat in the past two or three weeks is: walking a cat is really tiring!
Because in the process of walking the cat, you must pay attention to it all the time, follow its footsteps, and have to stand and walk for more than an hour… In order to reduce fatigue, it is currently in the closed hall of my home and let it explore on its own. I don’t need to follow it all the time and feel relieved~ so now I don’t want to face the situation when it must go out to open space after it explores the building in the player.
If your cat also needs to walk, or want to increase the amount of cat’s exercise, it is strongly recommended to walk around in your own closed building! After all, if you want to walk the cat every day, it will really be a lot easier.
If your cat has been out since childhood and feels at ease outside, that's also great. Just remember to put on safety measures such as chest bag, leash, and go out of the cage/bag. In the unlikely event of an emergency, you can be the last line of defense to reduce the chance of regrets.