Walking your cat on a harness requires training to get them used to it. If you just put the harness on the cat and go for a walk it will very probably not only not work out but your cat will have a negative association created with the harness which then has to be overcome.
So save yourself time and follow these following easy steps and your cat will sooner than later learn to tolerate the harness and like to go outside.
Make a positive association with the harness
First of all, you will have to cease free-feeding your cats which is leaving food accessible for them all the time. Instead, give them set meals and use treats as a training tool.
Put your scent on the harness so that the cat associates it with a familiar scent. One way to do that is just putting it into your bed for a few days, it will get your smell.
Show your cats that a leash is an inoffensive object
Now, leave the harness for a few days somewhere visible for your cats so that the cats can come across it and realize that it is not a threatening thing.
Then, put the favorite treats of your cat over the harness so that the only time they see these treats is when the harness is there, also, that the only time the harness appears is when your cat receives her treats.
In this way, we create a positive association with the harness using something the feline already values. Do this exercise for some days and put the harness and the treats away each time after this exercise has been done.
Afterwards, the next step is that every time your cat receives a treat and while she is eating it simply open and close the harness so that your purr gets used to the noise it makes and associates it with good moments.
Put the harness on your cat
Cover the harness over your cat while they are eating their favorite treat and leave it on them for a little while. Repeat this exercise for the next days every time they eat and extend the amount of time they are having it on.
Now we are creating a positive association between having the harness on and eating their treats.
Later, while your cat eats its favorite treats and once you have put the harness on her, take the leash and follow the same proceeding of opening and closing of the clasp so they get used to the sound of it. Do this exercise until she is totally comfortable with it.
Subsequently, once you give your cat its favorite treat and drape the harness on her, attach the leash and let her finish its meal. Then, let her walk around in the harness with the leash on so she will get used to have a harness and leash on.
If she flops over on their side and rolls around don’t worry, it is normal you can let her do it. Again, repeat this process over the next days.
Put treats outside
The next exercise you have to do is once you put the harness on your cat with the leash on, and offer her treats at the front door during some days so that she associates the experience of eating treats while wearing the harness and leash by the door positive.
After that, take your cat outside with treats on the ground, she has to feel comfortable being outside the door. Then, put her inside before she is agitated or nervous.
Now, every time your about to take a walk with your cat go to the front door and make a unique sound. Soon your cat will learn that the sound means going for a walk and she will come to you excited.
While walking with your feline
Go with one cat per person, otherwise, it could not work well. Once walking have your leash set up in a slipknot. Don’t distract yourself with the cell phone rather watch the environment while walking your cat. There could be potential dangers like dogs, people, cars, or bikes. As soon as you any danger take your cat in your arms or even go inside.
Also, watch out what your cat is eating during the walk it could have chemical and fertilizer pesticides or be poisonous plants. Be aware of what plants have been treated with what chemicals. In doubt don’t let your cat munch on it.
When you don’t want your cat to go somewhere never pull on the leash to drag them back just keep the leash tight, they will soon figure out that for some reason in the environment that’s as far as she can go, that that is the limit of how far they can go.
Remember that you don’t need to call her, only keep the leash tight.
Finally, to go home, again make a unique sound so that your cat can associate it and recognize it each time you want to go home.
Hopefully, soon you can show your cat to go for a walk and enjoy the it with him.