their portability, but for them, comfort is everything. The newest
cat-specific walking vests are lightweight, secure enough to
deter escape and flatter in a range of colors and patterns.
Training kitty to walk on a leash need not be an exercise in
frustration. A first time vest-wearer may flop to the ground and
become an immobile lump. However, careful use of treats will
convince a reluctant cat to play along. The trick is in holding
a favorite treat just far enough in front of the flopped-down
floor-bound feline so that she has to move slightly to get to it.
Repeating the process and holding the treat out a little farther
each time will soon have a cat rediscovering her legs, while
creating a positive mental connection of reward with wearing
the vest. Then, it is time to attach the leash and venture forth
with feline in tow.
Perhaps start with a front yard foray, and then graduate to a
trip to the pet store. In no time, that confident and nattily attired
feline will be ready to expand her horizons.
The feline mind wants to know,
“What’s in it for me?”
Sure, our cats love us—but love alone
will not get them to do what we want.
Cats expect immediate reward for
following instructions, but food treats
work for training only if a cat is not
used to having food left out all day. If an
animal is free-fed, there is less incentive
for him to follow commands. Try two
daily meals instead of grazing. By
removing that all-day food bowl, one
can also go a long way in preventing
feline obesity and diabetes.
FOR CATS, COMFORT IS EVERYTHING.
SAFETY AND STYLE RIGHT, A feline is sure to get noticed in a bright
pink walking vest; BELOW, A big world out there—even if a feline’s travels
are limited to attending the backyard barbeque. Parents enjoy greater
peace of mind when their cat wears a walking vest and leash.