Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Is Your Feline Ready?
Hello, Alberto here. My brother Oliver and I are quite interested in what goes on outside our house. There are little furry animals running around, large striped creatures who wear masks and even big dog-like creatures that the humans call “coyotes”. I would like to get in the middle of all this action but the humans are having none of it. They did note our restlessness though and a few weeks ago the female human came home with a black thing that had a long tail.
Now I would like to say to all my feline friends that this black thing might not be for you. I am the adventurous type. I never run from the vacuum monster and in fact, love to chase it. My brother Oliver is a lot more timid. When he hears the vacuum monster being wheeled out of its cave, he hightails it downstairs. Purrsonality is important and, as our home is always as fear free as possible, the humans decided I would be the first to try this harness and leash thing.
The Harness Thing
The female human sat down on the floor, holding the black things. I’m always interested in new stuff and so I walked toward her. As soon as I got close I noticed that the black thing smelled great and I wanted to get closer. (I heard the human say she sprayed the black thing with something called “Safe Space” .) After I sniffed a few minutes, the human reached out, pulled me toward her and slipped something around my neck. Before I could scamper away, she pulled something around my tummy and then snapped it into place. Everything happened quickly and before I knew it, she was standing up and the front door was open.
I took a few steps onto the porch and couldn’t believe my eyes and nose. What a magical place, birds were singing, the breeze was blowing and I could smell that other felines had come to my front porch.
Evidently I was standing too long, because the human picked me up and took me into the place she called ‘the garden”. Wow, what a place. Lots of green stuff to smell and as soon as I found a smell I liked I just rolled around in it. I was having a ball!
I’m Wearing Your Harness Thing, Now What?
The human seemed to have a different agenda than I did. She tugged at the contraption I was wearing and I did not like it a bit. Evidently she wanted me to walk in a certain direction. I, on the other hand, had alternate plans. The harder she tugged, the more I rolled around in “the garden”. The long black thing that was attached to me and which she held in her hand kept getting shorter and shorter. She learned quickly that allowing me to implement my plan worked better than having to stop and unwrap the thing from around trees, bushes and plants. I think she learned that our little excursion would have gone much easier on her had she allowed me to wander my way.
Relax and Smell The Roses
At some point the human realized that I was in charge of this little outing and I could
sense she was relaxing (fear free applies to our humans too!) . She let me roam in “the garden” and as a reward, I decided to pose for her next to the cat planter. All the time I was out there, Oliver was sitting in the window, meowing and pacing. It looked like the little scaredy cat wanted to try this harness thing too.
Final Mewsings and the Human Speaks
Since the human took me for my first outing in “the garden”, I’ve had several more trips and enjoy this new activity very much. She did make the mistake of remaining outside with me when the male human arrived and opened the big door that goes up and down that keeps the electronic monsters on wheels inside. This was NOT fun and I let her know quickly that little experience did nothing to further her fear free agenda!
From the Human
After observing Oliver’s great distress at being left out of the adventure, I adjusted the harness (Oliver’s girth is much bigger than Alberto’s) and put it on Oliver. My experience with Alberto who is mellow and very compliant, allowed me enough practice so I could put the harness on Oliver much quicker. As you see from the photos, Oliver enjoyed himself thoroughly and I made sure that he wasn’t outside when the “big door” opened. Also note, the first time I took Al out, I did not have his harness fixed correctly. If you look at the shots of Oliver with the harness you will see the corrrect way to use this harness (ah, live and learn).
What lucky kitties to get to enjoy the great outdoors!
They’re enjoying themselves and starting to expand their exploring range.
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I have thought about doing this but then I’m afraid they’ll end up with fleas… do you have that concern?
That’s a very valid concern. When I lived in California this was a real problem. Here in the Inland Northwest it’s not such a problem. Ticks are more of an issue but not in my garden space so it’s not an issue here.
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My cousin walks his cat regularly. He says that the cat really enjoys it, and he also uses a leash/harness system like this to keep his kitty safe.
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I am challenged when putting harnesses on the dogs for the first time, so I can see why a cat harness might take a couple tries to get right too. What a great way for indoor kitties to be able to get some fresh air and exercise!
Thanks Jan, it isn’t for all cats. We have one who completely freaks out if we try to get a harness on her but we’ve found another way for every one of the Tribe of Five to get fresh air with the “Happy Habitat” we purchased. There is a blog post about it on our site and, we just received the long run that zips into it so the felines will be opining about that too.
The Human Assistant to The Tribe of Five
I think it’s important for cats to get out for adventures and this harness clearly keeps them safe! The garden pics are great – will you all go again! Looked like a fun outing!
Yes, we go out regularly and the harness and leash works for some, others spend time on the front porch, the upstairs deck or the back yard in the Happy Habitat. We reviewed this one as well on the blog. We love seeing the enjoyment they get out of spending time outside.
Our cat bro Bert would love to be out on leash, but we have found once a cat goes out, they usually want to go out more and more. We want indoor cats and it’s bad enough Bert tries to run away all the time, so we won’t be letting him have any leash time. We know some folks who do take their cats our for walks or in strollers and it works well.
I think there are some cats who want to roam more than others. Ours are never unsupervised and either go out on a harness and leash or enjoy the outdoors in their “Happy Habitat” which they’ve also blogged about. Either way they are contented indoor kitties.
What a great idea. We have a woman down the street who puts her cat out on a leash a couple of times a day. Personally, I wouldn’t leave my cat out (because of the wild things around here) but her cat doesn’t seem to mind the harness at all.
I’m with you, I wouldn’t leave the cat unattended but a leash “stroll” is good for the feline and the human!
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We loved this! Kitties deserve to be able to smell new smells and enjoying the great outside too! Just letting you know that we have chosen you as a feature in the Pet Blogger Hop!
Thank you so much, I’m honored!
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