The home to the wandering cat..

Saturday, 2 February 2013

How to train your cat to walk on a lead

Wondering how on earth are you going to get that cat on a lead? Here are some top tips on how get that kitty into it.

Firstly get your cat used to a harness, I was trained as a kitten when i was too young to go out by myself. This the best time to start but cat's are smart and most cats can be trained at any age.

When choosing a harness choose one with clips, instead of buckles,  it's a lot quicker to put on so less stressful at the beginning.

I have tried a few different brand and styles of collars. The best are the ones that do not go round the throat. Also i find the cushioned harnesses are better as i like to pull, alot.

NEVER- ever ever, put a lead on your cats collar. It will choke him and make him hate the lead and you for doing it.

With leads, the longer the better and extendable dog leads work well. When you start training your cat will follow you and run in spurts, if the lead is too short you will also have to run with the cat, which will make them freeze, turn around and stare and you with big please don't eat me eyes.

So you're back from the shops with all the goodies for the cat?
First time round let him smell the harness but don't make it the main focus, get the treats ready and as they are scoffing a couple try and put the harness on as quick as you can. If they try to stop you, just restrain until it's on and tightened ect.
 ( If your struggling and your just running around the house after him stressing him out, just stop and try again later. You don't want them thinking harness = bad things)
Reward with treats and your cat probably wont even notice the harness is on.

 Clip the lead on, pick the cat up and start walking around your garden. This is best done outside, along their normal patrol paths if they are already outside cats. Make sure its a quiet area, every time he gets spooked they will just want to freeze and hide. keep walking with the cat in your arms till he demands to be put down.  Start walking in the direction you want to go and he probably wont follow you or start to walk off in their own direction of interest or try and hide in a bush. pick the cat up and carry on walking till he demands to be put down then start walking in the way you want to go. This may take you 10 attempts it may take a 100 recreating the process over several months, i'm nearly a year old now so been doing this for 9 months and still improving . Eventually the idea is if he doesn't want to be carried he has to walk the way you want to go.

 Please respect that cat's don't like walking through the middle of a field. so instead stick to the going around the edges of the fields, gardens, until you get there.

This is not an overnight process. Do NOT drag your cat around trying to encourage them, we are much slighter than dog's and cant handle being yanked about.

 Understand the weather can be too hot or too wet to go walking in. Build up your cats stamina as it will be very tiring at first, take regular breaks to catch their breath. always carry around a bowl and water, treats are good too.

 Just because your cat follows you around the block doesn't mean you don't need to put a leash on them when anywhere unfamiliar. it could easily be scared by a dog/person/car/anything. This will cause them to seek a hiding place making them run off. Then try to imagine how long that might take to find them in the middle of the wildernes...

What my owner does if something is approaching us that i don't like, for example a dog, she will jsut pick me up untill we are past it. I feel safer high up and it stops me getting so stressed about having to cross paths with it.

Once you have mastered the leash and harness you can take your kitty everywhere! This has great rewards for both you and them. Cats love patrolling new territory and bonding time with you. It also means your kitty doesn't need to stuck indoors all the time. I have had many great adventures with my humans. Seeing things i never thought i would; like waterfalls, meadows, mountains and caves.

 So what are you waiting for?

who's a big boy? ok you're huge!

Today im tipping my hat to the wonderful creation of the Liger. For those of you who havent heard this term this is the off spring from a male lion and a female tigress. Pretty cool, but what's so special about it? Well in lions it is the male that carries the growth gene and the female in the case of tigers, so when you mix these two together the end result is a giant!

There's no hiding from Hercules as his owner takes him for a stroll....

Although this is super cool, in the wild this is very unlikely. a male lion meeting a bunch of female tigers.. sounds like a cat fight. Also being so big wouldn't be a great advantage in the wild. The amount the Liger needs to consume to survive is ALOT and being so large would probably make hunting/stalking harder. So as you can imagine this  has only been recorded in captivity, sometimes an accident!

A tiger on the left compared to the Liger on the right

It's not so surprising really, we cross breed dogs all the time. Horses crossed with donkeys make mules, you also might of heard the story about grizzly bears and polar bears making pizzlies!  They even think we may even be a result of cross breeding! But of all the hybrids i think the Liger is the coolest, mainly because of its sheer size and cuddly 'looking' face.

This is Hercules, a 64 stone Liger with his little brother.

There are thought to be around 20 Ligers and Tigons around the world altogether. Heres how you know what to call it:

Lion + liger = li-liger
Lion + tigon = li-tigon
Tiger + liger = ti-liger
Tiger + tigon = ti-tigon

Other Kitty hybrids:
Leopard x lion= Leopon

Bengal Cat x Ocicat = Cheetoh

African serval x Asian Leopard cat x domestic house cat = Ashera

serval x domestic cat = savannah

Bengal cat x tabby cat = Toyger
(A result of cross breeding its not a real hybrid but still, super cute!)

here my sources and some great links to check this out further: this is the homepage for the park where Hercules comes from, a great website and foundation. good old wikipedia for those straight forward facts!