Mr. Pepper Grayson, the Pedicat

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Pepper Grayson , my gray tabby

This is a picture of my 8 month old kitty, Pepper Grayson. Yes Mr. Peppie walks on a leash. I had to train him because his spirit keeps telling him that he belongs outside. I tell Mr. Peppie no you belong in the house . When I got Mr. Peppie, he was abandoned at a house with his sister when the owners could no longer afford the house. I could be mad at the owners for being cold enough to leave 3 week old kitties out there to die . But if they haven’t ,their next neighbors who are big time animal lovers would not have found them and I wouldn’t have one of the loves of my life.

My Mr. Peppie is so smart and stubborn at the same time. I decided to train him on the leash because he would cry when the dogs went outside and I also understand his need for fresh air. He is so good at it that I wanted to tell people how they can train their cat too

The benefit of training a cat to walk on a leash is the balance between having an indoor cat that lives to old age but in an unstimulating environment and an outdoor cat that can kill birds or get killed itself.

The Harness

The harness is a good investment when beginning to train. Also give your cat his favorite treat. Giving the cat a treat from the start lets him know, action equals award.

Action Equals Award

Starrt off the walking for about 15 minutes then stop. And remember when he moves, treat him with positive words, pats and treats . He will tire of the routine after 15 minutes. When completed, he will show more attention.

Make it a routine

Break the walking-outside goal into small steps before finally going out on the street. For every cat, this side of the line is comfort and on this side of the line is challenge. Every day, your job is to keep him at that line and then put one paw over it. Eventually the cat will get excited and relate harness to walking to treat.

Length of Time

During the 30 day training , always walk the cat a few more than the prior day. What you’re trying to accomplish is moving the cat beyond his comfort zone. Cats get uncomfortable with the unknown quickly. Don’t succumb to that by picking him up. Just remember with every positive action give him the treat.

Where to Walk

I don’t walk my cat in traffic. I’m not saying he couldn’t learn that. It’s just for me, I feel comfortable in our neighborhood. If you want to train him to walk in busy streets that training will take up to six months. Remember cats scare easily. So patience is needed.

Summary

Many benefits comes from training a cat on a leash. You will have a socialized cat. You will easily meet new people because they will be thrilled to meet the cat on a leash. And you will have a happy cat.

Here are some extra tips in your training:

1. Know your cat. If it doesn’t mind being handled, is pretty confident and not easily spooked, it’s probably a good candidate for leash training.

2. Get the right gear. It is not safe to walk cats on a traditional collars; if they escape up a tree, a breakaway collar will detach, while a standard collar can strangle them. I prefer two styles of walking jackets, though a harness made for a cat is also fine.

3. Hungry is good. Many cats respond to food treats, so start with a hungry cat. Cut treats into tiny pieces, because when a cat gets full, it will stop working. Only give the cat treats when you’re doing the training, and limit the overall amount.

4. Start small. In the first session, place the harness on the cat with confidence, and fit it snugly but not tightly. The moment you’ve finished putting it on, give your cat a treat. If the cat then falls to the ground and plays dead, give it a treat if it moves at all. If it is willing to try walking in the harness, give it a treat when it takes a step. The moment the cat starts seeming overwhelmed, remove the harness and give a treat to end on a high note. Throughout the process, give lots of praise and head pats.

5. Set goals. Push the cat a little farther each day, by breaking up leash walking into small steps. When it walks around each new area with its tail up, it’s ready for the next step.

6. Expect some setbacks. If the cat is afraid of something, try to redirect its attention to another area. If the cat completely freaks out, retreat to the previous area you were walking until it is confident again. Try not to pick up the cat, which erases its confidence.

7. Be careful if your neighborhood has lots of off-leash dogs; consider taking the cat to an area that’s more protected. Don’t let the cat chew on or lick anything. Substances that are common on streets, like ethylene glycol in radiator coolant, taste sweet to cats but are potentially lethal, says Stephen Zawistowski, science adviser for the A.S.P.C.A.

8. Prevent your cat from climbing trees on a leash. It’s not safe.

9. Many pet sitters are also pet trainers. This is another great benefit of having a pet sitter .

 

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