leash trained cat

tiresiasfireeyes  asked:

Hi! I just saw your post about indoor cats, and was wondering if you (or any followers) have any tips on leash training cats? My Rosie used to be an outdoor cat but has been indoors for 2-3 years now (she's 7) and she's happy but misses the outside

I’ve never leash-trained personally, but @catsindoors has a great masterpost on harnesses here, and I’m sure followers have more experience? any advice is appreciated!

Please for the love of god 2

Don’t let your cats outside.

I know you’re all apparently super concerned about the fact that you’re denying your cat the satisfaction of instinctually hunting and being active by not letting them outside but guys… guys…

Toys. TOYS. So many toys to stimulate so many behaviors. There’s literally hundreds of toys out there designed to replicate prey and entice cats to perform natural behaviors INDOORS.

Alternatively if your cat absolutely must go outside for some reason, LEASH TRAINING. Train your cat to walk in a harness. This can take time but your cat should never be outside unsupervised. I know my cats hate the harness and basically if I put it on they just flop down and refuse to do anything except start the long process of dying dramatically but do it anyway or don’t let them outside. I guarantee you your cat would rather be allowed outside on a leash than be dead on a road somewhere.

Guys I’m sorry but if you don’t have the time to play with your cat and give them the attention and stimulation they need in a safe way then you literally shouldn’t have a cat.

Outdoor cats are susceptible to

-Disease. Regardless of what vaccinations your cat has, it could eat something infected, eat something toxic, or end up with feline aids from fighting with a feral cat.

-Predation. Literally the other month a bird of prey on a bird cam in Pittsburgh, PA brought a literal house cat to its nest and ATE IT ON CAMERA.

-Cars. People hit animals by accident all the time. Some people do it intentionally.

-People taking your cat into their own home or a shelter because it was WANDERING OUTSIDE.

-Other Cats. Cats are extremely territorial. If your cat comes across a feral cat, it will probably lose.

Things your cat will do to your local ecosystem: Wreck it.

Yeah so your cat has this natural hunting instinct. And it WILL hunt. Even if it doesn’t bring anything home. I guarantee you it’s hunting and eating or even just hunting for fun, which is normal.

Shoulder Cat People of Portland, UNITE!

I took Blackjack to the park today. On the way, I pass the bar, and a man standing in the entryway stopped me, saying, “What a lovely kitty! I’ve got a shoulder cat myself. Want to meet her?" 

So of course I said yes, and followed the man into Plew’s, where a fluffy black cat lay in a nested pile of audio cables atop the piano beside the stage. Her lemon-lime eyes opened a crack when the man whistled softly to her, and but she otherwise ignored us until she spotted Blackjack in my arms. 

In an instant, she was on alert, her eyes wide in astonishment. Blackjack extended his neck to touch noses as she did the same. There was a tense moment when their noses finally touched, and then, the fluffy kitty hissed shortly at Blackjack. The man and I laughed. 

"Bird, she’s good with strangers. But guess she’s a little jealous now there’s another cat! What’s it’s name, anyhow?” he asked. 

“Blackjack,” I answered, as the man lifted his kitty from her nesting spot and set her atop his shoulder where she glared at us from on high. She was regal. And she had six toes on each foot, which made her paws look impossibly large for a simple house cat. They were like snowshoe lynx paws. 

Upon hearing the name of my companion, the man laughed and clapped me on the shoulder. “No way!” he exclaimed. “My Bird here is Blackbird!" 

So there we were, two complete strangers in a bar in Portland, with two pure black shoulder cats named Blackbird and Blackjack. 

Chris, Blackbird’s human, set her on the stage in the window where the evening sun wafted in with a golden brightness. Despite Blackbird’s apparent dislike for Blackjack, Blackjack was struggling to be put down, so I set him on the stage too and let go of his leash so he could roam. 

Of course, his first course of action was to arch his back and run sideways toward Blackbird, who, while easily three times his size, looked utterly shocked by my kitten’s daring. I couldn’t blame her. Even Paco was no match for Blackjack’s bold lack of restraint in social situations. He did the same thing to dogs as big as me. 

Thankfully, Blackbird didn’t run, and when she held her ground, Blackjack lost interest. The other bar-goers were pleasantly entertained by the two animal guests on stage, and a few came to give gentle pets and praise. 

Chris and I chatted as our companions entertained themselves. In time, a hobo wandered in and began playing harmonica, and it occurred to me that nowhere else on earth could I find a sight like that which was now before me:

In the evening sunset glow, two black socialized cats - one with no tail, and the other with extra toes - gamboled about on the stage at a bar, while a wandering homeless man struck up an impromptu harmonica accompaniment to the reggae music playing on the bar stereo.  Meanwhile, people drank their beers and laughed and talked as if it were the most natural thing in the world. 

When the hobo finished playing along to the music, I shook Chris’s hand and said farewell to Blackbird before continuing on my way. It was another magical day in Portland.