A reminder not to leave your pet in the car
With spring around the corner pretty soon your cat will be pining at the door or window to go outside. Since outdoor cats have lower life expectancies we recommend that you do not give in to the constant meowing no matter how much it tugs at your heart.
Instead, consider training your cat to walk on a lead. While it wouldn’t be your cat’s first choice, they enjoy it nevertheless, and it’s also fun for you to get outside for a walk with your cat.
This blog is intended to help you train your cat to walk on a lead. We’ve provided a step by step training guideline that includes some tools, tips and general observations from our own experience to help you successfully walk your cat on a lead. We hope you both enjoy!
The earlier you start with your cat or kitten with a harness and lead (or leash) the better. Younger kittens are obviously more open to adopting new ideas than older cats. Having said that, it is not hard or impossible to train a mature cat to walk in a harness and leash. The keys are: using reward and praise; making it a pleasurable experience for your cat; properly accustoming your cat to wearing the harness and; patience…. Your patience, not the cat’s!
A sure way to ruin your chances is to in any way try to force the issue. You want to avoid a battle of wills at all costs as, we all know who will lose. Ideally, you want to tune yourself in to the cat’s reactions during the training process and effectively let the cat guide you.
Buy a well-fitting Cat Harness and a lightweight Cat Lead. Don’t look at dog leashes as the hardware (snap) is usually too heavy. As well, don’t use a collar as cats can often slip out of them and/or most cat collars are designed to breakaway in the event of a snag. Should the cat pull or dart with the leash attached to a breakaway collar it could easily do what it has been designed to do (break away) and your cat is gone. Go with a well-fitting harness and nothing else.
Once you buy the harness and leash DO NOT run home and immediately try to take your cat to the outside. Set aside the fact that your cat has been meowing at the window or door for months. If you introduce the concept in the wrong way, you will lose any chance to walk the cat on a leash. INSTEAD, take the new harness and leash out of the packaging and simply place them somewhere near one of your cat’s favorite sleeping places or hiding spots. The intent is to let your cat sniff and become accustomed to them over a few days.
Your first training session, and many after, will be just before a regular feeding time. As above, a key technique is to use reward and praise. Cats are the most receptive just before feeding and you can use this as a training advantage.
After your cat has become accustomed to the new items for a few days, put the harness on your cat just before the regular feeding time and then immediately put down the food.
Praise excessively when the meal is done and let him/her wear the harness around for a while. If your cat is bothered by the harness after the meal pull out a favorite toy for distraction and to extend the harness experience. Take the harness off after a short, reasonable time and look toward longer experiences in subsequent training exercises.
Repeat the harness, feeding and toy exercise over the next several days. Gradually try to extend the period that your cat has the harness on and isn’t bothered by it. If your cat immediately accepts the harness and has no issues in this regard DO NOT skip ahead on any of the next steps. While your cat might be exceptional and you may be a gifted cat trainer, there is still trouble ahead.
Now that your cat is used to the harness attach the leash but, don’t hold onto the other end. Do this inside your house. Let your cat get used to it and drag it around but watch your cat during this process to ensure it doesn’t become tangled on furniture. Do not leave your cat alone with the leash attached.
Let that exercise continue for a few days and remember to praise your cat every time you put on the harness, attach the leash, etc. Again, the keys are reward, praise, accustoming your cat and your patience.
Next, pick up the end of the leash and follow your cat around the house for a few more days. Be careful not to restrict it’s movement by keeping the tension slack. DO NOT try to force it to go anywhere that it doesn’t want to go and whatever you do, don’t try to get it to heal! Dogs will heal, not cats.
Next, start to teach your cat to follow you by encouraging and talking to it in a fun, cajoling manner while lightly pulling on the leash. Make it pleasurable, praise excessively, and use plenty of the favorite cat treats. At this stage particularly you do not want a war of wills. If your cat objects, stop until it relaxes. Try again later or wait until tomorrow, just before feeding time. Again, patience!
Once you have mastered it around the house, the great outdoors is the next step. Start slow in the backyard or a small enclosed outside area. Although your cat has been pining for the outdoors they are usually quite nervous when first provided the opportunity.Once outdoors, gradually increase your range and experiences with your cat. Be careful that you are not walking routes commonly used by dog walkers. A confrontation with a dog could cause your cat to panic and you want to avoid this, especially early on. As time goes on, your cat may become accustomed to dogs and this will not be a concern.
One of our favorite brands is the Fromm Family pet foods. Aside from a fabulous array of formulas, including many grain free options for dogs and cats, the thing we like best is the Fromm dedication to food safety. In fact, we feed Fromm to our own pets for that very reason.
Rather than reiterate all of the things that Fromm does well in the food safety area, we have re-printed what they have to say about it below. The following is reprinted from the Fromm website at https://frommfamily.com/about/food-safety/
We own and operate two manufacturing facilities in our home state of Wisconsin — located in Mequon and Columbus. Every bag of Fromm dog and cat food originates from one of these facilities. Owning and operating our plants allows us to have full control over the quality and safety of the products we produce. This encompasses everything including, sanitation and pest control, facility maintenance, employee training, sourcing of ingredients, in-house lab analysis, preparation of meat and produce, formulation and blending, processing, packaging, warehousing and distribution.
Part of the overall commitment we have to you — the pet parent— and to your pet is our dedication to producing high quality, safe and consistent pet foods. We have made food safety our highest priority and have implemented HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points) programs in our manufacturing plants. HACCP is a comprehensive preventative program used to identify vulnerabilities and establish documented controls to alleviate the potential issue.
Our Approved Supplier Program ensures that ingredients have been tested by our suppliers and are secure and unadulterated until they are received at our plants. The ingredients are sampled and not unloaded until our own on-site testing labs can verify the safety and integrity of the received load. In process testing is also done at our labs to confirm our formulations are complying with guaranteed analysis as stated on our labels.
All of our packaged pet foods are sampled and tested by an outside lab for pathogenic bacteria. The product is held and cannot be shipped until lab results are obtained and the product is cleared. This is the final step that ensures that all of our pet foods are wholesome and unadulterated.
Every package of Fromm product you find on retail shelves includes a unique batch code which allows us to trace each product through processing, formulation and back to the individual ingredient supplier.
Compliance to federal, state and local regulations is of the utmost importance. To ensure this compliance we perform audits of our procedures, programs and documentation on a regular basis. We are also subjected to random and periodic inspections performed by outside agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
Cats are incredibly persnickety by nature. You have most likely witnessed your kitty involved in lengthy bathing sessions several times a day. For the most part, cats are able to take care of themselves quite well. However, sometimes they need a little help.
Bringing your favorite feline to Petacular’s experienced cat groomers in London, Ontario has a number of major advantages. We have the training skills and experience with cat grooming to get your cat looking beautiful with minimal trauma.
If you have never dealt with matted and tangled cat hair at home, you run the serious risk of injuring your kitty, which in some cases will lead to the need of immediate veterinary attention. Therefore, such cat grooming is best left to the professionals here at Petacular.
Even if you have a fair amount of expertise when it comes to wielding a metal comb and a slicker brush, you may still want to turn to cat grooming professionals like us from time to time. Perhaps your kitty has a particularly bad tangle or mat, maybe it is an especially heavy shedding period, or maybe you just want to show your beloved feline a little extra love with the full treatment. Regardless of your reasons for bringing your cat to us for a quality grooming session, you can rest assured that she will get the very best attention and great care will be taken to get your kitty looking her very best.
Regular brushing and combing will stimulate your cat’s skin and help to keep her coat healthy and clean. Shorthaired cats need a good combing or brushing at least once a week, while longhaired cats should receive this basic grooming about every other day. We offer a variety of quality cat grooming supplies.
In addition, cat’s ears, eyes, nails and teeth need to be checked on a regular basis. Some cats are prone to tearing and need their eyes wiped with a soft and warm, moist cloth. Their ears can build up with wax or dirt; therefore, they need to be checked at least twice each month. In some cases, the matter needs to be flushed out by a professional cat groomer.
The nails need to be clipped at least once a month. Without the proper care and experience, there is risk of trimming the nail to the quick and causing pain or bleeding. Fortunately, we have plenty of experience with trimming nails, and you can bring your kitty in on Wednesdays and Sundays for a great discount on nail clipping.
Petacular specializes in cat grooming in the London, Ontario, area. We appreciate the special needs of your cat. We go to great lengths to ensure maximum comfort and safety. Bring your kitty in today for a luxurious cat grooming session.