January is Walk Your Pet Month! Our canine buddies aren’t the only pets that enjoy going for strolls. People also walk their ferrets, Guinea pigs, bunnies, bearded dragons, and iguanas, to name just a few. Actually, some of our feline pals also enjoy going for walks. A local Sarasota, FL vet goes over the basics of taking Fluffy for a walk below.
Walking isn’t really going to be the best option for all kitties. If your furball has always been an indoor pet, it’s probably best to let sleeping cats lie. However, if Fluffy was once allowed to roam outdoors, or if she’s just extremely curious, active, and outgoing, walking may actually be quite beneficial for her.
If you have decided to give this a try, you’ll need to get some gear. We recommend using a harness, rather than a collar. Make sure it isn’t too tight or too loose! Start by letting Fluffy wear her harness indoors. Once she’s gotten used to it, you can attach a leash and let her drag it around. Keep a close eye on her, so she doesn’t get tangled up in anything.
Once Fluffy seems reasonably comfortable with her harness, it’s time to try taking her outdoors. Start by just letting her sniff around your door. Don’t get too close to trees: if something spooks your cat, she may instinctively climb one, which could cause a bit of a pickle.
There are some benefits to walking your feline buddy. For one thing, this is a good way for Fluffy to get some exercise and stimulation. Many kitties love the enrichment of being outside, as they get to explore, sniff plants, and perhaps pounce on lizards. Fresh air and sunshine will be good for you, too!
There are a few things to keep in mind when walking cats. First and foremost, stick to safe areas. Don’t take your furry buddy to places where there may be dogs, gators, or other hazards. Avoid busy roads as well.
Keep in mind that if Fluffy enjoys walks, it won’t be long before she comes to expect them … and demand them. Be prepared for your feline friend to loudly insist on being walked daily!
Please contact us, your Sarasota, FL veterinary clinic, if there is ever anything we can do for you. We’re here to help.