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 Post subject: Harness/Going Outside
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:28 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:17 am
Posts: 23
Hi guys,

I recently bought Djole a harness so that I can take him outside to get rid of a bit of energy and so that he can explore! However he just seems to freak out when I take him outside and sits down trembling, and will only seem to calm down when I pick him up (which usually he hates).
I was wondering if anyone had any tips on harness training? I don't want to continue if he gets too scared. I want to try Annie too but she's a bit too little so I'm waiting for her to grow up!

Mia :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:00 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:55 am
Posts: 65
Location: London
My Jasper was very similar when he first started going outside (Chilli was happy to go anywhere and would bundle out the front door ready to explore!). I found with Jasper that by letting him take his time and going where he wanted to go he soon calmed down. Initially when he saw other people or dogs he would run back to the house and sit on the window ledge (I had the window open so he knew he had a safe place to dive into if needed) and would come back down in his own time. It took a good couple of months of doing this every day before he would feel truely happy outside. Now he waits for me every evening on the stairs to put his harness on and takes Chilli and I for walks!

So, in answer to your question - I think the key is time and patience.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:34 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 2:22 pm
Posts: 800
Location: London
My girl hated to go outside the front door, a bit like yours - trembling, scared of every noise, and generally could not enjoy it.
My boy loved the idea too much but was annoyed when not able to run /climb where he wanted.
I quickly gave up as none of them seemed to be truly enjoying themselves.
They now have their own garden to run around and play.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:22 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8010
Oh the big outdoors. Is he okay wearing the harness and it's just the outdoors that freaks him out right now? You've just got to do baby steps with this. Feel free to pick him up and carry him and then put him back down to walk. It's a big place out there with all new sights and smells. He will get used to it -- but it will take some time. My Raiden's previous owner said he tried to train him to walk on a leash and failed. I put a harness on him and he was ready to go outside for a walk in two minutes. Initially, he wouldn't leave the yard. Now we walk down the street and around the corner.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:56 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:17 am
Posts: 23
Thanks everyone!

He's fine on his harness, I did think it was just overwhelming for him so I've tried a few times but he just trembles. I'll try taking him out more frequently but always reassure him that I'm there?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:14 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:09 pm
Posts: 152
Lily won't go outside either. She meows and runs back inside. She also hates her harness and sits and refuses to move with it on. This is after about 5 months of trying to train her. I gave up and just let her sit in the window and do her thing.

Some cats just never get used to it nor do they want to.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:33 pm 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:04 pm
Posts: 51
Zuri hated going outside she was afraid of everything. Any noise from passing cars, to people walking past.

I put the harness on her first which she hated and froze, she also went rolling around the floor trying to get it off.

So I took her into our back garden first and played with her with the Da Bird toy until she forgot about the harness.

I then carried her to a local field where I knew there was no dogs and anyone else to disturb us.

Her tail bushed up and she was shaking...I did this for a few days and she realised that it was actually fun. I have an extendable 8 metre lead. So now when I take her she just runs and scratches trees.

Her tail does go bushy when we walk through the open field but apart from that I think she loves it...

I would recommend putting the harness on and taking her mind off it by giving treats or playing with toys. When she forgets about it... then go to next stage...

Then gradually take her out... 5 mins... 10 mins etc... until she/ he realises that she is still safe..

Hope this helps

Zoe


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:09 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:25 pm
Posts: 4
My cat was the opposite and wanted to chase after every leaf, bird or insect! Her harness goes around her tummy as well as her neck but it is pretty scary when she pounds full pelt toward to the other end of the garden. Shes run so fast ive even let go of the harness as I was worried about it hurting her (then had a panic attack as we live near a very busy road!) Maybe I just need to learn to run faster!

I wonder if you can buy harnesses with extendable leads like they do for dogs???


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:26 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:49 pm
Posts: 690
Location: UK
hiya Mia,
great to hear about a kitty learning to share outdoor time with owner from a young age.
I took my girl out as soon as she was safe (vaccinated) and only stopped while she went thru her spay and recovery.

At first Cleo trembled and froze.. and would kinda lay on her side and look at me all scared.

For the first few times (and in garden not the street) just being outside is enough... you need to try to end the outdoor sessions on a positive and not due to bolting indoors from fear.

I started out by carrying kitten Cleo outside and crouching down onto one knee and placing her under me... (a natural defensive posture for mommy cat and kitten) and Cleo would just sniff and look around and feel the breeze on her ect... a few minutes is all that needs at first... then back in with no drama harness straight off and some nice back rubs and grooming.
(or you could try taking him out in his carrier and just open the door ... no force or pressure to leave the carrier unless he wants to - but give the option)

After a few times of going out and feeling protected and coming back in your kitty should realise there is no danger and gain confidence... venturing out from your safezone (underneath you or out of his carrier) and again its important to go gradually to try to always end the session on a good note... sometimes a noisy car nearby or a plane overhead can be scary and set you back ... but persevere.

Another thing, be sure YOU stay calm and confident in tone and posture so kitty can pick that up - make sure you are always in sight of him (when he is later exploring around) and also that the entrance back into the house is always in sight and open, dont close the door to the house while you are out and stay close to it.

Think of how you started with one room being a ''saferoom'' in your house and introducing new rooms only with this the house itself is the ''saferoom'' and the garden is a new ''room'' to introduce gradually as confidence grows.

good luck, please share your story and any piccies would be awesome :mrgreen:

(click my Sig to see vids of my girl out on walkies)


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