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Bengal Cat Forums • View topic - Tips on getting Bengal used to cars when walking on a leash
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:12 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:59 pm
Posts: 9
My Bengal kitten is 14 weeks. She has worn a harnes every day since 9 weeks to get her used to it and she has been walking round the house on the leash with me and in my back garden. I took her out the front of my house today to get her used to it and she was understandably very scared when a car went passed. I do not live on a main road. I just kind of stood there for about 5 minutes so not too long and then took her back in. There was no point in me attempting to walk down the road as she was to scared as all new to her.
Is there any tips people can give me as to what to do. Is it a case of just taking her out a little longer each time to get used to the noises and cars going past or is it not possible to walk your cat down the street? My other 3 cats are just normal and so they are out all the time and aren’t scared of cars at all as they are so used to them.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:12 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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It will just take time for your baby to get used to strange noises outside. Whatever you do, do not pressure your kitty to go anywhere. The best thing is to just take her out when the traffic would be lighter. When I first started taking Raiden out, we just stayed our yard for a few weeks. Eventually, he wanted to walk further. I live in a subdivision where the streets are all dead-end, so there isn't any through traffic. There are some cat owners who take their cats to a park to walk, but that involves a ride in a carrier which most cats do not like.

I would just allow your kitty to walk in your yard, around the buildings and not head out into the streets just yet. My Raiden doesn't mind cars, but he doesn't like dogs that are being walked or just people walking or jogging. I also suggest a shorter, retractable leash. The one I use is 10 feet and it's just long enough for Raiden to get it wrapped around the shrubs.

Short walks a couple of times a day should help for the time being.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:25 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
Posts: 4490
Location: Portland Oregon, USA
I have zero experience walking cats on leashes (aside from my failed experiments with Gaga), but one thing I wanted to point out is that for a cat to be afraid of cars is probably a REAL useful survival instinct! I wouldn't want it any other way in mine. The more scared the better as far as I'm concerned.

I think Sherry's idea is the right one: go when/where there is as little traffic as possible.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:56 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:59 pm
Posts: 9
Hey guys thank you. Yes I am going to do my back yard for a few more weeks then move
To my front yard where an occasional car will go past so she can get used to it and I will
Follow her lead and only venture further once she wants to and feels
Confident enough.
And no I won’t force it. As this will just make her more scared. Thanks for the advice.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:30 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 9217
It is a BIG old world out there for kitties who see it for the first time. Yours needs to find more confidence when being leashed. It will come. And if it doesn't, then I might suggest taking a large towel or small blanket with you so you both can just sit and enjoy the scenery. It doesn't have to be about walking. The fresh air and sunshine is all your kitty really needs. Although it is 23 degrees out with no sun and Raiden walked out the back door this morning, around the side of the house and we came back in through the front door. About 5 minutes worth! It will be 40 degrees later on and I'm sure we will venture farther.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:52 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:00 am
Posts: 752
Location: Ogden, UT
I am in agreement with Sherry, walking a cat is nothing like walking a dog. They often just want to putter about and sniff and explore.

Walking a cat isn't for exercise, it's for exploration.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:29 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:59 pm
Posts: 9
Yes thank you this is all really helpful. I will continue to take baby steps and yes it is very useful to remember it is nothing like walking a dog. Brilliant. I will carry on going in the back yard and getting her used to noises before I even think about going further.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:57 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 9217
Note, too, your bengal is very young! It is great you are wanting to start her out so young. But, she has just started her life and has no idea what is going on. Let her explore on her own. And be her great protector. You will probably be picking her up a lot. But, I found just having a towel or blanket where we could just sit and breathe in the fresh air and watch birds, etc. was enough in the beginning. This morning, both of my cats had a great walk to the park, around the tennis and basketball courts and back home. We get to do it again in a few hours. Your little one will eventually be yowling, insisting on her walks. The one thing I do like is that if my bengal gets outside for some reason, he knows where he lives and will come back on his own.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:32 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:28 am
Posts: 10
I started getting my bengals (i got 2 at the same time at 6,5 and 7 months old from the shelter) used to the harnas after a week, just indoors. And started going outside after 2 weeks.

I live in a building which used to be part of an hotelcomplex (the house i live in has been renovated and there are now 4 appartments in, i have my appartment upstairs), so i started with them walking on the parkinglot which is empty or almost empty during the day. At the start they were very afraid of cars as well, and needed to built confidence in the surroundings and me before i would go on to the sidewalk.

Then i went from one parkinglot to the other (at the backside of the buildings) and let them get confidence there, from there up to the sidewalk, walk the sidewalk for 50 m till my frontdoor, and when confidence was there (with the cats and me) i started going to the sidewalk directly.

I only have to walk the sidewalk (with slowdriving cars on the road btw, i live in the centre of an old village, not built for fast driving) for about 50-100 m and then turn into a smaller road with hardly any cars driving by... and on to another (even smaller) road with even less traffic, from there im out of the centre and its another 200 m (a few small streets with no traffic during the day) to the forest.

With Ayla i have been in the forest for about 2 weeks now, Finnley isnt there yet, we are up to the 'last' street before the forest.

I talk a lot to them, praise them, go through my knees, pet them during our walks. If they are insecure i pet them at their bottom/tailarea, once the tail is up again their confidence is back... at least for that moment.
Sometimes i carry them for one street (Ayla) or just a few meters (Finnley, he wriggles).

If they come across something scary i let them look and after a while 'ask' them if they wanna go on again, Ayla is easily distracted with a wandtoy i also carry with me... to get her moving again, ofcourse i dont use it on the streets with cars (passing by) but she also freezes up a bit when we see other people/cyclists, or wants to go into gardens of houses/people i dont know.
If we come across a dog i pick them up. They are a bit impressed by dogs, if we encounter them i pick them up. I try to avoid comming close to people with dogs (cross the street to the other side if i see them for example). They are actually not too afraid of dogs once they get used to them, but i dont know how the dogs react to cats or a cat on a leash.

As i said Ayla picks it up faster then Finnley. He was a bit more insecure at the start but picking it up fine though.
I cant really distract him with a toy when we are outside, he isnt very interested and wriggles more when i pick him up. However i can see in his behaviour precisly when he has had enough 'stimulation' and starts to get taking in 'too much' (which i like to avoid ofcourse), sometimes we dont get further then the parkinglot, sometimes we get almost to the forest.

However my cats are a bit older then yours is.
Keep in mind that they can bolt on you/the leash when they get too afraid/overstimulated, so make sure the harnass fits perfectly and cant escape from it. Take babysteps if your cat asks it from you.
Read her behaviour and bodylanguage, what does she like?
Finnley is (was) more the sniffing each and every meter from the parkinglot, while Ayla was very interested in the sound of the birds and the wind blowing the leaves (bless for autumn), i started both to sniff trees (by using the toywand), standing up against them etc. Since marking is natural behaviour they love that.

If your cat gets scared, reassure her as much as you can, once the 'danger' has passed (dog, car, strange noise) distract her if possible . I experienced that Ayla started asking for reassurance when she got a bit insecure.

I have both my cats on a short leash, i think 1.5meter, will get a longer one in future but for now i like to be very close untill both me and the cats are very much used to it.

Each cat is different, take your time and dont overhaste things.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:58 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 9217
WAIT .... you walk TWO bengals? I can barely handle ONE on a leash and one following us. You are a true saint!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:57 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:28 am
Posts: 10


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:50 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 9217
Whew!!! I was giving you huge props for attempting to walk TWO bengals at the same time. Although it's bad enough to take an hour twice a day to walk my bengal -- two would take four hours out of my day. :biggrin:


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 5:19 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:48 pm
Posts: 164
is walking them a good idea? i see leo licking his paws every now and then to clean it
what if he gets something dirty or toxic on his feet while walking outside?


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