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 Post subject: Appropriate Harness
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:01 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:54 am
Posts: 2
Hi all,

We are thinking of starting our indoor girl with outside walks on a harness. Any thoughts or recommendations on the best way of going about it. She is 5yo and has only ever been in our small courtyard, but her brother has recently passed away and she is SO bored!

Thanks in advance.


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 Post subject: Re: Appropriate Harness
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:45 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8150
I so sorry to hear your lost your other kitty. It's great you want to take your baby on walks. There are three types of harnesses.

Many prefer the walking jacket, which looks almost like a cape around the cat. It's made out of fabric and many people make them custom=sized for your kitty. You can purchase the standard ones online as well. There is not a lot of size adjustment that you can do on these.

The H harness goes around the neck and the chest (each has their own clasp) and the leash attaches on the back. This harness is adjustable and puts no pressure on the cat's neck.

The figure 8 harness goes around the neck and chest and claps at the neck. I originally bought this for Raiden but I wasn't comfortable that the clasp was at the neck and didn't want to strangle him. I use the H harness on him and we do fine.

You can go to online and view the different options that you have.

Just know that putting the harness on your cat will result in one of three types of behavior:

1. The cat fights the harness. If this happens, try to divert their attention with a treat. If this does not work, remove the harness and try again later (like an hour). Keep trying ... this might take a while.

2. The cat flops down and acts like it cannot get up and walk. This is pretty common! Something new around their body and they do not know what to do. Try to get the cat to get up and walk toward a treat. Once they realize they can walk with the harness on, they are usually fine.

3. The cat will walk around as if there's nothing around their body. This was my good fortune with my bengal. Once I saw him walking around, I attached the leash and we went outside.

The cat must be completely comfortable with the harness before you attach a leash and take her outside. This can happen in minutes, or it may take weeks -- sometimes NEVER.

Walking a cat means a lot of stop and go. In the beginning, your kitty will be a little shy out there. Everything is new. Lots of smelling. In fact, she may be slightly frightened. Let her go at her own pace. Your first walk will be quite short, but, over time and as your kitty develops confidence, the walks will be longer and she will travel farther. This is great exercise for you and your cat. My advice is to bring a large towel in the event your kitty just wants to sit in the grass. And you can also ward off unwanted animals that you may pass along the way.

Just be patient with your kitty! Fresh air is great for you and your kitty and the walks can be the best part of the day for you and your little girl.


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 Post subject: Re: Appropriate Harness
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:05 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 8:00 am
Posts: 707
Location: Ogden, UT
A walking jacket would be perfect for your kitty.
I have used a figure 8 harness with past kitties but it is easy to escape from.
We tried an H harness when we first got Quasar but it was easy for him to escape and he grew out of the kitten size quickly.
We moved on to a kitten size jacket that we had to upsize once to an adult size one when he was about 10 months old. Since your kitty is already full grown you could use an adult one right away.
The makers of jackets, Mynwood and Happy Housecoats, make their jackets to fit according to measurements clearly outlined on the websites.
These jackets are highly adjustable due to the length of Velcro strapping that secures them closed. The most important thing is to make sure they are securely snugged tightly on your cat. Kind of like tightening the girth on a horse saddle, it is nearly impossible to accidentally make the jacket too snug. If it is loose, the cat can, with a struggle, back out of the jacket and escape.
The jackets are washable and dry quickly so rinsing out the cat hair is simple.
Happy wardrobe shopping! :wink:

_________________
~ Kyenta


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 Post subject: Re: Appropriate Harness
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:36 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8150
Just know that with the walking jacket, there is a lot of fabric and some cats do not seem to like to have that around them. Harnesses are not that expensive, so you can try one or two out and see what works best for you and your kitty.


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