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 Post subject: Lead training Bengals.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:47 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:43 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Merseyside, UK
Hi everyone!

I know this has probably been asked a million times before, and I've read the kitty camping threads, but I am really struggling to lead train my bengals!
They are almost 6 months old and I've tried a couple of times fitting them with harnesses to wear around the house. The idea was to get them used to wearing a harness, then move them on to walking jackets before we ventured outside. The only problem is, the harnesses last about 10 minutes before I take them off both of them, because they seem to get so stressed. Blossom and Bluebell absolutely freak out when I fit them with the harnesses; they walk into doors, bash their heads against things, thrash around and try to bite the harness off until I eventually give in and take them off them. I end up feeling so guilty for trying to train them to walk on a lead, but it's the only way they'll get some proper outdoor time!
Does anybody have any tips? Would walking jackets be better as they are larger and fasten in one place, therefore less chance of them getting themselves tangled in it or something? With the harnesses I get worried while they're freaking out that they're going to get it caught on something in the house and really hurt themselves.
I am aware that I'm probably being a bit overprotective, but they are my babies, I can't help myself! Haha!
Any help, tips or advice would be hugely welcome!
Thanks :)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:32 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:23 am
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Location: West Sussex
The jackets that Louise makes to measure are MUCH better than harnesses.

www.happyhousecat.com

They fit really snuggly and Benji tolerates his very well.(after the initial paralysis where he flopped over on his side!)

I would get the jackets and leave them around for a bit before trying them on (briefly at first) so they get used to them gradually, maybe even in a safe room too.


Heather

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:01 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:43 pm
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Location: Merseyside, UK
Thanks Heather that sounds really good! I'll give the jackets a try :)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:18 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:50 am
Posts: 16
Merseyside? Not far from me then (E/Port). Got Loki's jacket from http://www.mynwoodcatjackets.moonfruit.com/, really good jacket, can't make any complaints about it - plus there is a picture of Loki in his jacket on the site :biggrin:

He was not impressed wearing it at first, flopping over, walking backwards, all the normal, just have to keep at it. Tried the recommended approach of 5-10 mins or so a few times a day, and progress was glacial at best, so ended up leaving it on him for longer, and with the lure of a few treats etc, he very quickly figured out he could walk in it, run, jump, climb etc. Now he is completely at ease with it.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:53 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:52 pm
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Location: Sussex
Tigertail wrote:
The jackets that Louise makes to measure are MUCH better than harnesses.

She doesn't make them anymore.

OP, this is what I did: Harnesses out all the time, so cats can smell them/harnesses start to smell of cat. I put mine on the bed, as the cats sleep there. During petting session, harness gets put on their back. Not done up, just laid there. Treats always given when harness applied. Did this for a while until I started loosely doing one strap up. This was the bit that the took the longest, one of my cats realllllly was not ok with not being able to shake the harness off. Other cat didn't mind so much. Eventually got the point where the cat would allow me to do up the straps if distracted by treats. Once straps done up, it was always play time. Harness = play and treats. Now neither cat minds about the harness at all.

This took months for the scaredy cat btw. But I was lazy and didn't train every day, or even every week. It would go much faster with daily training.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:19 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:43 pm
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Location: Merseyside, UK
Thanks for all the advice! I'll let you know how I get on :)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:40 am 
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Senior Bengal
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Posts: 60
I started taking tigger out for walks after his second vac. Freaked out with the jacket on but as soon as you him out! He's forgets he has it on and don't mind. Walks around everywhere he wants though.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:02 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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I applaud any cat owner who decides they want to train their kitties to walk on a harness and leash. There are three different scenarios when you put the harness on the cat.

1. They lay down and act as if they are paralyzed and cannot move.
2. They fight the harness and bite to get it off.
3. They start walking as if they don't have the harness on.

When I put a harness on my bengal, #3 was what happened and we went out on our walk within minutes. If yours suffers from #1 or #2, try to distract them with a treat. With #1, as soon as the cat realizes it can get up and walk, they usually are fine. #2 is a different thing. Yes, having them fight the harness can stress them out. But what you will do is place the harness on them for a short period of time and remove it. Then try again in a few hours. Repeat and repeat and try to get them distracted with treats until they are fine with wearing it. This can take hours, days, weeks, maybe months! If you're serious about getting them on a harness, then you simply have to spend the time working with them. Every cat is different. If after a long while, things have not improved, then drop the harness thing all together. Your cats will never be ready. Note, this doesn't happen too often because the cats finally get used to it. It's something foreign around their body. A harness jacket may work better, although there is much more fabric to the harness and that can either make them feel more secure or it can hinder the process a little more. All you can do is keep trying. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:08 am 
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Senior Bengal
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I ordered mine from ebay Butterfly cat jacket handmade. Really good and lots of designs>


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 4:42 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Bengal Tigger, your baby is beautiful and so happy he's enjoying his walks.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:27 pm 
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My boys are good once they're in the harness. Fitch is really confident and loves exploring Merlin likes being outside but is more cautious.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:40 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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aww they're so cute!

Diesel hates the harness with a passion, he gets really low to the ground and tries to get it off.

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Diesel - snow Bengal born 09/01/2013 adopted Feb 2014
Tuck, Chloe, Buddy, Lewis & Tia - rescue kitties
Clyde, Bleu & Coal - Great Danes


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:49 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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You're so lucky they took to the harness like that. Jagger was ok with it once it was on, but Hendrix hated it and walked like his back was broken, if he moved at all!

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Hendrix and Jagger, Brown Marble Boys (born 18 August 2013)
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:41 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8005
They say bengals are the easiest cats to train to walk on a harness and leash. Most owners give up after the first try. The at doesn't like it, so we won't try again. It's being persistent and consistent. Raiden now can't wait to get his harness put on him so we can go out on our walks. Lead training isn't for everyone. Taking that hour to get your kitty outside and watch him/her stop and smell every thing is not great exercise. And then they will decide to just lay down in the grass, road, sidewalk. I always have a towel with me so I have something to sit on.


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