This might be one of the most ridiculous things I have ever attempted to do. In fact, I am dead positive that this is the most ridiculous things I’ve ever done. I never really planned to own a cat, much preferring the cats of others that I could walk away from once I was done celebrating its cuteness. Now that we have her, I’m thrilled, she’s a good companion for me while I work from home even if she does have her foibles, like walking across the color printer to get down off the windowsill.
Her biggest foible, however, is a desire to spend time outside. She’ll try to worm her way out as we let ourselves in. It’s not possible for her to be an indoor-outdoor cat here so we’re working with that desire to be outside. By training her to wear a harness and a leash.
Things we have learned:
1. She doesn’t care for the harness much.
2. She hates it less the more she wears it.
3. She’s afraid to be outside.
4. She still wants to go outside.
5. When we put it on, she will walk funny and flop onto her side.
6. She will walk on the leash.
7. She does not take direction (so we are not walking her, just keeping her on a tether, basically).
8. This process is going to take patience, time and treats.
9. It is impossible not to laugh at her when she balks in protest.
10. The cracks along the outside edge of the deck are very interesting.
Things we recommend for other people who want to harness train their cat:
1. Have patience. Put it on, then back away and give a treat when the cat walks to you.
2. Treat the cat normally when the harness is on. Snuggle, play, etc.
3. It’s not going to happen overnight.
4. Consistency. Make the cat wear the harness for at least a short time every other day.
5. Getting the cat to wear the harness is easy. Getting it to like it? Harder.