As owners, we are always concerned with the safety and health of our pets. There are so many hazards in the world — both inside and outside. We worry over the best kind of food to feed, what kind of kitty litter to buy, and what veterinarian we should use. Sometimes the worrying overwhelms the simple fact that cats are animals, very capable of taking care of themselves, and the purpose of owning them is to enjoy them as much as possible.
While most cats are perfectly content to stay in their heated houses full of soft beds and scratching posts their whole lives, many cats prefer the outdoors, and are actually itching to explore the world around them. As owners we have a responsibility to maintain our cat’s mental health as well as their physical health. If you have a cat that’s dying to get outside, there are plenty of options for engaging them. Let’s look at some ways you and your cat can explore the world together.
1) Walking on a Harness
Perhaps the easiest and most practical way for you to get your cat outside is by taking them out on a walk with a harness. Cat harnesses are made to fit snuggly around the body, thus preventing escape as well providing a sense of protection. You should first put the harness on your cat inside the house. Let them get used to the feel of it and walk around on their own before you start trying to direct them. Once the cat is comfortable with the harness on, try walking them a short distance on a leash. See how they respond to the pressure you apply. If your cat seems to understand the concept of walking, it is time to take them on a short walk outside. Your cat might react in many different ways to the new stimuli, so take your time, be patient, and gradually increase the time they spend outside with you.
2) Car Rides
While many cats dread getting in the car for various reasons, either because they always associate it with going somewhere unpleasant or they simply don’t care for the physical motion, car rides are a great way to get an adventurous cat out of the house. Many cats actually enjoy riding in the car and once you start taking them, they will be constantly chasing you out the door hoping you bring them along. The safest way for them to ride in the car is in a cat carrier held securely in place with a seat belt. The best cat carriers for car rides allow for plenty of looking around. Cats often enjoy the fast-moving stimulus, the change of scenery, and the motion of the vehicle beneath them. Many cats just enjoy being in their owner’s company in a location beyond the homestead.
3) Public PlacesIn this day and age the world is becoming a generally pet-friendlier place. There are plenty of local businesses that encourage customers to bring their dogs and sit outside on restaurant patios, at sports events, and even concert venues. It has always been acceptable to take your animal into PetsMarts and many other businesses as well are adapting to this revolution. Although it started with dogs, cats are now being incorporated on a huge scale. There are actual ‘cat cafes’ all over the world that serve as indoor cat interaction playgrounds — and these ideals have recently spread to America. Are you and your cat itching to get outdoors? Slip on their harness and walk them on a leash down to the local coffee shop or brewery, find a comfortable place outside on the patio, and enjoy each other’s company. Your cat will have definitely appreciated the adventure, and I’m sure you would feel the same.