This is a fair question. You probably brought home a cat because you didn’t want the time commitment or work associated with a dog. You’d like to come home from work and be able to go out with friends or relax inside for the night: If you wanted to go on a walk every night, you would have gotten a dog. Fear not! Read on to learn how going for a stroll together will enhance kitty’s life as well as your own!
Spring is in the air: there’s a pleasant breeze wrapped with the scent of growing grass. You arrive home after a long and stressful day at work and plan to sit on the deck with a burger and a drink. As you open the door, Fluffy squeezes past and makes a run for it. When you get your escape artist back inside and finally sit down to your meal, you hear a *scratch scratch scratch* “Meoooow!” at the other side of the door. Your other cat wreaks havoc in your home and act like he needs a visit from the exorcist. You finish your meal with a growing resentment of cats as your door-frame is shredded a few splinters at a time. What else could you do?
There are a couple problems we need to fix here. First of all, kitty running out of the door leaves him exposed to risks like getting hit by a car, eaten by a fox, or in a fight with another cat (which could carry deadly disease!). Second, your cat is lacking enrichment to the point of feeling the need to sprint past you and out into the unknown. This results in your frustration and eventually wandering outside yelling, “Here, Kitty!” until the cows come home- or maybe longer. If you continue with that charade, chances are that Kitty will become wise to you putting him back in the house every time you get close enough to catch him. He will become harder to catch, and likely stay out longer.
3 choices: Walk your cat, build a catio, or lose your sanity (and maybe cat).
Let’s assume you made the choice to walk your cat. You read the article on “How To Harness-Train Your Cat” and got your kitty out there, but it didn’t stopped the door bolting! Kitty needs to learn not only that harness=outside, but kitty must wait for you to give the okay to go outside. Read “How To Prevent Your Cat From Bolting Out The Door” in the Basic Housecat tab to fix that problem.
How is this enjoyable?
When you walk outside with your cat, take a deep breath and slow down. A dog will push forward to cover great distances with a walk, but a cat will teach you to appreciate the little things in life. They’ll indulge with a roll in the hot sand, and eat the grass that we take for granted. You might see them raise up on their hind legs to get a better sniff of a pine tree, or pounce on worms after an evening rain. Watch their prey drive, and be ready for a sprinting hunt if they get too close to a small animal! If you push yourself to go out with your cat every day, you might find that the fresh air and peace is just as good for your as it is for your cat (not to mention, it should keep your kitty more manageable). After a long walk in the fresh air, kitty is likely ready to have a meal and take a well-deserved nap, leaving you to enjoy a peaceful house.