Leash training a Maine Coon can be a bit more challenging than leash training a dog, as cats are naturally more independent and may not be as interested in going for walks. However, with patience and persistence, it is possible to leash train your cat.
Do Maine Coons Like to Walk on a Leash?
Maine Coons, as well as all other cat breeds, are not as naturally inclined to walk on leashes as dogs are. Some cats may tolerate it, but others may become stressed or agitated. It may take some time and patience to train a cat to walk on a leash, and not all cats will be comfortable with it. It’s also essential to ensure that the cat is wearing a properly fitting harness and that they are supervised while walking on a leash to prevent them from getting loose or hurt.
This is the leash and harness set that we use at Sassy Koonz
6 Simple Steps to Leash Training Your Maine Coon
- Introduce your Maine Coon to the harness first. Allow them to sniff and investigate the harness before putting it on their body. They may act limp and paralyzed at first, possible even fall over. This is normal. LOL Allow them to dramatize the situation for a five to ten minutes per day. Eventually, your cat will get up and walk around with the harness on.
- Allow your Maine Coon to wear only the harness for 1-2 hours per day at first. You want them to get used to the idea of having the harness on and being able to function as they would without it. Do this for about one week without attaching the leash, increasing the amount of time the harness is worn each day.
- Once your cat is used to wearing the harness, attach the leash. Let your Maine Coon drag the leash around without you holding it. Do this for a few days.
- Apply pressure to the leash. While the cat is wearing his harness and leash, pick up the leash and follow the lead of your cat. Just let the sensation of holding the leash be known to the cat, without trying to guide him. Do this for a few days, increasing the amount of time leash training.
- Once your cat is used to wearing the harness, and the leash being held, you can start to apply pressure. Guide your cat with simple left and right turns, stops, and gos.
- Practice and improve leash training with your cat every day. The more often your cat wears his harness and leash, the easier it will be to take your cat outdoors and to friends house without resistance. If too much time elapses without the cat wearing a harness/lease you may have to start the process over.
It’s important to note that not all Maine Coons will enjoy walking on a leash, and some may never get used to it, so it’s important to be patient and to respect your cat’s feelings.
Finding a Cat Harness that Fits
To find the right size harness for your cat, measure their girth (the widest part of their chest, behind their front legs) and their neck. Look for a harness that is adjustable and has a girth size that fits within the range of your cat‘s measurement.
It’s also important to make sure the neck size is a good fit, as it should be snug but not too tight. It is also recommended to try the harness on your cat before purchasing to ensure a proper fit. If you order from Amazon and the fit isn’t right, just exchange it for a different size.
Make Leash Time with your Cat Fun
When you put the harness and leash on your cat, make it fun for him. In other words, don’t use the harness to take the cat to the vet if that’s not his favorite place. A trip to the pet store to get a new toy or some catnip treats will help associate the harness with something positive.
You want to leash experience to be fun and rewarding for both you and your Maine Coon. Be patient, reward your kitty for doing well, and enjoy every minute that you get with your kitty on a leash!