View Full Version : Bringing and Indoor Cat Outdoors

Ben E Gas
03-22-2001, 01:47 PM
I have a question. I live in an apartment and I have a 7 month old cat. He's never really been outside other than to be transported in a cat carrier. I was wondering, if anyone knows how a cat reacts to a harness with a leash. Is it a good idea for me to bring my cat outside for a few hours on a leash? Will it cause him to cry at the door to get outside? Will he just try and attack the leash? any info on this subject would help. Eventually, I wanted to take him on camping trips with me, but i'm not sure if he'd want to stay on the leash the whole time and i'd be afraid to let him roam the campground. Actually, I wouldn't let him roam the campground.

thank you,

03-22-2001, 02:08 PM
Hi Ben,
One day I brought home a harness and leash for Charlie (now 9mos. old) This was about a month ago. I just wanted to get him used to it so that I could take him out in front of the building in the summertime. He seems okay with it if I hold him in my arms and walk around with him (I have only walked up and down the hall with him since it is still so cold). When I tried to actually walk him, it was a different story. He just stood there and pulled the leash in the opposite direction from where I was. I guess he's trying to tell me that he will not be "walked". http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif I'm still trying to get him used to it. I think it's a little late for me to teach him to walk on the leash, but hopefully I'll be able to take him for some fresh air in the summer, at least in my arms.
Anyway, my suggestion would be to give it a try and make sure he's completely comfortable before you attempt to take him out for a long time, like when you go camping. He may like it. Lots of people walk their cats on leashes. Good luck and let us know...

4 feline house
03-22-2001, 09:47 PM
Hi, Ben, welcome to the boards.

This was a recent discussion:


I would definitely not take a cat on a camping trip, even if leash trained. There would be way too many risks, on the trip up, in the camp, and on the trip back. A cat on a leash has to be supervised because of both an escape risk and a tangle and choke risk, so any time you could not have your full attention to your cat he would have to be crated. That would certainly be no fun. If your cat is like most, neither would the car ride up or back. I know you think he would enjoy it, but I can't imagine he would get much fun out of it. One last thing:

The harness is a good idea if you can get it to work, but I hope you think long and hard on the camping cat idea and make sure it will work before you do it.

03-22-2001, 10:36 PM
Ben, I tend to agree with 4 Feline House.

Wether a cat is an indoor or outdoor cat is not really an important factor in your situation. The thing to remember is that cats like stability, they like to know their surroundings and will start feeling very uncomfortable in new environments.

I love the outdoors myself but I would never even contemplate taking my cats with me on an outdoor excursion. They would hate it and I would probably never see them again... http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/frown.gif

Have you ever been holding a full-grown cat on a leash when it panics? Take a full medical kit with you just in case - this is no joke. You have to either hold on tight and try and subdue you cat or let him/her go. Either way one of you is going to be very emotionally disturbed.

I suggest you execute your plan with great care, good luck http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

03-22-2001, 10:36 PM
Ben, I got my cat used to a leash and harness but it is a very slow process. Don't ask me why I did this because she never goes outside.. But anyway, the first thing I did was I kept putting the harness next to her while she was resting or sleeping. Then I'd put it on top of her, not actually hooking it on her but just laying it on her body. After she felt comfortable with this, I put the harness on and let her run around. It was really awkward for her for a little while but she got used to it. The last step was attaching the leash and walking her around the house.

I agree about not taking the cat on a camping trip. It really seems like a great idea but there'd be soo many risks. I never even let my cat in the front yard because I think there's enough risks there.

Good luck.

Ben E Gas
03-23-2001, 08:52 AM
I agree with you all. Thank you for you're comments. I think that I won't take him camping. I will try to gradually introduce him to a harness though. Also, you're right about the full medical kit. I will think about that one and not take him out until i'm sure he's used to walking around with the harness and leash. I think if he were spooked that I'd have some problems. There are a lot of things to do at a camp and I don't think i could keep up a camp and watch him at the same time. And yes, the ride wouldn't be too fun. Thanks again.


P.s. Has anyone taken their cat camping? If so, what did you do?

[This message has been edited by Ben E Gas (edited March 23, 2001).]

Edwina's Secretary
03-23-2001, 11:22 AM
Edwina wears a harness whenever she goes in our fenced backyard (just in case.) I had a regular harness but she was very agile at getting out of it. I found a harness on a bengal cat website. It has three clasps -- one around the neck and two on her body. It looks a bit like a life jacket. She can get out of it but it takes effort. She has learned it is the only way she can go outside (and still she must be chaparoned!) so she sits next to it when she wants to go out and sits nicely when she comes in for it to be taken off. She won't walk on the leash but this way we can make sure she can't catch a bird (by stepping on the attached leash) or can pull her out of the bushes.

Ben E Gas
03-24-2001, 07:34 AM
you know?,........you're right. probly not a good idea. i mean, if the cat can get out of the harness, i'd be screwed.

03-24-2001, 11:40 AM
Here's my very sad response to your "camping" question.

Many years ago, I had Shrimp Boat, who was a rescue female that I found at a seafood market in NC. She was about 4 months old when I found her. I loved that cat dearly, and would have allowed her to be an indoor/outdoor cat if she had preferred. But she didn't prefer. She wanted to stay inside.
That was fine, but I missed her when we would go camping on the weekends, and I felt guilty leaving so often. So, one weekend, we were headed to a state park in the mountains of SC, and I suggested to my husband that we take her with us. We had a yellow lab that was going as well. She was a great car rider, but when we got to the state park, it was dark, and she was nervous. I took her out of the car and put her in the camper, while we were unloading. Unfortunately, on one of our many trips in and out of the door, she shot out like a bullet. We searched and searched. In fact, I slept in a lawn chair the whole night, hoping she would return. She never did.
That was the worst three days of my life. She was tagged with id. We put up multiple signs, plus knocked on the door of every trailer in the campground.
Bottom line...we never found Shrimp Boat and to this day, I feel guilty about it. She was about six years old when this happened.
I didn't try a harness with her, and maybe I should have. But what I really should have done is leave her at home!!! It has been since 1989, and I still feel a terrible guilt about what happened to her.
We adopted Mimi two weeks later. I still have her and she NEVER goes on trips.