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Leash Training

Michele&Will

Savannah Super Cat
Hi guys, I need some advice about training Thor (16 wks) on his leash. He is 100% harness trained, and it doesnt bug him to wear at all. I have been taking him to Petsmart, Lowe's, and in the front yard (not fenced) on the leash, but he doesn't seem to want to follow, and I feel bad pulling him around. He only wants to walk where he wants to go, which isn't really walking, more like a quick walk to sit. Any suggestions on getting him to follow, or continually walk? How do others do with actually going on a walk. Do you think he will get better? I don't want to ruin it so he wont want to use the leash at all. Please let me know what you think! Thanks for your help everyone :)
 

Charley

Savannah Super Cat
Oh so glad someone asked this! I've for a harness trained boy but he tries to eat the leash.

When you take him in public, does he ride Ina carrier or in the car? I've been wondering about that!
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
When walking a cat on a leash it is more like the cat is walking the human. It is very common for cats to stop every few feet and check out the new smells or head in another direction (of course dogs do this as well), and being the independent creatures they are it is more difficult to train them to follow YOU. I have found that using a wand toy as Cary has suggested works well. Tossing treats in front of them along the path you want to follow can also work to a certain degree. Some have also used a badmitten or tennis racket to gently guide/nudge them along when walking. Once you've found what works best with you, keep practicing - usually they will start becoming more compliant with your will, but not always... :rolleyes:
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
Agreed with Patti. I've always described walking my Savannahs as being like walking my beagle...they don't "heel" and they don't walk obediently on the leash. They want to explore and go from interesting smell to the next. You can encourage them to explore in a certain direction and wand toys can help with that process...
 

Chris Elliott

Savannah Super Cat
I describe it as the art of slow walking.

Oni reacts to small corrections well, as long as it's still in the general direction she wants to head, and all it usually takes is moving the leash to one side or the other.

Oni has her favorite spots--a neighbor's grass front yard, a dead tree in the woods. She'll walk quite quickly getting to these places. And I can often get her to run back to the front door from the mailbox, especially if a car comes by at the right time!

Ziggy is still learning about leashes and being outside. It's extra slow with him most of the time, although we have had a couple of good runs.

Both of them will follow a trail fairly well. And there are many stops--to watch a squirrel, chase a bird, sniff an interesting smell, make love to (leave scent on) a post, and on. It's never like walking a dog. And I enjoy the slow pace and the time to take everything in.
 

Charley

Savannah Super Cat
Any tips for getting them to stop rolling around and biting the leash? We try to detract with treats but then little one still gets all tangled up.

Also I'd like to get him used to the car. I plan on taking him to pet stores and such pet friendly places, when you take your savannah out in the world do you use a carrier in the car or let them get in "free?"

It's a lot like walking an ADD dog, if that makes sense. When we get him to walk. He really likes playing with he leash - hahaha, oh SV's everything is a game or a toy!
 

Carykd7kau

Reincarnated cat Moderator
"Free" in the car CAN be somewhat dangerous. He could run under down under the driver's legs and cause control issues with the car. Or he could freak out and run scared and hurt the folks in the car. Or worst of all, If involved in an accident, he could be more injuerd than if in a carrier. But then being in the carrier might cause him to hate car travel. I have let Kilifi out on a leash in the car and she was content to sit in the back window and watch the sights. I do not think there is a "right" thing to do. It is all what you are willing to risk, and what you consider to be acceptable risk. Others may disagree with me, but I feel you can't overcome ALL hazards. Has a lot to do with quality of life. Yours AND his.
 

Carykd7kau

Reincarnated cat Moderator
Come to think about it, how many dogs do see "free" in a car? I suppose cats would be no different. SVs are a bit like dogs...
 
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