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Leash walking

#1
Hey guys!

So our Savannah F5 has moved into our home, around 2.5 weeks ago. He and our elder 10 yr old house cat get along great, they’re running after eachother and of course there is the occasional nagging on the kitten by the elderly one ;-), which I guess is mainly for the old cat to show whose house it is..? They dont hurt eachother of course.

So the Savannah is 14.5 weeks old and she’s eating, sleeping and using the toilet perfectly. What I wanted to ask you guys is - we live in an apartment which they both do great in, and we have learned the Savannah to use the collar/leash inside the apartment and she walks fine in it without any hesitation.

However, as soon as I open the main door she gets really scared and basically dont want to move anywhere aside from 1 meter outside of the door. Its a staircase so it doesnt face the street directly. Should we just give her time to get used to it more and more or should we try learning her to leash walk in any other way than we’re doing? I mean, should we just let her get acquainted with the stairway more and more each day until she feels comfortable or what’s your suggestions? :)

Thanks for any suggestions guys!

Here’s a pic of our lovely Chilli!




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WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
#2
It might be too soon since she's arrived home to introduce her to the outdoors. Give her a full month to 2 months to get completely comfortable with her new home and family before introducing new and potentially scary things. When you try outdoors again, be sure to carry her through the door going in and out to try to deter door darting if she decides she really likes being outside. You can also try taking her out in a carrier and just let her see her surroundings from the safety of it. Keep her leash and collar on in the carrier and open the door and wait for her to decide if she wants to explore. Not all cats enjoy walking on a leash. An alternative is a pet stroller.
 
#3
It might be too soon since she's arrived home to introduce her to the outdoors. Give her a full month to 2 months to get completely comfortable with her new home and family before introducing new and potentially scary things. When you try outdoors again, be sure to carry her through the door going in and out to try to deter door darting if she decides she really likes being outside. You can also try taking her out in a carrier and just let her see her surroundings from the safety of it. Keep her leash and collar on in the carrier and open the door and wait for her to decide if she wants to explore. Not all cats enjoy walking on a leash. An alternative is a pet stroller.
Thanks so much!


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Decnav

Savannah Teenager
#4
For my guy, I started just taking out to the local sports field when no one was there and just sitting on the open field. Stayed like 15-25 min each time. After a half dozen trips with him just sitting not moving, he spotted a bug. Then the apprehension of the big open area was out and he got to moving around a bit. Still doesnt walk like a dog, but I used to take him out often, it a bit too cold now, dont want to risk him getting sick.

I do take him to the petstore all the time still, but he usually just holds on to me there and enjoys the attention
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#5
Chilli is a cutie!!

Agree with Deborah - you should never allow your kitty to walk through a doorway to the outdoors, always carry them through the door, otherwise you might find that she will walk through that door without a leash one day when you're not paying attention.

I also agree that taking her out in a carrier is a good first step - it gives her security while getting used to the sights, sounds, and smells of the outdoors. Only take her out briefly at first, then you can increase her time outside as she relaxes. You can also keep the leash on her so that at some point in time you can open the crate door to see if she wants to explore. Whatever you do, always be patient and let her progress (or not) at her own speed.

BTW, not sure if you are speaking literally, but I would suggest NOT using a collar when taking her out. She should be in a walking jacket or other secure and well fit harness.
 

Decnav

Savannah Teenager
#6
Harness is a must, didn't see the collar part. Anything else and you will be chasing your cat. I use a small dog harness that has a head hole and clips around the front and midsection. The cat harnesses they sell at the pet store didn't seem secure enough that's why I went with the small dog one. Took him with me to try them on.

I also only carry my cat out, and we don't go just outside my house we drive up to the park. I have one rescue cat that like to run for the door, dont need my savannah doing it also. Its understandable, the rescue cat used to live on the other side of the door till he wandered in and decided to stay. We had him checked by the vet and had TNR come in and fix the rest of the neighborhood cats. They found homes for over half of them, so I only have about 6 outdoor buddies to feed now.

Patience is the key and don't force them to do anything. Take a toy or laser so she has something to distract her from the big open area