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Walking Your Savannah


Savannah Super Cat
My fiancee I have been taking Leo my almost 5 month old Savannah out pretty regularly now. He really seems to enjoy going outside. It builds his confidence and gives him an outlet for his high Savannah energy. His favorite thing is to chase moths, butterflies, and other bugs. Each time we bring him out he goes a little further and does a little better on his leash. Yesterday he was really excited when we took him outside. He sprinted around from place to place, and covered more ground than he usually does. I live in Florida so it is really hot in the summer. At the end of our trip, Leo was panting very hard, and pretty much just lying in the shade. We brought ice water for him to cool down on and drink.

If this was a dog on a leash panting like he was we wouldn't feel much of a concern. But, he is a cat and we have a precognition to how a cat acts. Our culture basically says cats shouldn't be running around on a leash or getting hot. So my question to you more experienced cat handlers is, how far or hard can you take your cat? Are there any signs of over heating I should be aware of?

Also, Leo tends to sprint from spot to spot and sometimes out runs the line available on the retractable leash. He is obviously not a dog, and I don't except him to be. Maybe it's normal for a cat to sprint around instead of walking at a slow pace. With all that being said, does anyone have any recommendations or good practices I should try? All advice and input is appreciated. Thanks!


Staff member
Keep the leash short, use a tennis racket to guide him/slow him down, try shining a laser light or dangling a feather wand directly in front of him so he gets the idea of traveling in a straight line and walking at a normal pace. I trained mine to walk in the street right next to the curb and they caught on pretty quickly that walking in a straight line in one direction was what I wanted.

Definitely continue to carry water. Panting helps cool the cat down but I'd be very careful about overheating. In summer my three won't walk unless it's early morning or late evening when it has cooled off. They refuse to move if the outside temp is above 80 and their ideal walking temp is in the 50s. During cooler times of the year, they'll walk at least 2 miles. I'm sure they'd go farther if I let them but I can't walk all 3 at the same time and 2 mile walks x 3 eat up a large portion of the day.

When mine were babies, we started out walking half a block and gradually added on distance as they grew and developed some stamina. I clearly remember how excited I was the first time we made it completely around the block without stopping for a rest. Now I'm the one begging to turn around and go home, especially when it's raining sideways and the wind is blowing so hard I can hardly stand up and the darn cat is having the time of his life.

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
I think mostly they stop and lay down panting when too hot like dogs do... good idea to bring the ice water for him to drink. I live in a fog-bound city (San Francisco) so it never gets hot enough that I would think twice about walking cats or my dog so have no real experience here.

In terms of walking, I tell people that they walk like my beagle...that is they do not "heel" and the best I can hope for is to persuade them in the right direction, and they will pull from good-smelling spot to the next. When they are young I've used a feather wand to direct them and had some patience where you just stand still if they try to go in any direction other than the one you wish to take. Given we live in a city that is usually straight along the sidewalk so they do work that out pretty much... they most definitely do walk in fits and spurts rather than at a slow pace. But then my beagle will stop in one place, be persuaded to move and trots along until something attracts his attention to stop yet again...the Savannahs just do the same thing more rapidly really ;-)


Savannah Super Cat
I have a question on this subject... I am looking after my son's F2 ,big 1 year old male a bit rough but we are slowly,slowly getting there, what is the best way to put his halter on ? I managed to put his head through with great patience but did not managed to fasten it ! :devil:


Staff member
I have a question on this subject... I am looking after my son's F2 ,big 1 year old male a bit rough but we are slowly,slowly getting there, what is the best way to put his halter on ? I managed to put his head through with great patience but did not managed to fasten it ! :devil:
If you describe or attach a picture of the halter perhaps someone can advise you on how to put it on the cat. However if you have never walked him before, it is probably best that you don't try. There are so many things that could go wrong.

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Site Supporter
My boy D loves to go outside. When I get the leash and harness, he starts purring up a storm. He is really patient because he enjoys the walks. My big problem when putting a harness on him is that he wants to head butt me. It takes about 20 seconds, max.
Mickey likes to go for walks, so he is pretty good about getting his harness on as well, he stands there, and he is a little squirmy, but the process takes about 45 seconds.
Jarvis does not like going outside, so he is more challenging to put a harness on. I hold him, and put it on him. It takes me about a minute to put his harness on (side note: he wears the harness when we have the back door open. We don't make him come outside, that is his choice).


Savannah Super Cat
Zuzu looks shy on this picture and I think he is in true life too and he is quite wild too!
We made so much progress being relaxed, speaking softly, soft touch,little chicken treats ,playing with his best toy or what is left of it! and as well moving out of London to be in the country side with beautiful surroundigs and safe for them to be( we have been here 23 years ).
So cool for the time being!
Plus having his partner female F4 and my tigger female F5... Savannahs paradise as long as they obey some rules....Don't scratch me or bite me ,please! If you do I will try to understand you!
Wonderfull Website by the way it help me so much!


I know I am a bit behind on the ice- water thread but I wanted to say that ice-water can be very bad for a heated cat or dog. It is best to give them regular tap water so you do not shock their system.