Cat Harness Walking | at Made Moggie

Mastering the Art of Cat Walking: A Guide to Successful Cat Harness Training

Walking Cats with Harnesses in Response to Urban Changes

Walking a cat isn't a common sight, but it's gaining popularity as urbanisation takes over green spaces and roads become busier. Embracing the use of a cat harness has proven highly successful for us. Our cats adapted instantly to it, finding it easy to put on without causing any discomfort. With the harness, they can still enjoy running, climbing trees, and exploring the underbrush.

We created a video of our cat Sunny on a harness. Watch here :-)

Forrest wears a harness. It doesn't hinder him exploring underbrush

Above: Forrest's harness doesn't prevent him exploring under-brush

Cat Curfew Measures in Australia

Australian local councils are actively promoting cat harness walking, cat pram walking, cat-proof fencing, and cat enclosures. In response to these initiatives, councils are implementing cat curfew laws, encompassing sunset-sunrise restrictions and even 24-hour bans on wandering cats, prohibiting them from entering another property without permission. Presently, New South Wales is the only state without such restrictions.

In an effort to align regulations for cats with those for dogs, councils are gradually introducing these laws, with the potential for a nationwide implementation. Pet owners failing to comply could face fines of up to $1,600 if their cat is apprehended by a ranger. This makes it an opportune time to consider cat harness walking as a responsible and enjoyable alternative for your feline companion.

Cat Curfew Laws by State

These are the shires with Cat Curfew Laws (as of April 2023). Please go to your local shire's website for full details:

  • Victoria - Bayside, Bendigo, Darebin, Knox Council, Mitchell Shire, Monash, Whitehorse, Wellington and Yarra Ranges.
  • South Australia - Adelaide Hills
  • Australian Capital Territory - State-wide containment for cats born from 1 July 2022.
  • Western Australia - Fremantle has prohibited cats from parks, beaches, river reserves and golf courses. Soon this will extend to all council property, such as roads, verges, footpaths and car parks.

Joys of Cat Walking: A Healthy Adventure for Your Feline Friend

Harness walking offers a multitude of benefits, primarily ensuring that cats can enjoy the outdoors safely. It provides essential stimulation, exercise, and exposure to sunshine — all crucial elements for a cat's happiness and well-being. If your cat is exclusively indoors and displays signs of boredom related behaviours, introducing a cat harness might be the ideal solution. Discover more about the positive aspects of walking your cat in this insightful opinion piece by a New York Times writer.

Prioritise Your Cat's Health: Consult Your Vet Before Harness Walking

Before embarking on harness walking adventures with your feline companion, it's crucial to have a conversation with your vet. Your vet possesses knowledge about you, your cat, and your living environment, enabling them to offer personalised advice on whether harness walking is a suitable and safe idea for your furry friend.

Invest in Safety and Comfort: Choosing a High-Quality Cat Harness

When it comes to cat walks, prioritise your feline friend's safety and comfort by opting for a high-quality cat harness. Avoid attaching a lead directly to a cat's collar, as it can be unsafe and uncomfortable for them.

Explore different styles of cat harnesses, such as H-style, boomerang, and vests, as they each offer unique benefits. It's recommended to research and consider various types. If your cat doesn't take to the first harness you try, don't be disheartened—experiment with another style.

Our positive experiences revolve around H-style and boomerang harnesses, with brands like Rogz, Tre Ponti, and a custom-made cat harness by Doggie Apparel. You can find these trusted brands at Made Moggie, ensuring both quality and comfort for your furry companion.

Grey Camouflage Tre Ponti Cat Harness

Above: Forrest wears a camouflage Tre Ponti Cat Harness. Available from Made Moggie.

Grant Your Cat More Freedom: Consider Extending the Lead

Typically, harness kits include a lead ranging from 1.3m to 1.8m. If you desire greater freedom for your cats, consider investing in a 5m extendable lead that easily clips onto the harness. This extended lead comes equipped with a brake system, proving useful when your feline friends attempt to jump a fence or climb too high up a tree.

Rogz Cat Harness from Made Moggie

Above: Sunny wears Rogz Cat Harness with Retractable Lead. Harness available from Made Moggie

Mastering the Art of Cat Harness Walking: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • Choosing the Right Moment: Strap your cat into the harness near a glass door leading to the garden. The initial resistance often fades away at the promise of outdoor exploration. If needed, try putting on the harness while they eat for a smoother experience.

  • Time Management: Set a timer for 1 hour at the beginning of the walk. This helps establish a routine, and cats may willingly head indoors when the timer sounds.

  • Establishing Boundaries: Familiarise your cats with the garden, limiting walks to the immediate surroundings. This helps prevent them from wandering far if they happen to escape. Occasionally, during quiet nights, a stroll around the block can be a rare treat.

  • Comfort for the Walker: Bring a lightweight, portable chair for the frequent downtime during walks. Cats enjoy sitting, relaxing, and absorbing the sights and scents of nature. We recommend a portable fishing stool for your comfort.

  • Interactive Play: Occasionally bring a cat teaser, like the KittyWhip, to engage your cats in play during the walk. It not only adds to their exercise but also helps guide them in the desired direction.

  • Safe Removal: Once back inside, promptly remove the harness. Never leave your cat unattended with the harness on, as it poses entanglement risks.

  • Reward System: Encourage your cat to return indoors with treats. This creates a positive association, making it easier to bring them in after future walks. Align their natural routine of exercising, eating, and then sleeping.

  • Consistent Routine: Walk your cats twice a day—during the day and at night. Night walks tend to be more engaging, as cats are generally more active during this time.

Feel free to customise this guide as needed!

Sunny Wears Rogz Harness

Above: Sunny atop a fence