Should you take your cat for a walk? Here's what an expert says
Cats do not require regular walks like dogs and their well-being can be maintained with indoor exercises. So, are walks really needed for cats? Know from an expert.
Cats may be choosy about their daily activities and all of them may not be up for a walk but pet parents are increasingly taking their feline friends for a walk on a leash to experience outdoors and create a stronger bond with them. Cats love their own company but cherish time spend with their pet parents. Walking can provide an excellent opportunity to spend that quality time with your furry companion and make them feel special. Make sure to keep the first few walks private and choose a bit of secluded areas as cats may get perturbed with all that extra attention. Also, introduce them to their harness beforehand, build excitement around it, so that they look forward to this new activity. (Also read: Signs of mental illness in cats you shouldn’t ignore)
Cats do not require regular walks like dogs and their well-being can be maintained with indoor exercise. So, are walks really needed for cats?
"The feline fraternity is generally good at keeping themselves active and do well in a controlled environment. Cats burn calories even when they are lounging; so more than physical exertion, cats need their daily exercise for mental stimulation. Lately, however, we are seeing an inclination towards training cats to go for walks on a leash, especially in cases where the cats do not have access to outdoors. This phenomenon might be okay in the case of certain cats; but most would require direct supervision and intervention," says Sakshi Bawa, Founder, Mutt Of Course.
Besides cats may find unknown environments scary and it is important to make them comfortable.
"New environments can cause stress and anxiety, and your indoor cats might find the unfamiliar outdoor scents frightening. Unlike dogs, cats do not have an innate desire to socialize, and if alarmed attempt to climb whatever is nearby to escape the situation. This gets us to the point of cat safety, which means investing in a good harness. A dog harness is a strict no. For the safety of your feline, buy a harness meant for them. Additionally, before you decide to take your cat/s out, make sure their routine vaccinations are up to date, to prevent ticks, and worms," says Bawa.