As they are put on leashes to explore the outside world with their owners, whether they are hiking or kayaking, these intrepid animals are known as “adventure cats”. Julie Posluns, who runs an online cat-training school, says she’s seen increased interest in her courses since the start of the pandemic. We present you with 2 “adventure cats’: A Maine Coon kitten named fig and a Siberian Forest kitten Finnegan.
Chelsea Robinson, got her Maine Coon kitten, Fig last winter. “She was enthralled,” she said. “Still to this day, no matter where we go, the beach is her favorite place.” Fig especially loves to watch the waves crash onto the beach, Robinson says. Fig has been a “bright light” for Robinson throughout the pandemic, and it’s also something she hears from people who follow Fig’s adventures online. “She brings people a lot of joy,” Robinson said.
On the other hand, Finnegan, an Ottawa Siberian Forest kitten, was a little “leery” of the moving dock at first while kayaking. Aleena Fiorotto, the owner of Finnegan, says Finn’s easygoing temperament made leash training relatively painless. “I can take him anywhere, in any situation, with any type of new animal or anything. And he’s just like, ‘This is fine,'” said Fiorotto.
Before attempting the benefits from leashed walks with your cat, some experts say that there are several factors that should be taken into consideration. A sturdy harness and leash need to be tested on your cat inside the home before you think about going outside, as many cats do not initially like the feeling of a harness, Posluns said. A gradual introduction to it is best.
Leash-walking our feline friends can be “an excellent way to give them more activity and adventure in their life.” Said Dr. Maggie Brown-Bury, a veterinarian and a representative of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association for Newfoundland and Labrador. But you need to be in tune with your cat’s body language as you acclimate them to the leash and to the outdoors. Flattened ears, unwillingness to move, hunched bodies, and open-mouth breathing — a sign of stress, are signs that your cat is unhappy being outside. “But if they are walking around and sniffing and exploring, then they’re feeling really great,” said Brown-Bury. Due to dangers to local wildlife, some people say cats should never be let outside, but if the cat is controlled by a leash, Brown-Bury says the risks are minimal.
“Having a cat outside in a controlled manner is no riskier for the cat than it would be for your dog,” she said. If you do plan to take your cat outside, Brown-Bury says, microchip identification is a must, as shot for parasites and regular deworming appointments.
Finnegan, the Siberian Forest kitten Fig, the Main Coon Kitten