Using a Cat Jacket for Walking

Using a cat jacket when walking cats on a leash can make the experience safer and less uncomfortable for cats as well as more convenient for their owners. Understanding what to look for in a jacket as well as the proper method of getting the cat used to the jacket can make the experience more of a success.

The Jacket Acts a Harness

The foremost convenience of using a cat jacket when walking a cat is that it shifts the pressure of the leash from the neck to the body. When a leash is attached to a collar at the neck, the cat's trachea can become injured over time. The pressure is also uncomfortable. When the leash is attached to the jacket, a tug on the lash won't harm the cat and will be more comfortable. At the same time, the leash can effectively guide the cat.

Soft and Hard Varieties

Owners can choose between both a soft-sided and a hard-sided cat jacket. Both have their advantages. The soft-sided is more flexible and may be more comfortable for the skittish cat. The hard-sided provides more support to a cat's joints. The hard-sided is still comfortable and is about as hard as the collar fitted on pets after surgery. Older cats may benefit the most from hard-sided jackets, especially if they experience arthritis. The hard-sided is also more difficult for flexible cats to slip, although either variety should be sturdy if the owner puts them on correctly.

Provides the Cat with Warmth

Another benefit of the cat jacket is that it provides some additional insulation for the cat and are often wind- and rain-resistant. When the weather gets chilly, the cat's back and chest will be kept warmer from cold winds.

Getting the Cat Used to the Jacket

Most cats do not react well to having anything new placed on them. They may try to struggle out of their owner's grasp or they may crouch down and seem depressed and unwilling to move around. Either situation can make it difficult to walk the cat. It can take upwards of a week to get the cat used to a jacket. In order to do so, expect to approach the situation with patience and try the following:

  1. Approach the cat in a calm, soothing manner. Do not grab the cat quickly and cram the jacket on her. Instead, pet her, get her comfortable and try to gently place the jacket on her.
  2. Associate the jacket with a trip outdoors. Every time the jacket is placed on the cat, she should be allowed to roam outdoors, even if it's just in an enclosed porch.
  3. Do not start with the leash right away. Allow the cat to wonder outdoors supervised the first couple of days for just a few minutes. Increase the interval of time she is allowed outdoors each day.
  4. On about the sixth or seventh day, put the least on the cat and take her walking.

Cat walking is more convenient when using a cat jacket. Not only can the jacket be used a harness that makes the experience more comfortable for the cat, but it can keep the cat warm as well.