The thought and the idea may seem a bit odd at first. However, once you think about it, a Maine Coon likes adventures also. The easiest way to get a Maine Coon on an adventure is to take it for a walk.
Do cats actually belong on a leash?
That depends on if you want your cat to run off when it gets scared.
There are some scary things that can happen if a cat takes off running when you are outside.
Death could be the worst.
Obviously, if you live in the country, maybe have a fenced-in yard and you are out with the cat, they may not need a leash.
However, living in town, taking your Maine Coon for a walk should be mandatory.
- Time With Friends and Family
- Confident Cats are Essential
- Crossing Paths With a Dog
- Vacations and Trips
- Getting Used To The Harness
- Measure the Maine Coon
- Three Types of Harnesses
- Getting Outside
- The Truth Is In The Signs
- Older Maine Coons Can Learn
- Should You Walk Your Cat On A Leash?
- Maine Coons and Collars
- The Difference Between a Maine Coon and a Dog
- Patience is Key
Time With Friends and Family
With the warm temperatures finally coming out and giving us summer, I have to say that my main objective of training my Maine Coon to be on a leash was somewhat selfish. My family and I love spending time outdoors. However, I also love spending time with My Maine Coon Cats.
In the gorgeous weather, we are having, the only way that I can satisfy both is by teaching my Maine Coon to like the leash without being afraid.
Another aspect is that other people will want to spend time with your Maine Coon also. There is nothing wrong with your Maine Coon having more friends than just you. At first, other people will look at you as an anomaly. How often do people actually see cats on a leash?
Confident Cats are Essential
When you take a cat out on a leash, especially a Maine Coon, it is nice to see when they are comfortable. A Maine Coon that is confident and happy soaks in all that is around him. In order to be able to take your Maine Coon out on a leash for a walk or an adventure, the cat should seriously have a laid-back attitude. You do not want to take a Maine Coon out on a long walk if your Maine Coon is a skittish sort of feline.
Before you take one of the lengthy journeys, you should be wise and take a few trial runs first. Short spurts that do not take an extended amount of time. This should still be enough of a walk to gauge how the Maine Coon will react.
Crossing Paths With a Dog
There are many canine owners who take their dogs out for walks in the same locations that you may want to walk Your Maine Coon cat. For the most part, the dog owner will have their dog under control. Most dogs seem to want to enjoy being outside and enjoy the surroundings. Not all dogs are out for trouble or want to chase other animals.
Although dogs are territorial creatures, as they are walking with their owners, they will not be in a defensive mode. When a Maine Coon is acting uninterested would only pique the curiosity in a dog.
However, you must remember, that it is not the responsibility of the dog or the Maine Coon cat to be the responsible one and maintain control in the situation where the two animals cross paths. The owner of the dog and the owner of the Maine Coon cat are the only ones that would be capable of controlling the situation and reducing the risk of the situation becoming aggressive.
Vacations and Trips
As silly as it may sound to some, beginning a life of your Maine Coon being used to a leash, should start early. This is true especially if you like an adventure. Starting early will help your Maine Coon become used to new situations. The cat may enjoy the trip much more if it can be out of the carrier and sitting with you.
Getting Used To The Harness
This may take a few tries for your Maine Coon to become accustomed to a harness. Sometimes offering a treat to your Maine Coon before putting the harness on and then again once you have the harness on, may help the Maine Coon adjust easier. Be positive and continuously talk to your Maine Coon as you put the harness on.
Measure the Maine Coon
In order for the harness to fit properly, you need to measure your Maine Coon first. This will also help you determine which type of harness is the best style for your Maine Coon. To measure the Maine Coon, using a tape measure, you need to measure the circumference of the body directly behind the front legs of the Maine Coon. The smaller of the Maine Coons, the ones that are not fully grown will measure between 11 and 14 inches. The fully grown Maine Coon will measure up to 20 inches at least.
Three Types of Harnesses
You will find that most pet stores do not carry harnesses that will fit your Maine Coon cat. However, you would still be able to find a harness that fits your Maine Coon online. The following are the top three recommended harnesses for a Maine Coon cat.
The Holster harness, The Voyager Harness and also the PetSafe, Come With Me Kitty Harness. All three of these are adjustable and made with soft material.
Once it appears that your Maine Coon cat is comfortable wearing the harness, it is time to hook the leash up and head outside. This may be frightening at first for the Maine Coon. He or she may quickly become overwhelmed. When it is possible, start with a small enclosed space first. The Maine Coon will have an easier time adjusting to a smaller area.
This first time outdoors for the Maine Coon cat using a leash, it is good to hold the leash, yet let the cat wander and walk where it wants to. The only time you should stop the movement is if the Maine Coon is attempting to climb a fence or get out of the area.
The cat may also seem to be distressed at the new sights, sounds and feels outside. If the cat seems to be stressed out, take him or her indoors and give some treats and comfort to the Maine Coon. Continue to speak in a positive manner and remember you can always try again later.
The Truth Is In The Signs
It may take a few tries or a few days for your Maine Coon to adjust to being outdoors. Do not rush the time. There are signs you can spot when you know that your cat is comfortable outdoors. When they begin to walk around with no sense of fear, when they start to sniff at everything and then nibble on the grass, it should be obvious that your Maine Coon is quite comfortable outdoors.
Allow the cat to sniff and explore the surroundings, then short walks can happen in this enclosed space. When your Maine Coon Cat appears ready, you can begin taking short walks outside of the enclosed area. Remember this is all still new for your feline friend, so the first couple of walks out in public should not be very long. Do not walk fast, your cat will follow you, but it will be at his or her pace, not yours. When these walks begin to feel routine and safe to your Maine Coon cat, you will be able to take long walks and your cat will follow you.
Older Maine Coons Can Learn
Teaching an older Maine Coon to wear a harness and then using a leash to take walks is not a difficult task. You will basically follow the same steps. The older Maine Coon will either like it or he won’t. However, just as you do with younger cats, give it a few days and multiple tries. Give positive reinforcement and treats. Hopefully, your older Maine Coon will begin to enjoy a daily walk with you.
Should You Walk Your Cat On A Leash?
There does need to be some sort of a leash if you take your Maine Coon in public for a walk. Most states will have mandated leash laws.
Maine Coons and Collars
You will learn soon enough that Maine Coon cats and collars do not belong in the same sentence. With the long fur that the Maine Coon has, putting a collar on can create a real hassle with the fur wrapping around, being pulled or snagged. Most Maine Coon cats do not need a collar. The harness will be enough to attach the leash to.
The Difference Between a Maine Coon and a Dog
One distinct difference between a dog and the Maine Coon is that when you take a dog for a walk, the dog likes to lead. When you are walking a Maine Coon, you are leading and the cat is following you. This is generally at their pace and not yours.
Patience is Key
Again, it may take multiple attempts to not only get the harness on but also have your Maine Coon outside with you and walk. Do not give up, remain patient, and give positive reinforcement and treats.