Sunday 31 March 2024

Woman with MS changed her life after leash training her cat

Painting of a man leash walking his cat in the British countryside at sunset. 

MS is multiple sclerosis. This is a story which provokes me into carrying on with leash training my cat. It's a great little story about Jade de MonyƩ's decision to leash train her cat, Figaro. She says that her walks with her cat have "changed her life".

She says that Figaro loves to go for walks on a leash with her. She never forces him to do anything. He leads the way in effect. She said that, "I'll open the car door with his lead on and it's up to him if he wants to get out. I never push him into anything." Before she felt like staying at home which did not help her mood. It is much better now.

Jade and Figaro. Picture by Jade.

She says the obvious that it is not like walking a dog because cats tend to do what they want to do but I think you can actually go a step further and get a cat to behave somewhat like a dog. For her, she allows Figaro to go where he wants to go but he does like to sit "a lot at the water's edge and just watch all the birds. You can't 100% train a cat, it's just a lot harder".

Agreed. It is limited compared to dog training but it is possible to do it to a sufficient standard to very much enjoy going for walks with your cat in a very safe way for him or her. That's the big advantage. You could almost claim that it should be obligatory for a cat caregiver to leash train their full-time indoor cat. It is the only true way to allow a full-time indoor cat to enjoy the outdoors fully and safely.

That's her story and it's wonderful. I'm going to train my cat on a leash. I started do it many years ago and I'm going to pick up the training programme again and see whether I can get him out into the local park. I think you need a method to deal with dogs that you might encounter on your walks. That's the worry I have.

I think you need to train your cat to jump into your arms or get into a backpack cat carrier if you can foresee a troublesome encounter coming up with a dog. Other than that I think it should be workable in a park, particularly a park which is very large and where there are not many people as is the case me in Richmond Park which is quite near where I live.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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