If you haven’t met Fred, meet Fred.
He’s a young orange tabby boy and the best cuddler on the planet. He’s a rescue and I’ve had him for a few months now, living with me in my apartment. Unfortunately… he’s getting a little chubby.
And what do you do when you start getting a little soft? You exercise! Aka., you go on walks.
So… I tried to take my cat on a walk for the first time. And, as you’d expect, it didn’t go that well.
I bought Fred a harness and a leash a few weeks ago and started to put it on him for a few hours every week to get him used to it. Eventually, he got used to the harness and hasn’t had any major issues with it. I’ve really noticed his weight gain recently and figured that now was a good time to try for his first walk.
I wasn’t actually expecting him to walk but figured that it’d be more of his first major experience outside. I know that cats take time to acclimate to their new surroundings and hate change. What I didn’t expect was Fred not even wanting to go outside.
When I got Fred settled into his harness and leashed, I opened the front door wide open, tugged on the least a bit and…. nothing. Fred sat 5 feet away from the door and just stared outside. I thought, “Okay, that’s fine, he needs to get used to it.” Then a minute past. A few more minutes. He still hadn’t moved.
So, I picked him up and put him right outside the front door so I could lock it. Again, I waited. And waited. And waited. I tried to tug him gently to the stairs but he still wouldn’t move. He hardly moved a muscle.
So, I picked him up AGAIN, carried him down the stairs and placed him on the grass nearby. He finally started moving around a bit, sniffing the grass and trying to eat it. He walked to a nearby bush and explored its underside, rubbing against the branches and occasionally biting them until I said no (which he still didn’t listen to, but I tried).
After a few minutes of exploring the underside of that bush, I encouraged him to walk a foot to a different shrub… and then he the exact same thing. Lots of slow movements, sniffing and rubbing against things. This is what I was expecting, but I was hoping that he’d be a little quicker on the “walking” part. We were barely down the stairs from my apartment.
Eventually, I got him to walk about 5 more feet and I thought that we were making good progress… until one of the other tenants came within eyesight of Fred and he got really nervous/scared and started freaking out. I scooped him up, turned away so that he couldn’t see her and gently began cooing at him. I can already imagine that that lady probably thought that I was a crazy cat lady, trying to take her cat outside and him freaking out. Honestly, I can’t blame her and I probably am. Once she had passed, I put him back down again and he ran right back to where we started, at the first bush.
We spent a few minutes there and by that time, I ran out of time and had to go to the gym for my class. Besides, I figured that a few minutes outside was a good warm-up to get him used to “walks.” I’ll try again soon and see how that goes.
Eventually, I want him to be an adventure cat. We can go on road trips, hikes and all sorts of fun adventures. For now, however, I’ll have to stick with trips to the shrubs outside my apartment.
Thank you for reading! Have you ever tried walking your cat? Or am I crazy for trying? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!