Cats Could Actually Enjoy Being Walked As Much As Dogs, Expert Claims
But now, an expert has spoken out on the benefits of bringing your cat with you when you head out and about.
Discussing cat walking, New Jersey based vet Adam Christman told Mic.com that taking your cat out can help "stimulate them," and "gives meaningful purpose to their day."
It's easy to assume that cat's are fiercely independent animals, but owners will know they love spending time with humans, too.
"Walking a cat not only increases the human-animal bond to its pet parent, but also encourages cat exercise," he added.
While you might think that a cat wouldn't like being put on a leash, Christman adds that, particularly if introduced as kittens, they don't really mind.
"Believe it or not, cats tolerate leashes and harnesses very well," he went on. "The first few times they may roll around, hiss, and try get rid of it, but eventually they will accept it".
But take note. Walking a cat isn't the same as walking a dog.
Christman warns that when you have a cat on a leash you've got to let it lead the way, and can't push it too hard in any given direction.
While he claims you can "apply gentle pressure," you must "never pull or tug".
Cat walking has always been a contentious issue.
While the amount of owners doing it appears to have spiked in recent years - with brands like PetPlanet and PetSafe UK launching cat walking products in store - various vets and animal campaigners have long disagreed on whether it is beneficial or not.
In 2017, the RSPCA claimed that walking a cat could leave them "stressed and agitated," because they "lose control".
"An indoor environment with plenty of opportunities to be active and mentally stimulated is likely to be more beneficial for the cat's welfare than walking them on a lead," they add.
However, Cats International take a different stance, agreeing with Christman that, especially if introduced as kittens, cats can "look forward to their outings just as much as dogs enjoy their walks".
Obviously, it must vary from cat to cat. Nobody knows your kitty better than you.
But if you fancy a walk, why not give it a go and take your feline friend along too?
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