Sybil is intrigued by the fact that we open the front door to a hallway. She tried to escape once, and I had to put my foot in her face to keep her from flying out the door. I don’t let the girls out of the apartment without their harness and leash on. I started the walking-cat-on-leash thing after learning that people actually do that, and Jackson Galaxy (of My Cat From Hell) actually encourages cat owners to do it to unleash built up indoor cat energy. I started walking Rosie while I was still an undergrad, but she’s still not the best on leash. She basically would just sit outside the front door and stare at things. She hasn’t been all that interested in leaving the apartment since we moved (though I’ve walked her a few times), but Sybil and Melody are definitely interested in whatever is beyond the front door. I took Melody on her first walk a few weeks ago but didn’t have my phone or camera with me, sadly. I did take Sybil out one day and made sure I could get some pictures!
Sybil doesn’t actually have her own harness. She’s wearing the one I got for Rosie. It’s a Kitty Holster cat harness and is Jackson Galaxy-approved. I don’t trust the super thin ones you can get at any store to actually keep Rosie contained when she freaks out. The Kitty Holster harnesses are very hard for cats to break out of, but Rosie did manage to do it once (you can ask me if you really want to know the story).
Walking cats isn’t actually that hard. Obviously, cats are not dogs, and most (if any) are not as excited as dogs to be going on walks. Sybil and Melody actually walked right out the door and were quite confident compared to Rosie on her first walk. They like to walk and explore at their own pace. That may mean sitting in the same spot for a good five minutes just looking at things. It’s best to just let them do their thing and keep yourself behind them a bit. If you try dragging them or leading them too much, they’ll just sit there and do nothing. You want it to be a positive experience so give lots of praise. I always give the girls treats after I take the harness off, though Sybil didn’t care for any and they ended up going to Mel!
The only problem with this harness is that it takes the girls a little bit of time getting used to it. The first time I put it on Rosie, she acted like she couldn’t even get off the floor, and she toppled every time she stood up. She can walk up and down stairs now. Sybil didn’t really have problems walking in it initially, but the stairs proved to be a bit of a challenge. She toppled when she took her first step down. I tried not to laugh.