Thursday, March 1, 2012

how to train your cat.

The title should really read, "How to train your cat?????" because that is really what is going on in our house right now.

Woody, our last cat, was an indoor/outdoor cat. He would spend his days roaming the backyard, chasing birds and taking long naps in the sun. Once the sun started to set he would come prancing back to the house for some dinner and a safe place to sleep. He pretty much refused to use his indoor litter box and would beg to be let out early every morning so he could uncross his legs and do his business. And while this indoor/outdoor situation ultimately led to his death, we knew he was really much happier spending his days outside chasing birds and making friends with the other neighbourhood pets.

   2012 Feb 25- harnessblog001

Since bringing Toby home, Max and I have gone back and fourth with the idea of letting him outside. At first we decided not to let him out because he had no idea where he lived and we were afraid he wouldn't know his way home if he wandered out of the yard. Plus, we live on a pretty busy road and didn't want to deal with another death-of-a-pet-by-car, if you know what I mean.

But the real question here is- how DO you train a cat to live outside?? How do they learn where they live or not to play in the street or to not talk to strangers (hehe- okay so I sound like a crazy cat lady now!). But seriously, we really aren't sure how to do this.

One afternoon Max decided to test the waters and put this harness and leash on Toby.

2012 Feb 25- harnessblog002

It took 10 minutes, four hands and two man brains to get this thing on him correctly- but Toby was a good sport about it all.

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That was until he was set on the ground. I am not sure what was going on, but somehow the harness made Toby feel off balance and unable to use his back legs.

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He was just scooting around the patio on his belly, falling over on his side with every premeditated step. It was actually really sad to watch.

2012 Feb 25- harnessblog004

He sniffed around for a few seconds but really had no interest in venturing into the yard.

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After about 60 seconds of watching him struggle, Max picked him up and put him back inside.

2012 Feb 25- harnessblog007

Long story short- mission Make Toby and Indoor/Outdoor Cat was a total failure. But who knows, maybe we will have better luck next week :)

Any tips for us?? Should we just let him out and see what happens??


  1. haha i have no idea how to train a cat but that harness is too funny. good luck!!

  2. That sounds exactly like Kobe when we put him in a harness!!!!! Sorry no advice though :)

  3. Awwwww Toby is precious!! His IPPL cousin Ralphie says "Hi!"

  4. OH my gosh..the harness is just too funny. I say keep him inside!! Safer.

  5. MIchelle! I just found your blog! Fabulous! I adopted my cat Lucy in September and I live in a small one bedroom apartment. I managed to keep her inside for over two months before she realized that she could, in fact, exit out of an open door and it was impossible to keep her from darting out. Around THanksgiving, when I had some time off from work, I just let her out and kept the door open. Every five or ten minutes I would shake her bag of treats, call her name, and she came running everytime. I gave her a treat and kept doing it for most of the day, give or take a few hours when I brought her inside and then tried again. She goes outside everyday now and comes inside before dark. She uses her indoor litter box at night, not as often, of course, but will if need be. She ventures two to three houses and back but never goes very far and ALWAYS comes when she is called. It might just be her as an individual cat, because she's got a great personality but overall, she is a great indoor/outdoor cat. She doesn't drive me crazy when she's inside, she knows her place. Her routine is set!

    1. Also, I started her on a harness and she wandered around in that thing, no problem. She was off of it the very next day!


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