Give Your Indoor Cat the Gift of the Great Outdoors

© iStockphoto/ThinkstockEven though Buttercup is an indoor cat, she can still get a taste of the outdoor life. What about

© iStockphoto/ThinkstockEven though Buttercup is an indoor cat, she can still get a taste of the outdoor life. What about giving her free rein on the screened porch? Or you could purchase a large dog crate and pad it with soft pillows for sunny afternoons in the backyard. And, of course, you can always put her on a leash. If you want to try walking your cat (and yes, many people do), Belinda Mager, spokesperson for the Humane Society of the United States, recommends the following:

  • Use a harness, not a collar.
  • Begin the training in the house, when she’s hungry. Why the hunger? You’ll be using treats as an incentive.
  • Start by putting her on the leash for one minute, then increase the time during each training session.
  • Once she’s comfortable on the leash in the house, it’s time to venture outside.
  • Stay in the yard and don’t go far. This also reduces the risk that you’ll run into dogs and other animals.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest