The RSPCA ( which is the equivalent of the ASPCA in the US) has issued a warning cat lovers and owners alike that the popular trend of walking your favorite fur-baby on a leash may, in fact, be detrimental to them.
As cats are very independent and territorial creatures, the association explains that “being walked on a collar or harness actually prevents them having control,” leading to them being distressed.
However, quite a few pet owners living in busy cities who do not have gardens or green spaces nearby have taken to walking their cats on leashes both for their safety and to assist them be more active in the outside world.
Marleen Maathuis and interior designer Tim Van Cromcoirt are two South London residents who just recently took their favorite kitty friend on a walking holiday with them on a leash.
They went on to explain their decision to the Telegraph:
“Just because we live in a flat and haven’t got a garden, we didn’t want him to miss out on the beauty of life. Cats are curious animals, they like exploring. It would be a shame if he just stayed indoors because of the busy roads. In London, we see it often, people walking ferrets, rabbits – we even saw a guinea pig on a leash in the park recently”.
The association is now advising owners in city situations to try to “bring the outdoors in” and try to keep their felines as active as they can with as many options as possible inside the safety of their home.
However, the animal welfare organization does acknowledge that not all cats are the same, and so going for walks on leashes may be OK for some kitties, however, owners should always be responsible and make sure their feline is happy every step of the way.