I’ve venture a guess that most cat owners don’t leash up their kitties and take them out for a walk in the neighborhood. Not that it can’t be done. But as a man in Boulder, CO found out this week, if the cat doesn’t want to go for a walk, you’d better take him home.
According to DailyCamera.com,19-year-old Seth Franco, of Lafayette, CO, went out for a jog in Waneka Lake Park and took his cat with him. When the cat either couldn’t or wouldn’t complete the run, Franco allegedly tethered the kitty to a rock and kept jogging.
A passerby saw the cat tied to the rock – and being attacked by birds – and called the police. When Lafayette police Sgt. Fred Palmer arrived, Franco was just retrieving his kitty cat. Sgt. Palmer ticketed Franco for suspicion of “domestic animal cruel treatment,” which is a municipal offense.
The kitty was unharmed, but probably not very happy.
Believe it or not, walking a cat on a leash isn’t as crazy as it might sound. In a piece in the New York Times, Stephanie Clifford writes about training her cat Mac to walk on a leash, after letting him run loose in her Brooklyn neighborhood proved too dangerous for him (and the neighborhood birds).
She turned to cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy, host of Animal Planet’s “My Cat From Hell.” And with some patience and lots of positive reinforcement, Mac is now able to go on outings to the park with Clifford, affording him some fresh air and safe exercise. (And for his owner, lots of material for columns, I would imagine.)
YouTube is loaded with videos demonstrating how to walk a cat on a leash; YouTube is also loaded with videos on how to walk a dog on a leash, but there are trainers on there whom I would not let within 100 miles of my dog. Since I don’t know anything about cats, I can’t recommend one video in particular. But if you’re interested in walking your cat, I would suggest that you find a trainer knowledgeable about cat behavior and positive reinforcement training techniques.
At the every least, pay attention to your cat’s body language (see the video above). And don’t tie him to a rock. Meow!