I have an indoor cat that I want to provide fun, interesting experiences for as I imagine my studio apartment is a bit small for a full grown cat.

Since she's a kitten she's always sat by a window we leave cracked open and looked out at the streets. I recently bought a cat harness and leash and have been putting it on her, tying it to something sturdy, then opening the window next to my fire escape to let her stick her head out, smell the air and get a better look at the outside world. I sit near and supervise the whole time. She usually spend 10-15 minutes sniffing and peering out, watching cars go by, etc at which point she'll walk inside and I'll close the window then remove the harness.

Each time so far she's run under the bed after and hid for about 5-10 minutes. There's no other odd behavior following it, she's usually back out and about as long as we wait a few minutes and call her.

She seems pretty happy to be looking out as she stays there on her own, doesn't fight the harness (except for the expected fussing when putting on/taking off), and has not ever had any accidents that I would associate with fear except for the bed thing.

So my question is two-fold:

  1. Is there any reason not to allow a cat out on a window that is leashed, harnessed and supervised?
  2. Is the bed thing anything to worry about?

2 Answers 2


It might be a case of overstimulation. If she's used to looking out a closed window, she's used to the visual input alone and very muted sounds.

Now that the window is opened, she gets the usual visual input accompanied by much louder sounds, many different smells, the sensation of airflow and probably much more sensual input than we humans are aware of.

As long as she can decide when she's had enough and you close the window, I don't see any problem here. She will probably get used to the additional input and start enjoying her "window time" for longer periods of time.

Additional information: There are special nets you can put into a window permanently to allow your cat some "window time" without harness and supervision and without the risk of her jumping out. These are installed like a fly net inside the window, but are much more loosely woven.


Is there any reason not to allow a cat out on a window that is leashed, harnessed and supervised?

Can't see anything to worry about there - it would be a strangulation risk if the leash was attached to a neck collar but a properly fitted harness is no problem.

Is the bed thing anything to worry about?

I wouldn't say so - unless she's showing other signs that indicate distress it's probably nothing more than a quirk.

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