My two indoor kitties have stayed with me in a second floor, 540 sq ft apartment for two years, and enjoyed watching birds outside safely from the balcony. Perhaps letting them get used to a bit of the outdoors via balcony was my mistake, but they loved it.

I'm moving to a single-level, 330 sq ft cottage in the next week, however, and I worry about their restlessness. The windows are not as ideal for bird watching, and they'll no longer have a balcony to go outside on. I also worry about restlessness in the significantly smaller space (although I am very good about playing with them every day... otherwise I don't sleep, haha). I'm thinking it would be cool to harness train them so I can take them into the yard with me for an engaging experience.

I have one boy and one girl cat, both 3 years old decently active and at ideal cat-weight. I have put them in harnesses a few times and, while it's not their favorite thing (boy-cat forgets how to move normally), they don't do too bad.

So my question is If I begin harness training for walks when I move into the new space, will that be beneficial or disadvantageous when trying to teach them?

More specifically - In my head, I imagine that if I start harness/leash training them immediately when placing it in the new space will "normalize" it for them. "Oh - this is a new space and these things happen when I'm in this space." Alternatively, maybe doing so will make them hate the new space, which would be the exact opposite of what I'd want.

Any thoughts on if this is a good or never-do-this-ever type of idea? Any experiences?

2 Answers 2


Since you only have a week before the move, I would wait until after your cat has been completely settled into your new place before you begin leash training.

Cats aren't very good with stress, and, besides being obviously uncomfortable for them, can develop undesired behavior from too much stress like spraying, vomiting, excessive shedding, and so forth. So it's best to keep it down to one thing at a time.

One week is not enough for the cat to become completely comfortable with the leash (unless you're lucky enough to own one of those few cats that naturally don't mind the harness.) So it is better to hold off on stressing your cat out right before a move.


Cats can of course be harness trained. My own cat is harness trained and happily moves around with us while on harness.

Although it can depend a lot upon cat persnality.

We had the same situation. We moved to a new place where harness was necessary and our cat easily adapted to his new lifestyle.

Again, it was my cat. Different cats have different personalities.

Just try to understand what your cat wants while on harness, as the harness will restrict it's movement. For example, it may want to drink water or relieve itself. You have to take your cat to the place, like drinking water bowel, as the cat doesn't have free movement at that time.

Over all I don't think that leash training a cat is a bad idea.

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