How to Train Your Cat to Sit in a Stroller
There are many benefits to taking your cat outside in a stroller. Your pet can enjoy the sunshine, take in the fresh air and interesting smells, and see some wildlife—and you won’t have to worry about her running off.
But before you buy a stroller for cats, consider that your frisky feline might not be too keen on the idea—at least not at first. It may take some time to train your kitty and get her comfortable with being inside a stroller.
Start Inside the House
After buying a pet stroller, it isn’t a good idea to immediately put your kitty in it and go outside. Instead, set it up and let your cat inspect it, but don’t force her to spend a lot of time in it. Instead, let her decide when she’s had enough.
To entice your cat to stay in the stroller, you could use treats, catnip, and toys. Be there while she’s in the stroller so you can pet her, give her some food, and tell her how good she is. That way, she can start to see it as a safe and happy place.
Then, take additional steps to prepare for going outside. For example, get your cat accustomed to wearing her harness little by little, especially if she’s never worn one. And get her used to having the top of the stroller closed around her—you might close it for mere seconds the first few times, depending on how she reacts.
The next step is to start moving the stroller around the house. The motion might be jarring for your kitty at the beginning, so be patient and consistent.
Take It Outside
It might take days or even weeks for your cat to feel totally at ease in an enclosed, moving stroller. Once that happens, you can start taking her outside. It’s best to go slow again, as this will be a new experience. Calming pheromone sprays, treats, and plenty of reassurance may help at this stage of the training process as well.
Stay close to home, such as by only going into your backyard. A few minutes might be all that she’ll tolerate at first. Do this often and consistently, keeping an eye on your pet’s reaction every time.
When both you and your cat are ready, you can take it to the next level by going for short walks near your home. If you live near a park, you might even walk there and sit for a while as your cat takes in the surroundings.
Take Your Time and Consider Your Cat’s Preferences
Although you might really want to take your cat for a walk in a stroller, the truth is not all kitties will enjoy the experience. If you find that your pet just isn’t having a good time, and no amount of training is making a difference in how she feels, it may be best to let go of the idea of taking her outside. Or, there might be other things you can try, such as using a catio to give her the opportunity to spend time outdoors safely. Ultimately, it’s all about working with your unique kitty so you and your pet can be happy.
Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. An advocate for better treatment of all animals, she enjoys producing content that educates others, helps them understand animals better, and inspires them to help, whether that means volunteering at a shelter, fostering strays, or simply giving their own pets a safe and happy home to live in.
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