Taking A Cat for a Walk on the Wild Side


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Robin and I stopped traffic. Around the corner from our house, we turned to see a tax driver pointing and laughing – though there was a green light he wasn’t moving. The car next to him, the same, all three passengers and the driver laughing Behind both those cars, several more cars, all with passengers doing the same thing…..What was so funny?

It turned out – we were. Robin (not see here because she took this photo) and I took the family out for a walk.

What’s so odd?

Because Roxy, our Devon Rex cat, has been taking these kitty stroller strolls her entire laugh, she seems to enjoy the experience. And she gets food along way.

Especially in in the heart of an urban area, Roxy is far safer indoors. She will likely enjoy a longer and healthier life as a result of not being an indoor/outdoor cat who is free to roam.

However, smelling the flowers and watching the birds and butterflies is of value. Roxy can go out on a leash and harness, and (as shown here) in a stroller. Listen, some cats who have been indoors their entire lives might be terrified at the thought, but others (like Roxy) receive valuable enrichment, it’s exciting and fun (not to mention the fresh air and sunshine).

If your cat is fearful, you can start slow by offering really special treats. Also put on the leash and harness in the house, or take kitty for a ride in the stroller indoors before venturing outside….getting the cat fully accustomed to the equipment first is important. When you take it slow, lots of cats get the idea, and soon enjoy the experience. Other cats are just happier inside – and that’s fine. Of course, as I said, our kitty has been doing this from a young age. If you venture outside flea and heartworm protection are important (a good idea anyway even for indoor only cats).

We always have an interesting time when we stroll with Roxy. Today, another stroller passed by going the other way with a dog inside. The owner didn’t seem to want to stop; I assume the dog was elderly and had difficulty walking, or some sort of disability.

Our neighbor from our condo building Venessa and her Miniature Poodle Lola met us. Vanessa said, “Ugh, is that Roxy in there?

We replied, “Yes.”

She said, “I wondered what that buggy was for when I saw it in the basement.” Lola had never meet a cat before and wasn’t about to. She pulled as far as could on the leash to make a very wide circle around Roxy in her cat stroller.

Two girls who we had never seen approached us, and the conversation went like this: One girl said,  “There’s a cat in there?”

“Yes,” I said.

The girls looked surprised. I countered, “Don’t you see this sort of thing every day?”

One of the girls replied, “Okay. Did you know there’s a cat inside there?”

“We know,” said Robin, as the girls walked off.

And then there was the traffic jam….You’d think in our neighborhood, this is hardly a big deal compared to what we see everyday. Anyway, Roxy enjoyed the Sunday stroll, and so did we.

 

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Steve Dale is a certified animal behavior specialist who has been a trusted voice in the world of pet health for over 20 years. You have likely heard him on the radio, read him in print and online, and seen him speaking at events all over the world. His contributions to advancing pet wellness have earned him many an award and recognition around the globe.

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