Speaking to The Telegraph, Marleen. Maathuis said that because Ash, her cat, was unable to roam freely at home, they had trained him on a leash and now regularly take him on walks across the capital.
Stop Leashing Your Cats!
UK pet owners are urged to stop walking their cats on leashes, as this is causing more harm than good.
A study has shown that cats are more stressed when they are on leashes. Although pet owners across the UK feel that walking their pets enriches them and allows them the freedom to move around and explore new places.
A spokeswoman added: “A sense of control is very important to cats and being walked on a collar or harness prevents them from having control,” she added.
The cat walking trend continues throughout the UK with supporters such as PetSafe UK and PetPlanet, which are stocking cat harnesses and leashes. On social media, #catwalking is a common hashtag for the cat movement and has been used over 14000 times on Instagram.
“Just because we live in a flat and haven’t got a garden, we didn’t want him to miss out on the beauty of life,” she added.
Cats are independent animals but do get nervous when they are forced into new environments. Some animal rights activists ask if cat harnesses and leads are good for the mental well being of the animal.
Indoor cats need exercise and stimulation, just as much as dogs; and for homeowners, a simple solution is to install a cat fence in the backyard. Now that we know that cats get stressed out over being "controlled," allow them the chance to explore without restrictions. Kitty Corrals are safe for the cat and will prevent harm from interfacing with the cat.
- Jenn Smith