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The Pet Project, Part Three - Cat Walking

If you are familiar with my "The Pet Project" then you know that "Our Cat is Fat" and that "Kitty is on a new Diet". It is all part of my Pet Project to get our cat Victoria to lose weight, because she put on a few extra pounds while she was trapped in a cage at the pet store.

Part of Victoria's new diet and exercise regime is that I play with her every day, often two or three times per day, trying to get her running, jumping and exercising like normal outdoor cats would be. Having her chase feathers on a string for endless hours does get boring eventually so I embarked on a quest to get Victoria into "cat walking".

On Saturday it took two people just to get the collar on her, along with her identification tags which she really should keep on her anyway. It took one person feeding her kitty treats and another person trying to put the collar on her without getting bitten to get the job done.

I have also tried getting a harness on her, which is specifically made for cat walking, but she wouldn't have that and instead would attack the harness, thinking it was a new toy to play / bite / claw. I am still hoping to get her into a harness someday, but it may take more effort.

Earlier today (less than 30 minutes ago, really) I managed to get the leash on her collar. Her response was to attack the leash. 10 minutes of biting and attacking the leash later, and kitty treats no longer doing their job to coax her, I managed to get her into our foyer hallway using the ol' feathers on a string trick.

Once in the foyer I closed the door, and then opened the door into the apartment building hallway - a place which she has never been before, except for the day she came home with us in a box from the pet store.

Victoria walked up to the doorway, to the threshold and looked around, she then backed away frightened. Moments later she walked back out there again and stuck her head into the hallway, heard a noise coming from outside, freaked out and ran back inside the foyer and started pushing at the foyer door, trying to climb the foyer door, and managed to open the door by headbutting it (she routinely pushes the bedroom door open with her head so she can wake us up in the morning). Once inside the apartment she scampered, reaching the end of her leash, which I dropped because it was self-evident that she didn't want to explore the apartment building hallway.

The world beyond our apartment is big and scary apparently, to the mind of a timid housecat. She spends endless hours sitting at various window sills watching the world outside, but the moment she gets a chance to go outside and explore a little bit she gets scared, freaks out and runs back to the safety of her home.

Oh to have a smart cat - a really smart cat, who understands what the leash is for. And that the world beyond our home isn't so scary.

The cat in the above photo clearly knows what a leash is for.

In related news:

Weighed Victoria again today, she is currently 12.0 lbs, a more reasonable weight. Exercise and new diet is clearly working. She had "Fancy Feast" on Sunday, which she really enjoyed, but otherwise it is the new Whiskas cat food that I mentioned in Part Two of the "The Pet Project".

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