I am so embarrassed! I started my series about harness and leash training your human back in February, had one installment and then forgot about it! So I am giving you Part 2, about actually wearing the harness, just now. The first thing I want kitties to know about wearing a harness:
You are always in control. Never forget that!
Now, I liked wearing my harnesses right away, but you don’t have to. If you want to make your human work to get it on you, that is fine, and there are benefits. If your human thinks it will take time to get you to even put on the harness, she will probably just set it near you for a little while every day and give you treats just for that. Then she will give you treats for sniffing the harness, and a few days later, give you more treats if you allow her to lay it on top of you without putting it on yet. You can actually parlay reluctance into a lot of treats! Eventually, though, you will probably get tired of having the thing hanging around all the time and let your human actually put it on you.
The first time your human completely puts the harness on you, you may feel like flopping over and looking grumpy. That is fine. You will probably get treats just for wearing it for a few minutes. If you train your human to be patient with the harness wearing process, you can get treats for a few days just because she was able to put the harness on you.
Your human will probably want you to get up off the floor eventually and will try several tricks to do it. She may offer treats, of course, or if you are a young cat or just playful in general, she may try to tempt you with toys.
Of course, you don’t have to get up off the floor. You can play lying down for as long as you want. Like I said before, it is important to train your human to be patient. That makes wearing the harness more fun for you in the long run.
Eventually, when you are ready, you can get up off the floor and play with the toy more actively.
Next, your human will want you to walk around while wearing the harness, but you should demand payment for this! I would consider some of your favorite treats to be proper compensation.
If the treat meets with your approval, walk towards it! Your human will give you lots of praise in addition to the treat, and then repeat the process. This way, you will get as many treats as you want, at least until your human gets bored or gets a text message or something. Eventually, you will be comfortable walking around with the harness on and you’ll barely notice it. But always make sure your human continues to give you treats, play with you and praise you for your actions! Humans love giving their kitties things, and it creates a good bond between you.
I hope you enjoyed these tips! My next installment will be all about the leash!