Cats on a leash: The video evidence

YouTube offers proof that some felines really can be walked around like dogs. Others, not so much


Salon Staff
July 27, 2010 4:27AM (UTC)

The magic words "cat on a leash" pull up nearly 2,000 videos on YouTube -- most of them slapdash, jittery dispatches demonstrating in their own way just how frustrating and unintentionally hilarious leash training your cat can be. But there really are cats who can walk on leashes, and we have the videos to prove it.

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"Catwalk" is definitely the "Yes We Can" of leash-training videos. Everything about this cat suggests the cat actually digs the experience: He runs for his leash, can't wait to get outside and struts down the street with a confidence that would make John Travolta proud. Curious, fearless, bold, patient -- this cat is a freaking unicorn.

(For a similar burst of inspiration, check out the Flickrstream "walkingcatonaleash," featuring an incredibly awesome orange tabby named Pud, whose triumphant picture graces the accompanying Salon story, "Cat on a Leash.")

It's weirdly hypnotic to watch this cat, named Tut, scurry down a dusty, rocky terrain and onto a sidewalk.

Cats placed in harnesses have a funny habit of lying on the ground and refusing to move, and a whole genre of cat leash videos involves owners dragging them in their harnesses across the floor playfully. Whether you find this hilarious or tasteless -- and there are strong arguments for both -- the cats do not seem to be harmed at all.

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It's astonishing to watch this 4-month kitten named Keegan stay still as the chaos of a busy airport swirls around him. Passengers whiz by, a luggage cart even veers up to him, and he just sits there on his leash. A true Zen master.

But most "cat on a leash" videos are some version of the video above: A reluctant, scowling cat deeply unhappy about the process.

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Even the Expert Village "How to Walk Your Cat on a Leash" video is more like a video in how you can't. "This is not the easiest thing you will undertake," says Dr. Adrienne Mulligan as she tries to lure an uninterested black-and-white cat named Vincent from his comfy position, splayed on the floor. Five hundred more bacon-scented treats, and Vincent might actually make it across the room.


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