A video of a kitten being dragged across the floor during a harness training session went viral on TikTok, where it received 2.3 million visits.
The clip was shared from Minneapolis by Sydney Faschingbauer (@sydfasch) and credited to @sydneyfaschingbau. A message overlaid on the video reads: “Day 1 of harness training going well.”
The footage showed a pair of cats, each wearing a harness as their leashes pulled them towards the camera. One cat stumbled a bit but managed to walk across the carpeted floor, but the smallest (known as Levi) seemed reluctant to climb into the harness. Levi was shown with his back on the ground and his paws in the air, as he was hilariously dragged across the ground.
Putting your cat in a harness is one way to allow your pet to explore the outside world.
However, experts say you should think carefully about your cat’s personality and the conditions of her outdoor environment to see if walking on a leash is good for your pet.
Dr. Christian Broadhurst, lead veterinarian at the nonprofit Clay Humane Clinic in Orange Park, Florida, previously said news week: “If you are patient and your cat is willing, you can do it.”
However, “it’s highly unreasonable to expect to put your cat on a leash and walk him right away,” Broadhurst added. “We are talking about a gradual desensitization.”
“Introducing harnesses as early as possible will help, and getting a kitten used to the leash will minimize resistance to using it as an adult,” veterinarians Dr. Debra Horwitz and Dr. Gary Landsberg wrote in an article for VCA, one of the largest chains of animal hospitals.
For pet owners who have encountered “overwhelming resistance” from their cats when trying to wear a harness, Horwitz and Landsberg added that they should allow their pets access to an outdoor pen rather than in their home.
The pen should “imitate the outside world as closely as possible”, with cat furniture, tree trunks, toys, scratching posts, and raised perching areas all available within the pen.
“Ideally, the pen will be accessible from the house through a cat door and will offer the cat access to the outdoors while offering you complete peace of mind,” the vets added.
The pen should have a roof or have inward-sloping sides at the top to prevent your cat from climbing up and escaping. Your pet should also not be allowed into the pen when no one is home, due to the risk of escape, Horwitz and Landsberg added.
While Levi in the last video was less than impressed to be in a harness, later seemed to be loving it in a later clip shared by the original poster. The footage showed the cat walking around on a leash as he explored the outdoors.
The latest viral clip has seen TikTokers in stitches, with some writing initially thinking the reluctant cat was a toy or stuffed animal.
Dedaleeeee posted: “I thought the smallest one was a stuffed cat.”
Dani wrote: “OMG [oh my god] so dramatic! Mine acted like she couldn’t stand up.”
User @wanderlustingfashionista commented, “Aaahaha literally my cats,” while syd posted that “my cat is the same.”
Mashavegan wrote: “Cats have too much self-respect for that.”
news week has contacted the original poster for comment via TikTok. This video has not been independently verified.
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