Training a cat to walk with you on a leash takes patience, but it can be done. It’s different than leash-training a dog because cats and dogs have different motivations. Here is how to get your feline companion ready to go for walks in the park with you. Training a Cat Versus a Dog Dogs will put up with a lot of rigorous training activities for a few treats and attention. As a pack animal, they want to please the leader, so they are motivated to keep doing the training until you’re happy. Cats have a shorter attention span and tend to do something until they lose interest. While they enjoy attention from you, they may not be motivated by it. Teaching a cat takes patience, treats, and praise. Plan to make incremental steps to teach your cat over a much longer timeframe than it would take with a dog. Start With a Trip to the Vet Check with your veterinarian or a place like Midtown Veterinary Clinic to make sure your cat is up to date on their vaccinations and boosters. Any cat outside is vulnerable to encounters with other animals and potential disease. Should your cat escape from you while in a park, contact with the saliva of another cat with feline leukemia can infect your cat with this potentially fatal disease. Have your vet help you pick out a harness and leash for your cat. Cats don’t like the restricted feeling of being lead by a leash on a collar. The harness fits snug around their body, neck and legs, making it harder to escape from. Your cat will respond better to the leash pulling on the attachment point on the harness, normally at the middle of the back, as opposed to around the neck as with a collar. A Training Program to Make Incremental Progress Divide the training into small sessions, each containing several steps. Repeat each session until your cat is comfortable with it and doesn’t fight the harness and leash. For example, a training session to help your cat get used to you putting on the harness might look like this: hold the harness up for your cat to inspect slowly put the harness over your cat’s head allow your cat to get comfortable with the harness resting on their body slowly put their front legs through the harness adjust and tighten the harness around their body If your cat gets fussy and refuses to cooperate, stop the session for the day. If you try to force your cat to do anything, they can develop a negative response that will be hard to overcome...

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Do you suddenly have an awful smell in your home? Do you live next to a wooded area? You may have a skunk under your house, a common problem for residents near trees. Skunks are notorious for getting into basements and into crawl spaces and making themselves right at home. If you think you may have a skunk living with you, calling a professional for its removal as soon as possible is important. The Smell In Your House Is Caused By a Stinky Survival Plan Skunks are little guys and when out in the wild, they need a good way to protect themselves from predators like coyotes and badgers. The stinky oil sprayed by a threatened skunk can be smelled from up to a mile away from its original source. When sprayed, a skunk’s predator runs away with eyes and nostrils burning. While there are probably no predators under your house, the skunk living there might perceive the sounds from inside your home as a potential threat. Mating Season for Skunks Can Be the Worst Time for Homeowners If you have a mother skunk living under your house or porch steps with a litter of little ones, you could be in for several instances of spraying due to the mother being more aggressive and protective over her brood. Young skunks are usually born in the first weeks of May and into June, so if you have an adult skunk problem during this time period, you should know you might have an entire family of them to deal with as well. If you suspect a litter of young skunks is under your home, contacting a professional is the best way to remove them for higher chances of doing so without being sprayed. Preventing Another Skunk From Moving In with You In addition to always making sure household garbage is sealed in a container when taken out, you can also have screen buried around the foundation of your house. Skunks are famous for digging dens, which is one of the reasons they can burrow under your foundation to reach the crawlspace. When you hire a professional pest removal service for your skunk problem, the technician visiting your home may bury screen around the perimeter of your foundation to prevent any burrowing skunks making their way under your house. Never try to pick up or capture a wild animal if you have no experience doing so. Otherwise, you increase your risk of being bitten and possibly getting sick with serious diseases like rabies. Also, if your dog or cat has been sprayed by a skunk, you should know that wildlife and pest...

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