Aby-a-Day – Day 132 of 365

I get asked about the “tools” I use when Jacoby and I go out. I’ve been taking cats out on leashes since I was 12 or 13, and I’ve learned a lot about carriers, leashes and harnesses.

Right now, with Jake, the leash I use Planet Dog Zip Lead, which I like so much better than the more common Flexi-Leads (which I’ve used since they first showed up in the States, around 1990). The Zip Lead is more like a regular leash, with a soft loop handle that slips onto your wrist. Or ankle. It’s also so much smaller and more packable. The only disadvantage to the Zip Lead is that it’s only 6′ long where the Flexis range from 10′ to 26’and sometimes the extra length comes in handy.

His harness is a Gooby New Freedom harness. This is the best harness I’ve found for cats. Before I found these, I really liked the Coastal Size Right figure-8 harness because of its swivel ring. But when the cat pulls on the leash, the weight goes on their neck, and very clever cats can get out of a figure-8 harness. The Gooby harness goes between the front legs, so if the cat pulls, the weight is distributed over their chest. That seems much more comfortable.

I know a lot of people swear by the WalkingJacket for cats, but I’ve tried it and…well, it didn’t work for me. It’s hard for them to wear (it covers a lot of their body, and it rides high on the neck) and it’s kind of tricky to put on a squirmy cat because of its three buckles. But the biggest problem I had with it was Angel, who had never been on a leash before in her life, managed to get out of it. Twice. After which I gave up; once a cat can get out of a harness, you’ll never keep it on them.

I’ve tried a lot of carriers, too. I love Angel’s PETote Roxy bag. It looks like an old school bowling bag, or a large purse. It’s small and cozy and Angel feels very safe and secure inside which is important for her. I really like the roll-up door that the cat can stick his or her head out. It’s awesome to use on a plane; it fits perfectly under the seat and it’s easy to deal with.

It doesn’t work for Jake, though. He’s too active and he doesn’t like being in a carrier the way Angel does. He can actually push through the roll-up door when it’s closed. He needs something with more room and more windows, and closures he can’t open. That’s why, for him, I really love the Snoozer Roll-Around rolling carrier that can convert into a carseat, backpack and it’s also supposed to be airline-approved. I haven’t used it for anything but a roller so far, but I really like that it has two large pockets on the sides for his leash and jacket, water bottle, etc. The biggest problem I have with carriers is they don’t have enough space for all the stuff you need to bring along.

Here’s Jake in his “wheely”…

jakewheelyN2811

jakewheelyN2821

I also have an Outward Hound Petaroo Front Carrier that I bought for Gun-Hee. It’s like a baby carrier, and while it’s not practical for all situations, it does have its place. When you don’t want to actually carry the carrier, or if you’re going to be doing a lot of walking (it was perfect when I took Gun-Hee to Art Beat in Somerville). I use that with Jake, too, but he tends to try to jump out and walk more than Gun-Hee did.

12 thoughts on “Aby-a-Day – Day 132 of 365

    1. It’s one of my most favourite shots of him so far. He’s telling me, “Moo-om! Stop taking pictures! Let’s go already!”
      I want to make it into an icon, but I’m at my limit on this account, so I have to decide what to get rid of…

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  1. THANK YOU. I’ve been wanting to take my Sinjini out a bit more because she loves being outside, but we live in The Big Scary World, so it may be easier for us to learn a little more about the outside together in a carrier…and with a better harness!
    What flea & heartworm medication do you use, since I’ve got you on the helpful topic? 🙂

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    1. Oh, now I’m going to sound like a bad pet parent! I don’t actually use a flea & heartworm medication. We actually don’t seem to have a flea problem in Boston. I haven’t seen one flea since I moved here 10 years ago. It’s kind of weird. But when I lived in San Francisco and Atlanta, I used Program.
      I should probably check out heartworm preventatives, though, since mosquitoes could still bite them, but my vet is pretty good about bringing things like that up. I wonder if that’s not a big problem in my area, too?

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      1. Clearly, you’re a terrible parent and should be ashamed of yourself. 😛
        I’m actually really jealous that there’s not a flea problem in Boston! I’m honestly more concerned with heartworm prevention since I’m in Atlanta, home turf of the war against mosquitoes, but fleas are evil little creatures as well. I haven’t really been using anything lately, and my girls LOATHE it when I do use flea meds…I was using Revolution, though.

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        1. Oooh, ouch. Yeah, the fleas were awful in Atlanta! My two Siamese barely went out, and I could comb 10-12 fleas off them in one go. Bugs in general were horrid in Atlanta, roaches, mosquitoes…ugh! I coudln’t even go outside in summer, the mosquitoes were so thick!
          I don’t know what it is about Boston, but there aren’t a lot of bugs here. I really like that.

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          1. It’s all that pretentiousness leaking out of Harvard and MIT 😉 Bugs can’t stand the stuff!
            Realistically, is probably the sub-zero temperatures and the lack of deliciously moist breeding grounds.

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            1. You mean the Hahvahd Snahts? LOL.
              The bitter cold of winter I’ll grant you…but it can get pretty warm and damp in summer. last year, we had mushrooms growing in spots that get full sun (including in the middle of cactus/succulent gardens) and other places that are generally too dry for fungi!
              Not that I’m complaining, but it does seem odd to me.

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              1. …that is odd. Wow. Maybe it’s something in…(dun dun dun)…the WATER?
                Teehee, whatever reason, it’s pretty cool that you don’t have to deal with it.

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                1. Ha! After what happened last week, that’s nothing to joke about!
                  However, all of the water around where I live, downtown, and most of the parks we go to is salt water (there are moon jellyfish in the channel in summer), so maybe that might have something to do with it..?

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                  1. See, now I feel like a class A moron, having forgotten that y’all had water issues. Mmm, my foot sure is tasty!
                    Salt water might have something to do with it…it’s difficult for creatures to thrive on mainly salt water.

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                    1. No worries 🙂
                      We get lobsters, crabs, jellyfish, other fish (I forget what kind), cormorants and seagulls (lots of seagulls)…but not a lot of mosquitoes, at least in the city. The suburbs, where the (fresh water) resevoirs are (and bodies of water like Walden Pond), may be a different story.

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