Did you know that your cat’s leash is just as important as their harness to keep them safe, comfy and carefree on your adventures outdoors? But there isn't one perfect type of cat leash; it completely depends on your cat's adventure personality! Let’s have a look at the two main types of cat leashes and show you how to pick the best cat leash for your cat's adventure style. You’ll also learn an insider tip for cat leashes that trips up even seasoned cat explorers – it’s a game changer for your cat!
Watch our YouTube video, or scroll down to read the article!
What are the two main types of cat leashes?
The two main types of cat leashes are fixed leashes and retractable leashes. The main difference is that a fixed leash has a maximum set length, and retractable leashes have a gliding tape/cord that allows you to control the length.
Let’s take a closer look…
Fixed cat leashes
A fixed leash comes in a set size and doesn’t extend to give you a variable length. Here are some of our top considering when looking for a fixed cat leash:
- Short length - look for a fixed leash that isn’t too long (3ft-4ft/1-1.5m).
- Cat-sized hardware - this is really important for your cat’s comfort. Bulky, heavy dog hardware will weigh your cat down.
- Structured/un-elasticated material - choose a leash material that doesn’t have, or has minimal stretch.
At Supakit, we use premium-quality leather or vegan-friendly cork. Yes, natural materials are a great option for your cat but the main reason is choosing a structured material is safety. When you stop, for example, next to a road, you know exactly where the leash stops and your cat can't stretch the leash and get into any danger or hazards that you can't control.
When to choose a fixed cat leash
Let’s take a look at the adventure personalities and occasions that best suit a fixed leash…
If you and your cat are just starting out or are fairly new to exploring, then a fixed leash is a great option. Fixed leashes allow you to keep your cat close by your side, allowing you greater control over avoiding hazards and keeping them out of harm's way. It gives you loads of time to react to this. It’s also much less likely to get snagged or tangled whilst exploring. Leash position is also super important for minimizing harness escapes and with a fixed leash, it’s easier to maintain control and create the high angles you need to keep your leash in the ‘safe zone’.
The Backyard Stroller
If your cat is super chilled out and enjoys a backyard stroll, then the fixed leash is for them! It’s perfect for a stoop, watching the world go by; sniffing a few bugs and leaves.
The Cat About Town
We also recommend fixed leashes if you’ve got a cat who enjoys accompanying you on your afternoon trip for tall vanilla lattes! A fixed leash lets you keep your kitty close when they’re sitting on your lap in a coffee shop (or maybe you like to explore further field).
Here’s a little bonus tip! When choosing a fixed leash, look for one that allows you to create a secure short halter. The Supakit fixed leash has a gold loop at the handle that allows you to half the leash length when you attach the trigger claps.
Retractable cat leashes
Retractable leashes have a reel of tape or cord inside their handle that extends to give you a variable leash length. When selecting a retractable cat leash we recommend looking for one that extends up to about 16 feet (5m) in length. Another key feature of a good retractable leash is a pause and stop feature, that allows you to hold the tape/cord reel and stop it from extending (basically just turns it back into a fixed leash). This makes retractable leashes a super versatile option.
When to choose a retractable cat leash
You can choose a retractable cat leash if your cat is confident outside and loves to explore more freely. However, it is important to make sure that both you and your cat are confident adventurers because with that extra length of leash comes some extra considerations. With a longer leash, there is a greater risk of it getting snagged on things, and it can be more difficult to control the leash angle when trying to prevent harness escapes.
If you’re wondering ‘how do I know if my cat and I are confident explorers, ready to graduate to a retractable cat leash?’, don’t fret! Here is our five-point checklist…
- You and your cat have been going outdoors for a while and they are super happy and comfortable in their harness.
- You are experienced in spotting hazards in the environment that you need to keep your cat away from (trees, high fences, roads or that really twiggy bush they always dart for the second you step outside).
- You know how to effectively boundary set and redirect your cat in a new direction if they're heading in an unsafe or off-track way.
- You are experienced in reading your cat's body language outside, and in particular, spotting the early signs of them getting nervous or scared, and dealing with it before a situation can escalate.
- You know all about safe leash position and know how to correct the leash position if it heads into the danger zone.
If you’ve said “YES” to five points, then you’re ready to use a retractable leash on your cat adventures. If you haven't already given one a go, see how you and your kitty get on. You might just find that they love being able to explore that little bit further and of course, zoomie without you standing over them.
What makes the Supakit retractable cat leash special?
We’re going to let you in on a little secret here, you might be thinking all retractable cat leashes are made equal but it’s simply not the case. In fact, even seasoned adventurers don't always know that cat-specific retractable leashes can elevate their adventures. And this is why you’ve got to look for a retractable leash that’s specially made for cats.
The reason is that most retractable leashes are made for dogs. Dogs are bigger, heavier and stronger than cats and because of that, the mechanism inside the retractable leash is very strong for a cat. This makes it difficult for them to pull the leash tape out and they can also pull or yank your cat which is uncomfortable and potentially dangerous.
We used to experience all of these things when we first started adventuring with our cats and could only find dog retractable leashes. So we decided to do something about it!
At Supakit, we adapted the mechanism within our retractable leashes, tailoring them to the needs of the cat, and the difference has been extraordinary! With our cat-specific retractable leash’s gentler, easy-glide mechanism, cats can easily pull the leash out and feel free and unencumbered when they're exploring. This lets them get on with the adventuring business without worrying about their leash.
So, there you have it. That’s how you choose the BEST leash for your cat’s adventure personality.
If you enjoyed this article you might also like