The zen to getting your indoor cat outside for some fresh air, and coming back home - in one piece.

Here's some mind set tips before you get started:

1. You don't "walk" your cat.
You and your cat walk together. Most of the time your cat will lead, the rest of the time he will either sit or lie down. Get used to a slower pace.

2. It's not for your exercise, it's for the cats.
Get used to a slow, unhurried pace. It's a meander, a stop-and-sniff excursion. Relax and enjoy the sites as your cat see's them. For you it may be an exercise in patience, for your cat, he's stretching his legs, letting the wind ripple through his whiskers, sniffing all kinds of scents you can't even imagine.

3. You don't get to choose the path.
Again, Meander is the important word here. If you're used to walking a dog around the block, your cat's pacing, retracing of steps, and U-turns may seem counter productive. But this is how your cat travels. If you don't like it, get another exercise partner.

4. Loud noises are a BIG deal.
A sudden loud noise, to the ear of a predator/prey animal always signifies danger and RUN!. So while you're pleasantly getting used to the slow pace, all the sudden your can will tear off on a run. Don't expect the string around his body to stop him, in fact, the feeling of being restrained will probably make him run faster. Your only option is to run, try to catch the cat, and if possible pick him up. But be aware that picking up an alarmed cat comes with it's own risks (more on that later).

5. Other cats are not your friend.
Forget any ideas about your cat sniffing noses with another cat! Cat's are predators first, and very territorial. If they see another cat they will either run and hide (see above re running cat), sound the war cry - YEOWWWWW! to scare the other cat and then give chase, or turn around and attach you. Yes, if they can't catch the cat that ran away, they will used their "misplaced agrression" on you. That cat that in the safety of your home snuggles on your lap will attack you in no uncertain terms.

When you see other cats on your walk, try picking up your cat and going the other direction before your cat sees said other cat. And always wear jeans when walking your cat. Shoes, too, no sandals.