best cat harness

Cats are curious creatures who enjoy watching the outdoor world. It’s full of birds, woodland animals and insects that jumpstart your cat’s naturally hunting instincts. We understand that some cats prefer to keep their kitties indoor to protect them from predators, but getting your cat outside is important for their mental health. That’s where a cat harness comes into play.


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A cat harness allows pet parents to take their feline friends outdoors without worrying about safety. This article discusses the benefits of using a cat harness, as well as tips for getting your kitty accustomed to their new accessory. Once you pick out a harness from our list of recommendations, your cat will be ready to explore the outdoors with confidence!

5 Benefits of Using a Cat Harness

A cat harness can be used for more than just general outdoor excursions. Below we highlight some benefits of using a cat harness:

  1. Outdoor strolls: Believe it or not, some cats do enjoy going on walks! Equipping your cat with a harness will allow them to accompany you on walks around the park or neighborhood. The outdoors have so much to offer in terms of mental and physical stimulation, and a cat harness will keep your cat safe.
  2. Relaxing in the yard: While some cats like to partake in family strolls around the block, others may prefer the confines of the backyard. Put a harness and leash on your cat so they can safely bask in the sun while watching birds from the comfort of your yard.
  3. Vet visits: Most cats don’t like the vet and when it comes to exam time, they will do whatever they need to in order to escape. Putting your cat in a harness at the vet will help you keep them safe, secure and under control in an uncomfortable situation.
  4. Groomer: Speaking of uncomfortable situations, if you take your cat to the kitty spa for nail trims or other grooming, a harness will ensure you have constant control over your cat.
  5. Travel: It’s becoming increasingly common for pet parents to travel with their cats. A harness will keep your cat secure whether you’re visiting a hotel, camping or making a pit stop at a scenic view during a road trip.

Tips for Getting Your Cat Accustomed to a Harness

The best way to start harness training your cat is to begin indoors. Have some of your cat’s favorite treats on hand so you can reward your cat while you equip the harness for the first time. As you adjust the harness for a snug fit, continue to treat your kitty so they learn that the harness is a positive tool. Once your cat has the harness on and it looks to be fitting comfortably, allow your feline friend to walk around in it for a few minutes. Keep training sessions short as to not overwhelm your cat.

If your cat is highly skeptical of the new accessory, continue to equip the harness for a couple minutes at a time, then take it off. Do this until your cat doesn’t seem fazed by the harness. Then it’s time to move outside!

It’s okay to continuously reward your cat in the harness while you work on the training. We suggest bringing treats into your yard or on walks, as to positive reinforce your kitty’s good behavior on the harness. The key to getting your cat accustomed to a harness is to be patient and work at their pace. If you get frustrated, so will your cat, and the training will be compromised.

6 Components to Look for in a Cat Harness

Cat harnesses are all constructed with your kitty’s safety and comfort in mind, but there are some unique features to consider. Look into these components when selecting the best cat harness:

  1. Buckles or Velcro: Most cat harnesses use either a buckle system or Velcro to securely fasten. One isn’t necessarily better than the other, so the choice comes down to preference. You may have an easier time adjusting a harness with Velcro, but it really depends on the style.
  2. Material: The two most common cat harness materials are mesh and nylon. Mesh is breathable and cozy, while nylon webbing is secure and durable.
  3. Overall design: You can purchase a step-in harness for your cat, or one that slips over their neck and secures at the chest. The design that you choose to purchase should ultimately come down to what is most comfortable for your cat.
  4. Size: If you have an extra-large cat, you’ll want to make sure that the harness you like fits cats over 12lbs and is adjustable. Some of the cat harnesses on our list are available in several different sizes which will accommodate large breed cats.
  5. Color and design: Some cat harnesses can be purchased in a variety of colors or cute fabric designs. It’s always fun to choose a color that matches your kitty’s personality.
  6. Multi-pet use: There are cat harnesses that are also suitable for small dogs and other animals such as rabbits. If you have a small dog and cat but don’t typically to take them outdoors on a harness at the same time, you can save money by purchasing a harness that will fit both pets.

Overall Best Harness for Cats in 2019

Red Dingo Classic Cat Harness & Lead Combo

Key Benefits:

  • Made from quality nylon webbing and ribbon
  • Ends are spliced at an angle to prevent irritation
  • Fish clip side release buckles stay put when tugged on
  • Available in four colors

Overall Best Cat Harness – This leash and harness set for cats is a classic, quality choice for cats who enjoy simple outdoor adventures. Made from nylon webbing and abrasion resistant ribbon, this harness will be comfortable for walks and backyard lounging. The ends are spliced at an angle so they won’t rub into your cat’s skin and cause irritation. The harness is fully adjustable, offering a snug, custom-like fit.

The Red Dingo Classic Cat harness is equipped with cute fish clip side release buckles that are built to be stronger than regular buckles. If your cat is tugging at birds or squirrels, you don’t have to worry about the clips becoming unbuckled. This cat harness comes with a matching leash, which has a padded handle for your comfort. Pet parents can purchase this cat harness and leash combo in a handful of attractive colors.

Pros:

  • Fish clip side release buckles add style and strength
  • Fully adjustable
  • Matching leash will add pizazz to your outings
  • Available in several colors
  • Easy to equip and non-restrictive

Cons:

  • Only one size available

Kitty Holster Cat Harness

Key Benefits:

  • Available in a multitude of sizes and colors
  • Made from 100% breathable cotton
  • Award-winning walking vest
  • Machine washable

Runner-Up Best Cat Harness – For cats who won’t mind the feel of a harness vest, we like this Kitty Holster Cat Harness. This award-winning walking harness is easy to equip but near impossible for your cat to escape. It is soft and made from 100% breathable cotton, with a cozy cotton lining. This cat harness doesn’t have any buckles – it secures using Velcro fasteners, which may be less stressful to put on your cat.

If your cat is fond of rolling in the grass and getting dirty, this harness is completely machine washable! While there is no matching leash for this cat harness, it is constructed with a D-ring leash clip. We love that the Kitty Holster Cat Harness is available in so many adorable colors and patterns to best suit your kitty’s personality. You can also purchase the harness in four different sizes.

Pros:

  • Vest-like harness secures using Velcro
  • Machine washable for premium convenience
  • Award-winning design
  • Constructed with 100% breathable cotton and a cozy cotton underside
  • Can accommodate cats of all sizes

Cons:

  • Some cats may not like this harness since it covers a large portion of their body.

Comfort Soft Adjustable Mesh Cat Harness

Key Benefits:

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Evenly distributes pressure through the chest and shoulders to prevent strain
  • Four color choices to pick from
  • Simple design is easy to equip

Best Budget-Friendly Cat Harness – This lightweight cat harness is our top budget-friendly pick, as it boasts a breathable and practical construction. Made from nylon and mesh, this harness easily slip over your cat’s head and is adjustable at the chest. It’s designed to evenly distribute pressure throughout kitty’s chest and shoulders to prevent strain or discomfort in the neck.

For warm climates, the Comfort Soft Adjustable Mesh Cat Harness is an excellent choice. The quality mesh is breathable for hotter days, and nylon webbing ensures that the harness is sturdy and durable. Cat parents can adjust both the neck and girth on this harness, fitting cats up to 12lbs. The harness is available in four colors to be suit your cat’s style.

Pros:

  • Lightweight mesh material is breathable and sturdy
  • Designed to eliminate pressure on your cat’s neck
  • Available in four colors
  • Adjustable at the neck and girth

Cons:

  • This harness won’t accommodate cats larger than 12lbs.

3 More Top Cat Harnesses

PetSafe Come With Me Kitty Harness & Bungee Cat Leash

Get your kitty exploring outdoors with this cat harness and leash set from PetSafe. The comfortable harness is made from 3/8” wide nylon and it has two points of adjustment for a snug fit. The harness is designed to take any pressure off your cat’s neck and throat even if they are pulling on the leash. We love the innovative bungee leash that comes with this set. It’s designed to allow your cat some “give” if they approach the end of the leash rather than being tugged back if your cat pulls. The PetSafe Come With Me cat harness and leash comes in 6 stylish color combinations. It’s also available in three sizes to accommodate all size cats.

Paws & Pals Control Cat Harness

This durable, lightweight cat harness is designed to provide maximum comfort and control when your feline friend is on the go. The weatherproof construction and adjustable straps make this harness a great fit for any kitty. The neck area on the harness is padded for superior coziness, and the chest support ensures that your cat’s neck and throat won’t be strained. Paws & Pals Control Cat Harness is made from breathable mesh material and it’s machine washable. Cat parents can choose from a wide variety of attractive colors and four different sizes.

Escape Proof Cat Harness With Leash

For cats who need some style to go with their sass, we love this adorable escape proof harness and leash set. Made with decorative fabric and a mesh under layer, your cat will be comfortable and cute when strutting their stuff in this harness. Magic Tape secures the harness so even Houdini won’t be able to escape it.  The Escape Proof Cat Harness is available for purchase in a plethora of unique fabric choices. There are five sizes to choose from, fitting kittens who weigh 2lbs to adult cats weighing over 11lbs.

FAQ

  • How do you measure a cat for a harness? If you’ve ever measured a dog for a harness, the process is similar for a cat. You will need a few specific measurements to ensure you’re picking the best sized cat harness – neck, girth and body length. The girth is the widest part of your cat’s ribcage. Take all of these measurements and compare them to the manufacturer’s sizing guide. There is typically a chart to reference when purchasing a cat harness online. Ideally you should be able to fit two fingers between the harness and your cat’s body.
  • Can you use a dog harness on a cat? Some extra-small dog harnesses are actually made to double as a cat harness. As long as the harness won’t restrict your cat’s movement or place improper strain on their body, it’s okay to use on your cat. Any harness you put on your cat should be lightweight, and comfort should always be priority.
  • Are harnesses safe for cats? Harnesses are safe for cats as long as they fit properly. Cat harnesses are designed to allow your kitty to participate in outdoor activities while remaining safe and secure. It’s generally unsafe to attach a leash to your cat’s collar, making harnesses the best tool for your kitty’s outdoor safety.

Conclusion

Cat harnesses may seem ridiculous to some people, but they are actually an extremely helpful tool. Cats deserve to enjoy the outdoors like their canine and human counterparts, and a harness will allow them to do so. Make sure to keep your receipt and packaging just in case you need to exchange your cat harness for a different size.

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