Cats are strong willed creatures who love to explore their surroundings. Unfortunately, this can lead to them needing rescuing from unusual places. Getting the right balance between letting your kitty explore their environment and keeping them safe from harm can be tricky, but that is where a cat harness can help. But, with so many types and styles on the market, how do you know which harness to choose. Our panel of cat experts and pet lovers have put together a list of the 8 best cat harnesses to help you make the right decision for you and your furry feline.
Made of a comfortable and breathable material, with a lot of support in all the right places, the Voyager cat vest harness offers the best of all worlds. It’s hassle-free and incredibly easy to use thanks to its convenient step-in design, yet durable and secure due to sturdy buckles, strong velcro closure and double D-rings. It’s also all-weather suitable as the breathable mesh makes it comfy both for summer and winter walks. Importantly, the safety vest is also extremely durable and perfectly safe, making it suitable even for larger cats who have a stronger pull on the leash. It distributes weight evenly, preventing excess pressure on uncomfortable body parts such as your kitty’s neck, plus it doesn’t rub as much as some nylon harnesses.
Made of breathable mesh material
Easy to use ‘step-in’ design
Comfortable and secure, distributes weight evenly
Reflective bands for enhanced night visibility
Available in various sizes and colors
If you are looking for a safe and effective way of letting your at explore the outside world, then the Come with Me Kitty Harness and Bungee Leash from PetSafe is just what you are looking for. The kitty harness is designed to cradle your cat and restrain forward motion when you apply gentle pressure via the leash. The cradling affect calms most cats, without putting pressure on their neck or throat area. The harness is adjustable, so it can be set to meet your cat’s specific shape and size. The shoulder straps move through the D-rings on the back so that you can increase pressure if needed, while the bungee leash provided softens the effect of your furry feline reaching the end of the leash.
Available in small, medium, and large to fit girth measurements from 9” to 18”
The harness has dual adjustment points to create a custom fit
Applies gentle pressure to shoulders, rather than the neck or throat
Bungee leash ensures no sharp jolts to your cat when they reach the end of the leash length
If your cat is an escape artist when it comes to harnesses and leashes, check out Puppia’s Authentic RiteFit Harness. Specifically made to keep pets both comfortable and secure, this harness is perfect for mischievous cats and felines who are normally uncomfortable wearing classic ‘H’ style harnesses. The material used in the construction of the harness is polyester mesh which feels snug and pleasant on cat’s skin. The quick-release buckles around the neck in combination with loop and hook straps provide much needed adjustability for the neck area for fussy felines. There is also an adjustable chest belt that allows for even more flexibility – perfect for cats who typically fall between sizes. Speaking of which, there are four available sizes, but we find that the small model fits best most cats.
Neck and chest adjustability
Made of polyester air-mesh
Two D-rings, quick-release buckles
Comes in several sizes and different colors
The Cat Harness by Kitty Holster is a wraparound vest style harness made from 100 percent cotton. The harness is soft, breathable, and secured by two wide Velcro straps. The lining is made from undyed cotton and the harness is suitable for use in all weathers. The lightweight but strong harness has a single D-ring leash attachment point and can be washed to keep it in top condition.
Available in four sizes from x-small to x-large to fit chest girths from 10” to 23” and neck girths from 5” to 15”
Easy to fit wrap around harness, secured by two Velcro straps, which also allow the vest to be adjusted for the best possible fit
Made from 100 percent cotton – breathable and washable
Single D-ring leash attachment point – leash not included
This super soft step in style harness provides safety and comfort for your cat. Made from super plush suede the Voyager Soft Harness for Pets by Best Pet Supplies Inc is easy to use and adjustable for the perfect fit. The no pull harness includes an extra strong Velcro strap and clip lock to keep the harness in place, and a double D-ring leash attachment point. The harness is ideal for winter walks and use in colder climates; it can be machine washed on a delicate cycle and then air dried to keep it in top condition.
Available in five different sizes from x-small to x-large to fit chest girths from 13” to 23”
The step-in style harness is secured with a Velcro strap and quick release clip lock buckle
Made from soft plush suede, the no-pull harness can be machine washed and air dried
Double D-ring leash attachment point – leash not included
The wrap around, vest style Escape Proof Car Harness and Leash by PUPTECK is perfect for cats who need a little extra support to stop them wiggling out of their harness. The harness is made from breathable air mesh fabric, which ensures your cat is comfortable whatever the weather. The vest has two closure points at the neck and around the chest. The neck point is secured with a plastic closure and Velcro strap, while the chest closure is a strong Velcro strap. The leash is made from strong nylon and attaches to the harness via two heavy D-rings on the back.
Available in small, medium, and large sizes to fit chest girths from 10.5” to 16.1” and neck girths from 7” to 13.1”
Easy to fit wrap around vest style harness, secured by two Velcro straps and a plastic clip
Made from breathable material so it is suitable to use in all weathers
Dual heavy-duty D-rings secure the leash to the harness – strong nylon leash is included
The No Pull Comfort Padded Vest by PACCOMFET is made from 100 percent polyester, covered with a breathable mesh. It enables you to have control over your feline’s movement without causing pain or discomfort. The over the head harness is durable and padded for extra comfort. It includes a single D-ring leash attachment point on the top of the harness and a single adjustable strap to ensure a good fit.
Available in x-small, small, and medium sizes to fit chest girths from 10” to 19” and neck girths from 8.3” to 12.2”
The harness is made from 100 percent polyester, covered with a breathable mesh, and is padded for additional comfort
Over the head fit, with click lock clasp and adjustable strap
Single D-ring leash attachment point – leash not included
If your cat hates the feeling of heavy, restricting harnesses, the Gauterf Universal Harness is for you. Made of soft, breathable mesh material, this harness is incredibly lightweight and comfortable, suitable even for the fussiest of felines out there. It’s also adjustable thanks to 2 buckles that can be adapted according to the size of your pet. At the same time, it’s also safe and secure thanks to the strong Velcro closure and a locking snap. To increase safety when walking at night, the harness has reflective tapes on both sides. There is a wide range of sizes and colors available, so finding the right harness for your kitty shouldn’t be a problem.
Made of soft, breathable mesh
Lightweight and comfortable
Has a strong Velcro closure + locking snap
Reflective tapes for visibility
Lots of size and color options
The Adjustable Cat Harness Nylon Strap Collar with Leash by PUPTECK is designed to fit small cats and young puppies under 12 lbs. The harness evenly distributes pressure and is adjustable for the perfect fit. The harness is easy to fit and secured with snap-lock buckles on both the front and rear body straps. The harness set comes complete with matching leash, which attaches to the harness via a single D-ring.
Available in one size, adjustable to fit chest girths from 10” to 17” and neck girths from 7” to 10”
Simple to fit, adjustable harness
Secured by two quick release clip lock buckles
Single D-ring leash attachment point – leash included
Looking for a stylish pet harness for your kitty? Check out ABPet Vest that comes in three adorable designs and colors. Made from soft fabric, with a breathable mesh lining, this cute harness is pretty comfy and suitable for most weather conditions. It’s also adjustable at the back, which makes finding the right fit a piece of cake. The harness features a no-pull design, which, combined with an alloy buckle, makes for secure and comfortable walks and wanderings. That said, this is not the most secure harness out there – if your kitty is an escape artist, you may want to look for another, sturdier and more snug harness. This piece is all about comfort and style, making it suitable for already harness-trained cats.
Soft fabric with mesh lining
Stylish and adjustable
No-pull vest design
Three sizes and colors available
If you are looking for a comfortable harness that can double as a cat costume, then this set from Bro’Bear is just what you are looking for. The fabric harness has a colorful fabric exterior and a mesh inside to keep your pet comfortable and safe. The harness allows you to walk your cat without the worry of them running off and without straining their neck. The harness evenly distributes pressure across the chest and comes complete with a matching leash. The step-in design secures with a Velcro strap and quick release clip buckle, while the leash connects via two D-rings.
Available in five sizes from x-small to x-large to fit chest girths from 10” to 23” and neck girths from 6” to 12”
Step-in style harness is secured with a Velcro strap and quick release clip lock bucket
Made from fabric with colorful sailor design and mesh underside
Double D-ring leash attachment point – matching leash included
The simple, yet effective Mesh Cat Harness from Coastal Pet is ideal for use in any weather. The over the head design is easy to fit and secures with a quick release click lock buckle. The lower strap is adjustable so that it can fit most cats snuggly. The harness includes a single D-ring attachment point.
Available in one size to fit chest girths from 14” to 16” and Neck girths from 8” to 10”
Over the head design is easy to fit
Secured by single quick release clip lock buckle
Single D-ring leash attachment point – leash not included
Knowing more about the best cat harnesses that are available is only half the answer. It is also important to learn more about harnesses in general, how they should be fitted, and what to look for in a good harness. It is also important to consider what makes the best cat leash as a harness is often only as good as the leash that connects you to your cat. In this part of the buying guide we provide answers to these and other questions to help you buy the best possible cat harness for your needs.
As a cat owner, you’re probably aware that most felines are curious and mischievous creatures that like to explore the outside world on their own terms. If left to their own devices though, cats will often run away and get into all sorts of troubles that sometimes can lead to serious injuries, even death. However, the solution is not to lock your cat inside the apartment and never let them out. After all, cats thrive on external stimulation – exploring the outdoors is good for both physical and mental health. The solution? Walking your cat with a pet harness and leash.
A quality harness has various benefits, with the three main ones being:
While harnesses may differ widely in appearance, material, and size, there are three main categories that they all fit into. These types are figure-8 harnesses, V-harnesses, and H-harnesses.
This is a basic style of harness that consists of two circles that go around your cat’s neck and torso and attach at the back of your cat’s neck. The Figure-8 harness is often considered the best harness for those looking to walk their cat on a harness and leash as it tightens to apply gentle pressure as your cat moves. This makes it easier for owners to keep control and means your cat is a lot less likely to be able to slip out of the harness.
These are vest style harnesses. They tend to wrap around your cat and secure at two points across the body, usually with Velcro straps, but often also with quick release buckles as well to provide additional security for your cat. This style of harness is preferred if your cat is going to be wearing it for long periods of time. The material it is made from is important as you cat could overheat in warmer months if the vest material is too heavy or not breathable.
The H-harness is similar to the figure-8 harness, but it has an additional piece of material that runs between the two loops. This makes it look like the letter H when you look at your cat from the side. The H-harness helps to distribute pressure more evenly across your cat’s body if they pull. This helps to prevent injuries to your cat’s neck, particularly if they are young or prone to tugging on the leash.
Buying a harness for your cat is not just about the type of harness you need, it is also about the material used, how easy it is to put on, and the safety features that are included. Here we look at these and other things you should look out for in a cat harness.
This is especially important if you are taking your cat hiking or walking through environments where they could get muddy. If the harness cannot be washed, then it is likely to become uncomfortable for your cat to wear and could potentially become a breeding ground for bacteria. A machine washable harness will be easier to wash and is likely to dry quicker than one that needs to be hand washed.
It may take a while for your cat to acclimatize to wearing a harness, so one that is simple to put on is essential. It is also likely to cause less stress to your cat.
Look for safety features including quick release buckles and strong D-ring attachment points for the leash. If the leash is not included, then check that the leash you buy is suitable for use with the harness. The best cat leashes are designed to the same high standard and often include elastic – like a bungee leash rope, to provide some ‘give’ when your cat gets to the end of the leash length. Check that the harness distributes pressure evenly across the body and does not pull on or restrict their neck or throat.
You want your cat harness to be effective and long lasting. Check aspects such as the stitching around the D-rings and closure points. Also look for good finishing on the edges of the harness, if these begin to fray your cat could easily get caught in the loose threads or get them caught on things while you are out walking.
It is crucial that you purchase the right size for your cat. If it is too small it could restrict their breathing and movement, too big and they could easily slip out of the harness or become tangled in it. The best cat harnesses are also adjustable so that they can be fitted exactly to the shape and size of the individual cat.
The last thing you want is your cat overheating while they are wearing their harness. Unless you are in a cold climate or using the harness during the winter months, it is important to avoid heavy materials. If using a vest style harness, then check that the material is breathable and includes padding to make it more comfortable. Nylon and cotton are both popular choices for harnesses, however for vest harnesses cotton is more likely to be comfortable and provide breathability.
To avoid your cat slipping out of the harness you need to ensure that it does up securely. Most close with either Velcro or clip buckles, or a combination of both. Velcro strap should be wide enough not to dig into your cat and buckles should have a quick release feature, just in case you need to remove the harness quickly.
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Once you have found the perfect harness and leash, the next step is to get your cat used to it and this is a process that in most cases takes time. Start by introducing your cat to the harness by leaving it with their other toys and accessories. Being curious by nature, it should not take long for your cat to start investigating the harness. You can familiarize you cat with the harness by rubbing it on their kitty bed or blanket to place their smell on it and make it seem more familiar.
The next step is to place treats near the harness to they begin to associate it with positive rewards. At this stage you can put the harness on your cat remembering lots of praise and treat. If they become stressed at any point stop, you don’t want them to associate it with negative experiences.
Once you have managed to get the harness on the cat, let them wear it indoors to become accustomed to the feel of it. This is a good chance to check its fit and how your cat moves when wearing it. Do this for a few days, it also gives you the opportunity to practice putting it on and taking it off.
Next, attach the leash and practice walking with your cat indoors. Start by being led by your cat before you take control of the direction of movement. Again, it is important to associate wearing the harness and leash with something positive, so plenty of praise and treats.
Now you are ready to go outdoors. Start small and in familiar surroundings, especially if your cat is new to going outside. Build up the amount of time you are out slowly and introduce new experiences over that time. Always double check the fit before your head out and check the harness for signs of wear when you return.
A: A cat harness is a piece of equipment that consists of straps and webbing that fit around a cat’s body, specifically their neck and back, and connect to a leash. There are two main types of harnesses: a vest style and a classic 'H' style. The former one fits around a cat’s chest much like a vest does on a human, only it clips on the back. The H shape harness, on the other hand, consists of several straps that go around the animal’s waist and neck, helping distribute pressure evenly. Both styles have the same purpose and work in a very similar way: they keep your cat safe and secure when walking and participating in outdoor activities by comfortably restraining them.
Unlike dogs, who are stronger and more muscular than cats, our feline companions cannot be walked with a collar and leash combo as this puts too much pressure on their soft throats. That’s why a proper pet harness is a must-have for cat owners.
A: Like all animals, cats love walking and exploring the great outdoors. And while physical activity is great for your cat’s physical health, it’s also vital for their mental wellbeing, especially if they otherwise lead a sedentary lifestyle. Outdoor exploration is fun and relaxing at the same time, and can help lower your kitty’s stress levels and boost their self-esteem. Unfortunately, there are many potential dangers for cats in the great outdoors – dogs, other cats and cars, just to name a few. To provide your kitty with the outdoor fun they crave but keep them safe and sound at the same time, it’s necessary to walk them on a leash. A well-fitting harness, a secure leash and some practice are all it takes to teach a cat to walk on a leash. A quality harness is particularly important as it allows you to attach the leash to your cat’s body in a comfortable way – without putting pressure on their neck and throat.
If you and your pet are complete beginners to leash walking, start with baby steps.
A: The key is to take your time and to ensure your cat is familiar and comfortable around the harness before you try to put it on them. Different styles of harness need to be fitted to your cat differently, so always check the manufacturers guidance before trying to fit the harness. Style aside, there are some elements that are important to remember for every at harness, including:
A: The most important thing to remember about cat harnesses is that it should not put any pressure on their neck or throat. This means that quality is more important that style. However, the specific style you should go for depends on the nature of your cat and the intended use of the harness.
If you are looking to walk with your cat regularly, then experts generally agree that a figure-8 harness is the safest. This is because it gives you more control if your cat pulls. When this happens this style of harness tightens slightly, ensuring they cannot slip out of the harness without choking your cat.
It is also important to look at the safety features of the harness. Those that are safest tend to have secure clip lock buckles to keep the harness in place and are adjustable to meet the needs of your cat.
A: If the harness is too tight your cat will be uncomfortable, and their breathing and movement may be affected. To check the harness is fitted correctly place two fingers between the harness and your cat’s body. If you can slide your fingers between them, then the fit is correct. If your fingers are stuck or squashed, then the harness is too tight. Similarly, if you can move your fingers too easily, or there is room for more of your hand, then the harness is too loose, and you risk your cat slipping out.
By choosing the best cat harness from our list and following our detailed buying guide you can be assured that you will find a harness that your cat will grow to love. They gain additional freedom and stimulation, while you get peace of mind knowing they are safe and secure.
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