Walking Your Cat : The Best Cat Harnesses For The Job
Contents of Article
- Walking Your Cat
- What is the Best Cat Harness?
- How To Leash Train a Cat
- Why Walk Your Cat Anyway? 4 Reasons To Take a Stroll
- And it’s not all about taking your cat out for walks!
- Choosing the Right Harness for Your Cat
- Types of Harnesses Available
- The Top 5 Best Harnesses for Cats
Walking Your Cat
Whether your cat is exploring the forest or taking a car ride to the groomer, harnesses allow your cat to safely experience the world.
While a great harness keeps your cat safe, an inferior one will either leave them miserably uncomfortable or allow them to escape. You want to be sure that the harness fits your cat well, allowing room to breathe and move, but is also fitted enough to provide security and safety. That’s why it’s so important to choose a great harness that’s well matched to your cat’s temperament and lifestyle.
We’ve compiled a list of the best cat harnesses to help make your search easier so you can get out into the world and explore with your furry friend!
What is the Best Cat Harness?
How To Leash Train a Cat
It can take a few tries to find the perfect harness. Until your cat has worn the harness, it’s impossible to know exactly how effective it is.
Make sure to test out the harness indoors before taking your cat outside.
If your cat’s never worn a harness before, it’s best to let them gradually acclimate to it. Here’s how:
- Introduce the harness to your cat’s environment by placing it beside their food bowl while they eat.
- If the harness features hook and loop closures, open and close them to get your cat used to the noise.
- Once they’re aware of its presence, gently drape the harness over your cat and give them a treat. Your cat’s favorite treats are the key to establishing positive associations with the harness.
- Repeat this several times each day.
- After a few days, begin to fasten the new harness for a few minutes at a time, always rewarding with treats.
If your cat appears uncomfortable or frustrated, take the harness off and take a break. With enough patience (and treats!), your cat should become accustomed to wearing the harness, and you’ll be ready to venture outside the house with your cat at your side.
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Why Walk Your Cat Anyway? 4 Reasons To Take a Stroll
If you’re looking to enrich your cat’s life through outdoor adventures in the backyard, on the sidewalk, or in the forest, a harness gives you the freedom to take your cat outside safely.
The benefits of taking your cat outside with a harness and leash are numerous.
Walking is a great form of exercise that helps your cat to stay slim and fit. Exercise promotes better overall health and continued vitality as your cat ages.
2. An increased cat-human bond
Anyone who regularly goes for walks with their cat will probably tell you that the experience has brought their relationship to a new level. Exploration is a cooperative effort: you’ll learn to listen to your cat’s cues, discover what they’re interested in, and through training, your cat will become more attuned to the way that you communicate.
3. Mental stimulation
Cats love being outside, surrounded by the sights, sounds, smells, and the touchable wonder of the natural world. When your cat has the opportunity to scratch on real bark, feel the breeze running through their whiskers, and watch real birds without the barrier of a window, they’ll get more mental stimulation. This means that they’ll be sharper and less bored.
4. Reduced stress
Another benefit of walking your cat is stress relief – it’s another facet of the last point about mental stimulation. An active lifestyle in general helps your cat to release energy and chill out. For cats with stress issues like shyness, anxiety, and aggression, time spent outside is invaluable.
And it’s not all about taking your cat out for walks!
If you’re traveling with your cat or headed to a veterinarian appointment, a harness will help to keep your cat under control. If you have a cat who tends to disappear as soon as you let them out of the carrier at the vet’s office, a harness can help to cut back on time spent chasing them out of hiding.
Cats have extremely delicate tracheas, so attempting to control your cat with a collar and leash is a recipe for disaster. Besides the danger factor of using a collar to control your cat by the neck, it’s easy for cats to slip out of a collar. Harnesses distribute pressure evenly across your cat’s body and are more difficult for them to escape.
Your cat’s harness is one of the most dynamic pieces of feline gear you’ll own: the quality of the harness can make or break any outing. That’s why it’s so important to choose the perfect harness – one that’s durable, secure, and comfortable for your cat.
Let’s break this down and make the quest for the best cat harness as simple as possible by detailing the qualities of a great harness choice, going over the different types of cat harnesses available, and then listing the top 5 best cat harnesses available today.
Choosing the Right Harness for Your Cat
Regardless of which type of harness you choose, there are a few key considerations to think about when selecting a harness for your cat.
Will it fit?
The most important factor in choosing a harness is fit.
It’s important to look closely at the manufacturer’s sizing guides and measure your cat carefully to ensure that the harness fits perfectly. An ill-fitting harness will be both uncomfortable and easy for your cat to from. Ideally, the harness should be snug without squeezing your cat – you should be able to fit two fingers between the harness and your cat’s body.
Is it well-made?
Longevity is a critical consideration when choosing a cat harness. Any harness that has a reputation for falling apart after a few uses should be immediately disqualified. In the following list of the top five best harnesses, we’ve already weeded out any harnesses that don’t pass this test.
Is it comfortable?
Most cat harnesses are made from either cotton cloth or nylon webbing, both of which are soft materials that aren’t intrinsically uncomfortable for your cat – but it’s important to recognize that cats are sensitive creatures. Some might be bothered by narrow straps that pinch or squeeze. On the other hand, bulky harnesses can also be uncomfortable. We’re looking for a harness that distributes pressure evenly across your cat’s body for a gentle, comfy fit.
Does the harness suit your cat’s needs?
When shopping for the best cat harness, think about your cat’s personality and lifestyle. Feline Houdinis will demand more secure harnesses, while seasoned outdoor explorers may want greater mobility and breathability. In the next section on the different types of harnesses available, we’ll go over which styles are best for different types of cats and activities.
Types of Harnesses Available
For cats who need extra security while going for walks
For maximum security when walking your cat, look into a vest-style harness. Also known as walking jackets, these harnesses are styled like a piece of clothing. These harnesses maximize surface area to make them ultra-secure. Wide straps minimize pinch points to make them comfortable for your cat. If you’re not sure how your cat will respond to journeying beyond the confines of the house, a vest-style harness offers optimum security. They tend to be pretty heavy, though, and if you’ve been going outside with your cat for a while or just want to take your cat from one indoor setting to the next, a vest style harness might be too bulky.
These harnesses are typically secured with hook and loop closures. Some cats might be scared when they hear the ripping sound of these closures. Another drawback of these closures is specific to long-haired cats – it can be tricky to keep all of that fur out of the hooks and loops.
For cats who need maximum mobility
Step-in harnesses are designed for ease of use, with two arm holes that your cat slips into before the harness is fastened. These harnesses are ideal for cats who don’t like things being slipped over their heads. While they’re a less secure option than vest-style harnesses, thanks to their wider necks, larger arm holes, and lower surface area, they offer greater mobility for your cat. If you’ve been taking your cat outside for outdoor adventures for a while, mobility and lightweightness may be top priorities. In this case, step-in harnesses can be a great choice.
Best for calm, confident cats in low-risk situations
Stripped down to the basics, these harnesses come in a simple H-shape that wraps around your cat’s body in front of and behind their front legs and and buckles in two places. With this harness, you compromise security in exchange for a more lightweight harness. At the same time, the narrow straps of the H-style harness can pinch or press on your cat. These harnesses tend to be very affordably priced and can make a good choice for docile cats or those who will only use the harness in low-risk settings.
Figure 8 harnesses
A harness that tightens slightly when your cat lunges forward, best for low-risk situations
This type of harness is made from a continuous length of webbing that describes a figure 8 shape. A figure 8 harness gently squeezes your cat every time that the leash is pulled. Both because of this squeezing action and because the narrow straps can be irritating for sensitive cats, this isn’t the most comfortable type of harness. Despite the squeezing action, the figure 8 is an easy harness for your cat to escape from. Nevertheless, some cats don’t mind wearing these lightweight harnesses and the style is acceptable for calm, seasoned outdoor explorers or cats who are only going into low-risk situations where security is not paramount.
The Top 5 Best Harnesses for Cats
A great cat harness combines security, comfort, and durability. It’s a tricky combination to attain. Few harnesses check all of the boxes at once.
Each of the products on the following list of the top five best cat harnesses are well-loved by cat guardians, feature quality construction, take comfort into consideration, and are known for their longevity. From the ultra-secure to the lightweight, this list includes a variety of different styles to suit varying feline preferences and lifestyles.
Kitty Holster Cat Harness Review
If you’re looking for a secure harness that’s almost impossible for your cat to wriggle out of, check out the Kitty Holster. This vest-style cat harness is designed with extra wide cloth straps that hold your cat securely and comfortably. It fastens with Velcro closures, making it both easy to put on your cat and difficult for them to escape from. – Buy It
- This soft harness is made with 100% breathable cotton and features an undyed lining, making it perfect for cats with allergies
- The wide straps make it difficult for cats to escape – one of the most secure harnesses available
- Machine washable
- Great for cats who don’t like to have harnesses slipped over their heads – just attach the Velcro closures and go
- Some cats are frightened by the noise of the hook and loop closures
- The full-torso jacket design of the harness may bother some cats
Puppia RiteFit Soft Dog Harness Review
Although it’s intended for use by dogs, this soft mesh step-in harness has a fit and design that works well for cats. Extremely popular among outdoor cat walkers, this lightweight harness offers a winning combination of soft, lightweight mesh construction, adjustability, and moderate security. The neck closure features both hook and loop closure and two quick release buckles for added security. – Buy It
- Perfect for cats who don’t like harnesses that slide over their heads
- Highly adjustable
- Soft, breathable mesh construction makes it perfect for all weather
- Distributes pressure across your cat’s chest with minimal pressure points
- Not the most secure option for cats who might bolt away
- Not designed for cats and may be too bulky around the neck
- Uses a hook and loop closure, which could frighten some cats
Best Pet Supplies Voyager All Season Pet Harness Review
Another step-in harness, this lightweight piece is made with soft mesh for maximum comfort and breathability. With limited adjustability, however, this harness is best for cats who are either very experienced walking outdoors or who will only be wearing the harness in low-risk situations. For cats under 10 lbs opt for the X-Small. For 10-20 lb cats you’ll need to bump up a size to the Small. – Buy It
- The body of the harness features wide straps that won’t put uncomfortable pressure on your cat’s body
- Lightweight and breathable, making it perfect for all seasons
- Ideal for cats who hate having garments slipped over their heads
- The hook and loop closure could be frightening for some cats
- Limited adjustability combined with wide neck and arm openings make this harness a poor choice for cats who need extra security
PetSafe Come With Me Kitty Harness & Bungee Cat Leash Review
Designed specifically with cats in mind, this lightweight nylon webbing harness is highly adjustable and comes with a bungee leash that “gives” when your cat reaches the end of the leash, minimizing the risk of your cat escaping. The ⅜” webbing straps are designed to feel soft and comfortable for your cat. Although this harness fits snugly, it’s not the most secure choice. It’s an unobtrusive harness that is a great fit for low-risk situations like going to the veterinarian and indoor training. It’s not recommended for escape artist kitties or cats who are heading into high-risk areas. – Buy It
- Perfect for cats who need a lightweight harness
- Comes with a bungee leash for gentle leading
- Dual adjustability for a perfect fit – plus it’s designed just for cats
- Great for short trips
- Some cats don’t like the feeling of narrow webbing straps
- Not for escape artist cats; this isn’t the most secure harness
LupinePet Originals H-style Harness for Small Pets Review
If you prefer the basic H-style harness, this is a durable, high-quality, and beautiful choice. The harness features two custom-designed side-release buckles on the adjustable straps for an easy-to-use and well-fitting harness that elegantly combines form and function. Made in the USA and available in a variety of appealing prints, this LupinePet harness is well-suited for calm cats who don’t need extra security to keep them safely in the harness. – Buy It
- Made from high-quality jacquard woven nylon webbing
- Available in a range of colors and patterns
- Matching leashes are available
- Perfect for cats who need a lightweight harness for short trips
- Machine washable
- Some cats don’t like the feeling of narrow webbing straps
- Not for escape artist cats; this isn’t the most secure harness