Owning a cat is a unique experience for any pet lover, but being able to walk your cat or even keep them close to you can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. It’s easy to find the right type of harness for the common dog, but what about your furry, feline friend?
Cats have the ability to move in several different ways, twisting and turning their bodies in every direction possible. Because of this, it’s all too easy for them to slip right out of any harness that is placed on them. Not to mention, cats move faster than the average pet. It may be a challenge just trying to get the harness on them.
Aside from the occasional acrobatics, many cats also have different temperaments, come in all shapes and sizes, or may need specialty care. These are all factors in considering if a harness is right for you and deciding the type of harness your cat should wear. It can also make it a little frightening to try to choose the best harness for your cat.
- What is a Cat Harness and How Does it Work?
- The 8 Best Cat Harnesses of 2020
- Tips to Properly Place Your Cat Harness
- How to Harness Train Your Cat?
- Keep These Things in Mind When Buying
What is a Cat Harness and How Does it Work?
A cat harness is a special accessory made of different kinds of material placed around your cat’s body. A leash can then be attached to the harness to safely and comfortably walk your cat.
While there is a part of the harness that is placed around the neck, another part is around the chest area. This ensures that, if your cat becomes scared and tries to struggle, less pressure is placed on the neck eliminating the danger of becoming strangled.
Since it’s important to focus on many aspects when buying, let’s take a look at some of the available cat harnesses.
The 8 Best Cat Harnesses of 2020
Many cat owners want to have their cats wear something that sets them apart from the rest. SCIROKKO makes a number of cat harnesses that stand out in color, but also design. While the vibrant colors help you locate your cat at all times, their harnesses are available in equally unique styles. All designs are geared towards the overall comfort of your cat.
Because of this focus, SCIROKKO ensures that the material of each harness is not only breathable but lined as well. It’s perfect for cats who love to explore the outside, even in cooler temperatures. While staying warm, the flexibility of the material allows cats to move freely as they venture out into the wide-open world.
Since many cats are also natural escape artists, SCIROKKO also adds a unique feature to many of their harnesses. A special loop is always easily accessible on each harness for your cats’ collar to be slipped through, making them safe and secure. Another added layer of protection is always a good idea when it comes to your pets’ safety in the elements.
Having a washable fabric is important for cats that may have allergies. It makes it easier to wash the harness as often as needed to rid the fabric of dirt and debris.
Vetoo is the creator of a specific cat harness that excels in many areas. Their main focus is to not only ensure the safety of your cat but to make them as comfortable as possible in the process. With the inclusion of soft, breathable materials, you and your cat can enjoy a simple walk with ease.
The soft mesh allows for air to ventilate through the harness, but also feels good against your cats’ fur. There are two buckles on the sides that are adjustable, making it easier to get a snug and secure fit around your cat. These buckles are also plastic with a smooth finish. This finish type is another added comfort for your cat to enjoy because it moves freely with their fur.
With the use of the double D-rings, there is less pressure that is being put on the neck area. Your cat can wear the harness around their neck without any discomfort.
For added safety measures, Vetoo has also created this harness with 3M reflective strips that work just as well during the day as they do at night. This makes it safer for your cat to go on any late-night walks or venture into darker areas during the day.
Blueberry Pet makes a point to provide their customers with plenty of choices when it comes to cat harnesses that have matching leashes. Each harness provides extreme comfort with the use of high-quality polyester material.
Their choice of materials also makes their cat harnesses very durable. The high-quality polyester fabric provides great protection for the skin. It is also a material type that moves freely with the fur. Some materials can snag at your cat’s hair, so choosing a smooth polyester finish is a good idea.
As a seller of “H” style harnesses, this also makes for a great starter for cats that are becoming accustomed to wearing a harness for the first time. While the coverage is not as much as vest or jacket harnesses, this open type of harness allows your cat to feel like they can move freely.
The use of D-rings in this harness type also provides support at the neck area by alleviating any pulling motion. It creates a comfortable feeling for your cat in an area that they may be very picky about.
A bell is also placed on this particular type of Blueberry Pet cat harness. In low-light or areas that are hard to visibly see your cat, a bell sound can be a good indicator. It’s small and does not distract from the overall safety of the harness.
In some instances, it may be necessary to release your cat from their harness. This can be due to an emergency of any kind. The Blueberry Pet cat harnesses are made with quick-release buckles for such an occasion. It provides a quick and easy way to remove the harness should you need to.
Rabbitgoo creates basic cat harnesses but does not skip on the safety measures. Their first focus is always on the comfort of your cat. This is proven with their choice in using snap buckles on the sides of their cat harnesses. While it makes it easy for any cat owner to be able to put the harness on and off easily, it also works as a safety device for your cat.
To ensure their harnesses fit properly, Rabbitgoo is also known for providing no less than four adjustable straps. The multiple straps make it easier to find the perfect fit for your cat. A matching sturdy leash is also provided with most of their harnesses. Placement of the leash is focused on the middle back so there is no point of straining on your cats’ part.
The leash, as well as the harness, are made of equally sturdy nylon. It has a smooth finish that will last.
Overall, this-vest-style harness by Rabbitgoo is a great addition or can work as a starter. It is more secure than many other styles and adds an extra amount of protection with it. Cats that enjoy the outdoors or simply love to run wild, are perfectly suited for this type of harness.
DCSUIT is a very prominent name in the cat harness business because of their attention to quality. Many of their cat harnesses are made for your cat to be comfortable at all times while wearing their specific harnesses. These harnesses are also created for cats that enjoy high-impact activities inside and outdoors. Climbing, running, pouncing, and even playing around with toys can all be enjoyed easily with a DCSUIT cat harness.
Aside from being a good option for agile cats, these harnesses also use extremely soft mesh fabric to allow your cat some breathing room while enjoying their daily activities. Since every cat is shaped differently, the DCSUIT cat harness mostly comes with several velcro points. This allows for a precise fit every time and makes it very secure from several points.
The velcro also works in managing cats that are beginners at wearing a harness. There’s plenty of room for adjustments. Instead of feeling like a foreign object, the soft fabric feels natural against their body. This is particularly important for older cats that have never felt a harness on their body before.
Niteangel favors the “H” style of harness for cats and ensures that flexibility is a top priority for your cat. While some harnesses use metal buckles, Niteangel has chosen to go with plastic snap buckles. This makes it easy to put the cat harness on, but also take it off without any difficulties.
The soft plastic material also glides smoothly against your cats’ fur. Not only does this feel natural to your cat, but it helps to make sure their fur does not get caught in the buckles while they are moving around.
In combination with the use of plastic buckles, the material for the harness and leash are made of soft nylon. Again, this helps to add more comfort while your cat is moving about.
Another great feature that comes with Niteangel cat harnesses is that they are made with several different sized cats in mind. Every cat’s neck size is different and with the combination of fur added in, it could be a little more or a little less in measurements. There are several adjustable points on Niteangel cat harnesses that allow for an easy fit.
Any adventurous cat owner needs a harness that can live up to the standards of the wild. Puppia is known for focusing specifically on designing harnesses for the adventurous cat. While many pet owners believe these harnesses to be solely for dogs, Puppia promotes them as cat-friendly.
Every harness comes in a wide variety of bright colors so you can keep an eye on your cat at any time. There are also several different sizes, as well as adjustable belts on each, that you can choose from. This makes choosing the perfect harness for your cat an easier process.
If you’re worried that your cat may not be as thrilled about wearing a harness as you are, Unihubys may be the answer. They are known for providing cat harnesses that are not only easy to put on, but also superior coziness. Many cats will not even know they are wearing the harness.
The polyester material is part of the generous comfort that comes from these harnesses. It’s soft, but also considered long-lasting. One important factor about this particular harness set is that there is a guarantee for the color to not fade or rub off on your cats’ fur. This is extremely important for cats that may be allergic to dyes in the fabric of harnesses and leashes.
Because of its escape-proof design, this is ideal for cat owners that actively visit the outdoors. Silver hardware provides durable support for the harness and leash connection. This is yet another added defense against your cat escaping during an outdoor adventure.
Tips to Properly Place Your Cat Harness
When you first open your newly bought harness, it can be intimidating. However, these harnesses are very easy to place on your cat with very little practice. Make sure to read the directions carefully beforehand.
It may help to give your cat a little love before placing the harness to help it relax. Make sure you are placing the neck and girth areas appropriately and not flipping the harness.
Always be sure to place the harness on your cat in your house before going outdoors. You wouldn’t want your cat to escape while attempting to place the harness.
How to Harness Train Your Cat?
It is a good idea to let your cat get used to the presence of the harness by letting them sniff and play with it for a while before trying to place it on the body. Once you’re ready to try placing it, pick a spot in the house that your cat loves to give them a comforting and familiar environment.
Cats are usually very sensitive to noises, and noises they’ve never heard before can tend to aggravate them. For this reason, it is a good idea to get your cat used to unfamiliar noises of the harness. Most harnesses are equipped with Velcro and/or snaps, so be sure to use those gently at first to allow your cat to adapt.
It is very common for cats to flop over and lay down when you place the harness. They aren’t used to the way it feels, and they should be given a bit of time to get used to it. Toys and treats may be useful to help motivate your cat to try walking around the house with the harness in place. Of course, lots of loving and encouragement will also help.
It is always best to allow them to do this inside the house before venturing outside. Once you are outside, there are many things that could distract and overstimulate your pet. Don’t be alarmed if it takes a while for your cat to become used to the idea of the harness.
When your cat seems comfortable walking around your house with the harness, you can try adding the leash. You will want to be sure to do this in a room that doesn’t have many items to catch the leash on. Some cats will need you to allow them to wander around for a bit with the leash trailing behind. For other cats, this may scare them, in which case you will want to jump right into following them around with the end of the leash in your hand.
When you both feel comfortable with this, you can begin to try controlling where your cat goes. A good way to initiate this part of the training is to very lightly tug on the leash while calling your cat to you. Of course, you will want to have treats ready. Practice this for a few days before heading outside.
When you go out the door, carry your cat. If you allow your pet to exit himself, he may become accustomed to this and attempt it more when you don’t have the harness on.
Start in your yard. This way, you aren’t far from home if your cat doesn’t take well to the first time outside with the harness and leash.
Remember that cats are much different than dogs. While dogs may enjoy wandering and exploring long distances, cats are often content to take their time and sometimes just relax in the fresh air.
Deciding if a Harness is Right for You
Not all cats will want to be outdoors for a walk. But, if your cat has shown interest in what goes on in the outside world, a harness may be a good option for you. This interest may be shown by spending time on windowsills or trying to escape often.
There are other reasons to consider a harness. If you plan to take a vacation and bring your beloved pet along, a harness can be valuable in keeping your cat safe and from running off. Being an outdoor person may also make you wish your cat could join in your adventures. You may want to consider a harness in these situations.
Keep These Things in Mind When Buying
If you still feel a little uneasy about buying a harness for your cat, here are a few extra words of encouragement to keep in mind.
Size of Your Cat
With every brand of harnesses being a little different, it is important to know the exact size of your cat. Knowing your cats’ weight may work for some harnesses, but most will go by the measure around the neck.
For vest or jacket type harnesses, it is also important to know your cat’s chest measurement. You can measure your cat’s girth measurement easily with a flexible measuring tape. If you don’t have one, they are often sold in the cloth section of most craft stores.
To get a proper girth measurement, you must measure all the way around your cat’s body behind the front legs. You should make sure that the tape measure is not twisted. It is also a good idea to add two to three inches to that measurement to give your cat a more comfortable fit. While you don’t want the harness to be too loose, it should not squeeze your cat’s body too tightly. If you can’t fit a couple of fingers between the harness and body, it is too tight.
Take these measurements before you start shopping around to make the buying experience faster and easier.
It should be noted that harness sizes are often different depending on the brand you purchase. A medium size for one brand may not function exactly like a medium of a different brand.
While no harness is 100 percent escape-proof, buying the correct size will help this become less likely. Ensuring a proper fit is essential. It is also beneficial to remember the pros and cons of the harnesses listed above, as some of them are better in this area than others.
You might be wondering how hair types can affect your choosing the right type of harness, but it is considered a key point to keep in mind when shopping around. If you have a short hair cat, you do not need to worry so much about this specific factor. However, if you are the owner of a long-haired cat, this point is crucial.
Longer hair types can have not-so-great outcomes if the right harness is not chosen. Longer hair can become stuck to velcro strips, caught in buckles, or even cause a harness to be too tight around the neck. There are even some types of materials that can actually grab hair, making it a very uncomfortable experience for your cat.
Harnesses that use mesh materials and soft polyesters are the better choices for long-haired cats. It allows for air to flow through their hair but also keeps the hair from getting caught on the material itself.
Type of Materials Used
As stated with hair types, the materials you choose can be just as important as any other factor. Some cats may have allergies to certain materials and need something that is classified as “allergen-free”. Then there are other cats that may suffer from skin conditions. In this case, you would choose the harnesses that are classified as “skin-friendly”.
For the overall comfort of your cat, soft nylon and polyester harnesses are best. They provide enough coverage, but also have a smooth finish. This makes them ideal for being easy on your cats’ hair and skin.
There also tends to be a bit more stretch in polyester materials. This is particularly good for cats that are more active daily.
Many harnesses use only plastic buckles and adjusters on the harness as well as the attached leash. When you are just starting with a cat harness, this might be the best place to start. Your main focus will be on getting your cat accustomed to actually wearing a particular harness style. Plastic buckles make it easy with quick-release mechanisms.
Plastic buckles are also good for cats that may be picky about certain hardware rubbing against their skin. The plastic is smooth and glides along with the fur easier than any other material. Most plastic buckles are also a neutral color, which makes them less distracting. This means your cat will be less likely to play around with the idea of getting those buckles unhooked.
Heavier buckles that are made of out metal are better for larger cats or cats that are already accustomed to wearing a harness. Because of the weight of these types of buckles, your cat may notice that they are actually wearing the harness and not exactly enjoy the idea.
On the other hand, larger cats require stronger materials to keep them from escaping their harnesses. Metal hardware is often a good idea for providing the durability that is needed. Always be sure to check the weight of the metal and make sure that the metal is guaranteed to be rust-proof.
The reflectiveness of a harness is something that many may not take into consideration. If you are an active cat owner and plan on walking your cat at night, it is very important to consider a reflective harness. There are several levels of reflectiveness to choose from and each brand is guaranteed to be different.
If you know how often you plan on taking your cat out for a late-night stroll, consider harnesses that provide maximum reflectiveness.
The color that you choose for a harness is just as important as the safety features. To go along with the reflectiveness of a harness, you might also want to consider bright colors such as green or yellow. This is another way in which your cat can stand out, but also help you keep track of them easily at night.
Even the most expensive harness in the world is not guaranteed to fit your cat. There are a number of reasons for this. Keep in mind that every cat, no matter the breed, is going to be different. Some cats are naturally petite, while other cats are bulky and muscular.
Some cats prefer to stay constantly active while others may be perfectly content playing the role of a lap cat. Know the type of cat you are buying a harness for. Be aware of the movements they will make while wearing the harness and the size of the harness that needs to fit their particular frame. While these are small acknowledgments, they can make or break the outcome of your cat being able to wear a harness comfortably.
As you have probably heard, cats require a special kind of owner. This is because when it comes to having a cat as a pet, you must have patience. It is possible for your cat to wear a harness, but keeping a positive mindset is the only way it can be accomplished. Take the time to shop around for the best harness so you and your cat can gain the benefits together.