What Is A Cat Harness?

Disclaimer: The information presented below is for general informational & educational purposes only. Always consult with animal professionals in case of specific concerns.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what exactly a cat harness is, the different types available, important fit and safety considerations, as well as tips for getting your cat used to wearing one

Have you considered getting a cat harness but aren’t quite sure what it is or how it works? You’re not alone – cat harnesses are a relatively new product for many cat owners. While dogs have been wearing harnesses for activities like walking for years, the concept of a cat harness is still unfamiliar to some. In this post, we’ll explore what a cat harness is, the benefits of using one, and some tips for getting your cat acclimated to wearing one. By the end, you’ll have a solid understanding of this useful cat product and can decide if incorporating a harness into your kitty’s life is a good choice. Let’s get started with exploring just what exactly a cat harness is.

What Is A Cat Harness?

A cat harness is a secured and fitted device which wraps around a cat’s body. It is typically used in conjunction with a leash, facilitating safer outdoor adventures and trips to the vet. A harness provides a cat owner with control without risking harm to the pet’s delicate neck area, as might occur with a traditional cat collar. The design and materials used in cat harnesses vary, with some offering additional padding for comfort, adjustable straps for a custom fit, and various attachment points for leashes.

Why Should I Use A Cat Harness Instead Of A Leash?

Using a cat harness instead of a leash provides several advantages, particularly when it comes to the safety and comfort of your cat. Here are some reasons why a cat harness is a preferred choice:

  • Safety: Cat harnesses are designed to distribute pressure evenly around the body, minimizing the risk of injury. Unlike collars, which put pressure on the neck, a harness reduces the likelihood of your pet choking or developing neck injuries.
  • Control: Harnesses give you effective control over your cat without causing discomfort or harm. This can be useful in situations where your cat may be prone to running off or getting into unsafe situations.
  • Comfort: Many cat harnesses are made with soft, lightweight materials and offer additional padding. This design ensures that your cat remains comfortable, even while wearing the harness for extended periods. 
  • Prevention of Escapes: Cats are known for their nimbleness and agility, which sometimes lead to successful escapes from traditional collars. A well-fitted harness makes it much more difficult for a cat to slip free and escape. 
  • Training: A harness can be a useful tool when training a cat. It allows the cat to get used to the feeling of restraint gradually, easing the transition to walking on a leash.

How Do I Choose The Right Size Cat Harness For My Cat?

Choosing the right size of a cat harness for your pet is crucial to ensure a secure fit and maximum comfort. Here are some steps you can follow:

  • Measure Your Cat: Use a soft measuring tape to measure your cat’s neck, chest, and length similar to measure cat clothes (from the base of the neck to the base of the tail). Always ensure your cat is standing during these measurements.
  • Check The Size Chart: Different brands have different sizing, so always refer to the specific size chart provided by the manufacturer. Compare your cat’s measurements to the size chart to select the appropriate size.
  • Adjust The Fit: Most cat harnesses come with adjustable straps. Once you’ve put the harness on your cat, make sure to adjust these straps for a snug, but comfortable fit. You should be able to fit two fingers between the harness and your cat’s body.
  • Do The Escape Test: Once the harness is on and adjusted, monitor your cat’s movement. If the cat can easily escape from the harness, it might be too big.
  • Consider Your Cat’s Growth: If your cat is still growing, consider getting a size that will accommodate future growth. But remember, a harness that is too big can be as problematic as one that is too small.

Remember that the comfort and safety of your cat are paramount, so take the time to choose a harness that is just right for them.

How Do I Train My Cat To Use A Harness?

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Training your cat to use a harness can be a gradual process and requires patience. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Introduce the Harness: Start by allowing your cat to get familiar with the harness. Lay it near their favorite spot or where they usually spend their time. This helps to create a positive association with the harness.

Desensitize Your Cat: After a few days, start touching your cat with the harness gently. This would allow the cat to get used to the feel of the harness on their body. 

Putting the Harness On: Once your cat seems comfortable, try putting the harness on them, but don’t fasten it yet. Give them treats and praises to create a positive experience. 

Fasten the Harness: When your cat seems ready, fasten the harness. Make sure it is not too tight or too loose. You should be able to fit two fingers between the harness and your cat’s body. 

Short Indoor Sessions: Gradually increase the time your cat spends in the harness indoors. Start with short periods, then slowly extend the duration. 

Introduce the Leash: Once your cat is comfortable with the harness, attach the leash. Let them drag it around under your supervision to get used to it. 

Guided Walks Indoors: Start guiding your cat around the house while they’re in the harness. Use treats to encourage and reward them.

Venturing Outside: When your cat appears comfortable with the harness and leash indoors, it’s time to try going outside. Start with a quiet, enclosed space, and keep initial sessions short. 

Gradual Expansion: Gradually increase the size of the outdoor area and the duration of the sessions. Always keep the outings safe, controlled, and positive. 

Patience and Positive Reinforcement: Remember, training a cat to use a harness requires patience. Always use positive reinforcement, like cat treats and praises, to make the experience enjoyable for your cat.

What Materials Are The Best For Cat Harnesses?

When considering the best materials for cat harnesses, durability, comfort, and safety are paramount. Nylon is a popular choice due to its strength and longevity. This lightweight fabric resists wear and tear, ensuring that the harness can withstand your cat’s outdoor adventures. Another common material is mesh. Breathable and lightweight, mesh harnesses allow for excellent air circulation, keeping your cat cool and comfortable. For added comfort, especially for longer use, harnesses with padding could be beneficial. The padding is often made from soft materials like cotton or neoprene, offering an extra layer of cushioning. Moreover, look for harnesses with metal D-rings for leash attachments, as they are often stronger and more durable than their plastic counterparts. Remember, the best material for your cat harness ultimately depends on your cat’s specific needs and preferences, and it may take some trial and error to find the perfect fit.

How Do I Properly Put On A Cat Harness?

Putting on a cat harness correctly is crucial to ensure both the safety and comfort of your feline friend. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you:

Preparation: Before you begin, make sure you are in a calm and quiet environment to help prevent any stress or anxiety for your cat. Have your harness and treats at hand for a smooth process.

Position the Harness: Lay the harness flat on the ground and identify the neck and chest loops. The neck loop is usually smaller and closer to the leash attachment. The chest loop is larger and often situated farther from the leash attachment.

Introduce the Cat to the Harness: Allow your cat to sniff the harness and get familiar with it. Reward your cat with treats to create a positive association.

Place the Harness on the Cat: Gently place your cat’s head through the neck loop. Be sure not to pull or tug the harness as it might cause discomfort or fear.

Fasten the Harness: Once the neck loop is in place, bring the chest loop around your cat’s body and fasten the buckle. The buckle is usually located on the cat’s back or side.

Adjust the Fit: Check the fit and adjust the straps as necessary. You should be able to comfortably fit two fingers between the harness and your cat’s body.

Do the Escape Test: Monitor your cat’s movement. If the cat can easily escape from the harness, it might be too big.

What Are Some Recommended Brands For Cat Harnesses?

For those considering to purchase cat harnesses, here are some recommended brands:

  • Pupteck Adjustable Cat Harness: Known for its adjustable, comfortable fit, Pupteck’s cat harness provides security without compromising on style. It’s easy to put on and take off, and comes in a variety of vibrant colors.
  • Rabbitgoo Cat Harness: Rabbitgoo harnesses are known for their durability and comfort. The breathable mesh material ensures your cat remains cool during their outdoor adventures. 
  • Kitty Holster Cat Harness: This brand offers a soft, ultra-lightweight harness that’s well-suited to cats of all sizes. It is designed for maximum comfort, and the secure Velcro fasteners ensure a snug fit.
  • Petsafe Come With Me Kitty Harness: Petsafe’s harness is designed with a unique bungee leash system that provides gentle guidance without putting undue pressure on your cat’s throat.

Read more: What is Cat Grass?


In conclusion, a cat harness is a valuable tool for any cat owner looking to enhance their feline’s outdoor experience. We have discussed the various benefits of using a harness, such as keeping your cat safe and improving their overall well-being. By following proper training techniques and selecting the right type of harness for your cat, you can enjoy endless adventures together without any worry or fear. Remember to always prioritize your cat’s comfort and safety above all else. As we continue to learn more about feline behavior and needs, it is important for us to adapt and provide them with enriching experiences, and a cat harness is just one small step towards that goal.