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Using a cat harness can be a safe and enriching way to take your cat on outdoor adventures. Once leash-trained, a cat can benefit from exploring new sights, smells, and terrains. Some owners also prefer using a harness for traveling with their cat rather than carrying the cat inside a carrier.
Before buying a cat harness, you may want to take the following into consideration:
- Fit: The sizing for a harness is more contingent on a cat’s girth rather than their weight. So measuring your cat across the chest, as well as around their body behind the front legs will help you determine the correct size. Ideally, a harness should be snug but not too tight. Keep in mind that some harnesses are adjustable.
- Style: If your cat is an escape artist, then you may want to consider a vest-style harness that will be harder to wiggle out of than a lead-style harness.
- Comfort: Pay attention to what kind of fabric the harness is made of. You’ll want to choose a harness that is lightweight and comfortable.
Be aware that wearing a harness isn’t for every cat, and it may take some patience and practice for both you and your cat to become comfortable with it. Here are a few tips for training your cat to wear a harness and walk on a leash:
- Introduce your cat to the harness slowly and utilize treats to create positive associations. It may take days or even weeks before your cat warms up to the idea of wearing one.
- Practice walking around on the leash indoors before attempting to go outside. Once outdoors, choose a secure and close-by place (like your backyard) to start outside training.
- Pay attention to your cat. Wearing a harness and walking on a leash should be an enjoyable experience, so you don’t want to push your cat too far out of his comfort zone too soon.
With that said, take a look below at our picks for the four best cat harnesses you can buy.
The open design and comfy straps of this PetSafe harness provide cats with more mobility since less of their body is constrained than it might be in a vest-style harness. This product also comes with a short bungee leash that allows you to gently control your pet while on walks.
Why we like it:
- Three points of adjustment for a soft, comfortable fit
- Lightweight nylon material that takes pressure off of a cat’s neck
- A bungee cord-style leash that allows some “give” when pulled
- Six vibrant color options
Most helpful review: “I looked at several harnesses before deciding on this one, and I really like it! My cat got used to it pretty quickly. She does not like having it put on, but once it’s on, she’s fine. It does not seem to restrict her movement at all, and she has never figured out how to get out of it.”Buy Now on Chewy for $14.95
When choosing a harness for your cat to wear while traveling, comfort is key. Whether you’re planning to take your cat on a long plane or car journey, this vest-style Kitty Holster cat harness is soft, breathable, and comfortable to wear for long stretches of time. Some reviewers also mention that this harness is virtually escape-proof.
Why we like it:
- Machine-washable, 100% cotton
- Velcro straps that help ensure a perfect fit
- Undyed lining to help prevent skin irritation
Most helpful review: “Both of my cats wore this harness as we traveled across the country—twice in one year! This harness excels over others I have used as others with straps across the chest cause my cats to stick their paws into them to try to pry off, and end up getting stuck in them. This style and fit allows for comfort and security with it being positioned higher up on the cats. For our 21-hour plus car rides, these harnesses never caused discomfort, they never got stuck in them, and they always maintained flexibility. Highly recommended!”Buy Now on Amazon for $24.95
Super-soft and warm, this harness comes in sizes to fit extra-large cats as well as dogs, and its Velcro straps ensure a perfect fit, no matter how your cat is shaped. According to one review, even a 30-pound cat was able to comfortably wear this harness.
Why we like it:
- Plush corduroy, suede, or faux leather fabric options
- Step-in design allows it to be put on without going over the cat’s head
- The front position of the leash clip helps reduce pulling
Most helpful review: “Better than any other harness I have tried for my large male cat. While he is not crazy about wearing it, he tolerates it to go outside. And it is super easy to get on and off, and I feel like he is secure in it and could not get out.”Buy Now on Amazon for $12.99
With extra-small sizes that can fit kittens as tiny as two pounds, this Yizhi Miaow harness is the perfect training harness for young cats. Plus, it comes in several cute designs, including pink or blue polka dots and a navy sailor-themed option.
Why we like it:
- Padded vest-style design with an included leash
- Adjustable Velcro straps for the perfect fit
- Soft and breathable mesh lining
Most helpful review: “I love this harness for my kitten. The first time I put it on him, he flopped over and pretended his legs didn’t work. However, I trained him with positive associations—every time he wore the jacket, he got to explore a place that he normally wasn’t allowed into. After a few weeks, he doesn’t notice the jacket at all and doesn’t try to get out of it or complain. It fits securely and is easy to get on and off. I also love the pattern and the lace! It is very cute on him.”Buy Now on Amazon for $12.99
With these harness options, your cat should be comfortable and secure no matter their size. And for those days when you’re too busy to take your cat outside for some fresh air, consider hiring a cat sitter to put on that perfect harness and take your feline outside to explore the world.