While it might not be something you’ve considered before, been taken for a walk by your cat is a great way to spend quality time with your favorite feline. We looked at the best cat harness options currently available on the market and gave them a bit of a test run.
Of the cat harnesses reviewed, we chose the PetSafe Come with Me Kitty Harness and Bungee Leash for our boys. That’s not to say the other five harnesses on our list aren’t excellent choices for you, it’s just that this particular one suited Oscar and Joey’s Houdini tendencies.
The Benefits of a Cat Harness
Let’s be honest, the idea of your cat on a leash conjures up a lot of images, and most probably look like this.
Rather than this.
But there are loads of benefits to getting your cat used to a harness and leash.
Exploring the great outdoors
A leash-trained kitty has the opportunity to experience the great outdoors, safely. He’ll love discovering all the new sights, sounds and smells.
Getting regular exercise
Once your indoor cat is comfortable using a harness, it’s a great way to get him walking regularly.
Convenient and safe
Transporting a cat is so much easier when he’s leash trained, whether it’s a quick visit to the vet or a weekend getaway.
When done correctly, training your cat to walk with a harness is an excellent way for the two of you to bond.
Types of Cat Harnesses
Ready to give it a go? Before you rush out and buy the first kitty harness you see, it’s best to find out as much as you can about the different types. It’s definitely not a one size fits all, so let’s take a look at the various options.
Also called a walking jacket, the vest style cat harness offers maximum security for your cat and peace of mind for you. These are a popular choice because they cover a wider surface area and there are fewer pinch points. But they tend to be a little heavier than the other styles, so might not be suitable for long walks or small and senior ‘catizens.’
As the name suggests, this type of harness is designed for your cat to step into. Although they don’t offer the same security as a vest harness, they are more lightweight and allow for more movement. Also, if your cat doesn’t like wearing a jacket or having things slipped over his head, it’s worth considering a step-in styled harness.
Considered a fairly basic design, the H-style harness wraps around the front of your cat’s body and behind his front legs, with buckles in two places. It isn’t as secure as the vest or step-in options, but it’s ideal for older cats, cats that are already comfortable on a leash and when you’re in what we call low-risk settings.
Figure 8 harness
The figure 8 harness is somewhat of a hybrid, combining features from the vest, step in and h-style harness. Because it’s designed to tighten when the leash pulls, we wouldn’t recommend this for sensitive cats or cats that get stressed quickly.
Escape Proof Cat Harness
There are several cat leashes and harnesses available that are escape-proof. If your cat has made it his life’s mission to squeeze, squirm or wriggle his way out of the other types of harnesses, then you should look at getting one of these.
The Best Harness for Cats: Your Ultimate Buying Guide
Right, so now you know what type of cat harnesses are available, it’s time to consider things like weight, material, durability, fit, and the type of fasteners. These are just some of the features you need to consider when buying a cat harness for walking.
Make sure the harness you choose is the right weight for your cat. Something too heavy will tire him out quickly and limit his exercise time.
Cat harnesses are made from different types of material. To keep your cat cool, we suggest a mesh one for breathability. In colder months you can always go for one with a warmer lining or one made from leather.
Before buying a harness, make sure you know how big (or small) your cat is. You can get extra small sizes for kittens, and there are even large cat harness options available for cats that weigh more than 18 pounds.
With sizing in mind, you should also consider the fit. While you don’t want it too loose that your cat wriggles out of it, you also don’t want it so tight that it restricts his movement.
If you have a young cat that is still growing, you may want to consider an easily adjustable harness. A lot of the H-style and figure 8 harnesses offer the most adjustability.
No one knows your cat as well as you, so keep that in mind when deciding on a harness. Would yours be happy wearing a cat harness vest or would he prefer an H-style harness? If he’s calm and comfortable in new environments, then a figure 8 harness would be fine. Is his fur getting stuck in the clip? Maybe the noise of the velcro fastening scares him? Whatever it is, finding the right kitty harness might take some trial and error, but don’t despair, you’ll get there.
You definitely want to get a harness and leash that’s going to last a long time. How it’s made and what it’s made of will be important, as is where you plan on using it. For example, if you do a lot of walking through woods and bushy areas, a mesh harness is more likely to catch on things and get damaged.
The different fastening mechanisms
Another important feature to consider is how the harness fastens or buckles. Some open and close with velcro, while others use a combination of velcro and clips. There are even a few that close with the simple pull of a string. The one you decide on will depend on your (and your cat’s) personal preferences.
Does it come with a leash
You can buy a harness and leash separately, or you can get a cat leash harness set. While this doesn’t make a difference to how well the product works, it will save you time and money finding one that’s compatible.
The less stress outdoors means better quality time spent with your cat, so make sure the harness you choose has the necessary safety features for your needs. If you walk your cat later in the evenings, for example, you’ll want to make sure the harness you choose has a reflective strip.
Easy to Clean
Getting down and dirty is part of the fun when you’re outside, so we recommend getting a cat harness that’s easy to clean. Machine washable ones are always good in our opinion as well as waterproof options that just need a wipe down after use.
The Best Harness for Cats Reviewed by Joey and Oscar
It’s time to get down to business with our reviews. We’ve featured our top 6 here, but there are loads more out there.
PetSafe Come with Me Kitty Harness and Bungee Leash
Our Top Rated Cat Walking Harness
The PetSafe Come with Me Kitty Harness and Bungee Leash took us by surprise, to be completely honest. We really didn’t think the H-shaped style harness would be the best choice for Oscar and Joey, but it worked amazingly well.
It’s available in three sizes, including small, medium, and large and comes in a variety of colors for the fashion-conscious cat and his owner. There are two adjustment points on the cat leash harness set, allowing you to get it fitting easily and quickly and it’s incredibly comfortable because there’s no pressure on your cat’s neck.
While we haven’t used it long enough to comment on its durability, we like that the D-ring attachment is made of metal and that there is double stitching throughout. Keeping the Come with Me harness and kitty leash clean is a cinch, with us tossing it in the washing machine and tumble dryer when necessary.
A real bonus (and probably the determining factor for us) is the stretchy bungee cat leash Amazon is currently selling. Rather than your cat getting pulled back unexpectedly, this type of leash has a little more ‘give,’ reducing unnecessary stress or injuries. Gentle enough to leash train your kitten, but sturdy enough to keep him safe once outdoors, the Come with Me Kitty harness and bungee leash is a great choice.
GAUTERF Dog and Cat Universal Harness with Leash Set
The Best Cat Leash and Harness Set
If you’re looking for a lightweight vest style harness, that offers comfort and breathability, then the GAUTERF Cat Universal Harness with Leash Set is your best bet. It’s available in six sizes, including xx-small, x-small, small, medium, large and x-large, and you can choose mesh or corduroy.
There are two different buckles on the harness for the best possible fit as well as a clasp for that extra bit of security. The GAUTERF harness is designed with your kitty’s comfort and safety in mind, with a padded area in front of the harness as well as a reflective strip that runs around it.
We liked the extra layer of fabric and double stitching on the neck and leg holes, which minimize wear and tear, and reduce the chances of the material fraying, ripping or tearing.
The mesh models were a firm favorite for our boys, but the corduroy ones left them hot and tired. Having said that, they would be a great choice if you plan on walking your cat in the colder months.
Eagloo Escape Proof Cat Harness
The Best Cat Harness No Escape
The Eagloo Escape Proof Harness is designed especially for kittens and smaller cats with a penchant for breaking free. The vest style harness covers a larger surface area of your fiery little feline’s body, making it super secure as well as comfortable.
The mesh fabric provides breathability, and double stitching along the seams means it will withstand daily wear and tear. It’s worth mentioning that the Eagloo Escape Proof Harness has four adjustable straps for the perfect fit, while the quick-release buckles make it easy to take off.
We also like the reflective strip on the outside of the harness for those late-night walks. For the best escape proof harness, put this Eagloo at the top of your list.
Pupteck Escape Proof Cat Harness
The Best Cat Leash and Harness Set for Bigger Cats
Another great harness on the market is the Pupteck Escape Proof Cat Harness with Leash. This leash and harness set is available in small, medium and large and a wide range of fashionable color combinations including dots and plaid.
As far as safety goes, it has a velcro fastening as well as a durable buckle. And the two D-rings are sewn into the harness for extra durability and security. Not only does the mesh fabric keep your cat cool on long walks, but the leg, neck, and back holes are also finished off with a fleece-like material that stops any skin irritations or pinching.
All in all, this is an excellent choice if Haute Catoure is a priority with the added bonus of security and comfort.
Harness Kitty Holster Cat Harness
The Best Cat Harness Vest
Definitely better suited for colder climates, the Kitty Holster Cat Harness is available in extra small all the way up to extra large and comes in a variety of colors including a fun bandana pattern and even a tiger print.
This vest harness has a polyester lining for added comfort with a breathable outer layer. It’s especially good for when the temperatures drop and during the colder months.
The D-ring attachment for the leash is built into the back of the harness, and it opens and closes with velcro. While we liked this for ease of use, some cat owners might feel it isn’t the most secure option.
Because it’s machine washable and tumble dryer friendly, keeping the Kitty Holster clean is super easy, which is always a bonus. This is a great choice, but because it covers such a large surface area of the body, it won’t suit cats that feel the heat or get uncomfortable wearing a snug-fitting vest.
Eagloo 2-in-1 Leash and Car Seat Belt Adjustable Harness
The Best Combo for Kittens
Want to get your kitty walking on a harness? Look no further than the Eagloo 2-in-1 Kitten Leash and Car Seat Belt Adjustable Harness. Designed with your fur bundle in mind, it’s made using a lightweight fabric that’s sturdy enough to keep him safe and secure, but won’t cause him to overheat or feel too restricted.
And best of all, it’s perfect for those all-important vet visits thanks to the dual functional leash that can be made shorter and used as a car seat belt. The 360-degree swivel clip allows for ease of movement and stops the leash from getting tangled.
Although the 2-in-1 kitten leash and harness has quick-release buckles that make it easy to put on and take off, the four adjustable straps will keep even the wriggliest of kittens secure. They also allow for a custom fit as your kitty grows.
We loved this 2-in-1 set so much, we might have to consider adding a new member to the family soon.
So there you have it, our top six harnesses and collars for cats of all shapes and sizes. Hopefully, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for right here, but if not, don’t stress. There are loads of excellent products available.
Want to know how to put a cat harness on? Our best advice would be with care.
As always, let us know if you’ve got a product you think should be on our list, or if you want to share your cat walking stories or photos with us.