If you’re interested in taking your cat on adventurous walks outdoors, while also keeping her safe from harm—by preventing her from wandering off alone—then you’ll need to get a quality harness that comfortably fits. It’s important to get a harness, because of how hazardous it could be to attach a leash directly to your cat’s collar. Cats have delicate necks and if your cat is walked with a leash attached to her collar, she can potentially incur an injury. 

A quality cat harness, will fit around your cat’s neck and torso. It’s designed to distribute the pull of a leash evenly, without harming sensitive areas of your cat’s body. If you are interested in getting a quality cat harness, there are two basic types, with which you’ll need to be familiar. Below is a description of these two kinds of cat harnesses, so that you can make an informed decision.

The Lead

The first type of cat harness you’ll need to know about is “The Lead” or “The H-Style”. A “Lead” is a harness made of 3 key straps. One strap goes around the neck, another goes around the upper torso—behind the front legs—and they are both connected by a strap that runs along your cat’s back. This style looks similar to the letter “H” and the design allows for the leash to pull evenly and comfortably on the harness.

Pros

  • Easy to wear
  • Ideal for calm cats, that won’t try to fidget free
  • Easily adjustable for size
  • Breathable & lightweight
  • Doesn’t restrict body motion

Cons

  • Not very secure
  • Easy to slip out of, if your cat is strong or feisty

Vests, Walking Jackets & Kitty Holsters

The second type of cat harness to consider is a “Walking Vest”—otherwise known as a “Kitty Holster” or “Walking Jacket”. A “Walking Vest” is like a jacket, because when it is on, it securely covers more of your cat’s body. Also, it distributes the pull of the leash, in a firm, comfortable and even manner.

Pros

  • The secure fit makes it hard to wiggle free 
  • Ideal for strong, feisty cats
  • Can be quite stylish
  • Good for adventurous walks

Cons

  • Some styles might be to bulky
  • May restrict body movement
  • Some brands awkwardly go over the head
  • Some may not be lightweight or breathable

Fitting The Harness

No matter what type of cat harness you go with, the important thing to consider, is that your cat is comfortable. To size your cat for a harness, just measure your cat’s torso, firmly around the upper middle—girth weight. Afterwards, you can tack on an extra 2” to 3”—so that your cat is comfortable. The idea is for the harness to have a loose fit. A good test is to try and put 1 or 2 fingers underneath the cat harness. 

A Few Things To Consider

  • A proper leash to suit the nature of the activity
  • A reflective harness for visibility at night
  • A puppy harness: some comfortably fit cats too
  • A mesh material that doesn’t get too hot in the summer

In conclusion, if you plan on taking your cat for a neighborhood walk, it’s important that you pick a quality cat harness. Your cat’s comfort is the priority. If she’s not comfortable, movement can be restricted and/or she’ll try to squirm out of the harness. In which case, walk-time will be an exercise in futility and frustration. Check the harness size, making sure that it fits firm, but not tight.

Once you choose a cat harness, begin by practicing indoors. Consider coaxing your cat with gentle encouragement and kitty treats. Keep the sessions short at first and gradually lengthen them, until you’re ready to take it outside. Thanks for reading.