Buying the Best Cat Harness

Cat sitting in a harness

Buying a cat harness isn’t just about being able to walk your cat around the neighborhood; it can be useful in several scenarios:

Cat sitting in a harness

It’s a way of exercising a cat recuperating from illness or injury.
If you’ve just moved house, it helps introduce a cat into its new surroundings in a safe and supervised way.

We often recommend using the harness and leash attachment inside backpacks or carriers when you’re traveling with your pet. If you’re flying with your cat, for example, you’ll need to take them out of the carrier for security screening and without a harness or leash, your cat is at a higher risk of getting loose.

if your cat is in a cat car seat, you should secure them to the seat using a harness and the seat’s attachment strap.

If you live in an area with predators of if you’re near to a busy street, then a cat harness and leash allows you to safely walk your pet.

Some people enjoy hiking or motor homing with their cats and the harness allows for peace of mind when away from home.

If you enjoy bike rides with your cat, a harness will secure the cat to the front basket or a bicycle trailer pulled along behind.

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We wanted to take a closer look at some of the best cat harnesses on the market to buy.  We’ll give a detailed account of some of the available products as well as a brief buyer’s guide to get you thinking about the type of harness you’ll need.  We’ve added a couple of the bestsellers right below this section so you can jump straight into shopping if you’d prefer. 

As always, we’re an Amazon affiliate so if you make a purchase using any of the links below then we’ll make a small commission at no cost to you 😊

 

  • Always measure your cat before buying a harness and use this against the manufacture’s sizing options.  You shouldn’t always trust generic sizing options such as small, medium and large because this may not be accurate enough for your pet.  The harness should be secure but not too tight.  It should be comfortable for the cat to wear, too. 

 

cat wearing a vest harness

Always measure your cat before buying a harness and use this against the manufacture’s sizing options. You shouldn’t always trust generic sizing options such as small, medium and large because this may not be accurate enough for your pet. 

The harness should be secure but not too tight.  It should be comfortable for the cat to wear, too.  You should be able to slide an index finger under it. Some harnesses can be adjusted sufficiently to cover a wide range of sizes right from kitten to adult cat.

You might be tempted to wait until the cat is older but the sooner you can start harness training the better.  Younger cats are often more willing to try new things than older ones.

  • You can get harnesses that are essentially just straps that click together or ones that look more like jackets or vests. Strap ones tend to have a wider range of adjustments but some owners prefer the vests because they’re often easier to put on.

     

  • We wouldn’t advise attaching a leash directly to the collar because a sudden pull on the cord could cause injury to the neck. If a cat gets loose, it can also be dangerous to have a leash trailing after the cat and collar.
  • Generally, it’s safer and less stressful for everyone if an owner uses a harness.  Fortunately, harnesses are not expensive and come in a range of styles to suit most cats.
  • Think about your cat’s personality, too. Calmer cats will probably be fine with the thinner harnesses; they should be happy letting you put the harness on and then quite content to wear it around.  Other cats might be better in the jacket or vest harness with Velcro because it’s harder for them to wriggle out of.  They often have a D-ring, too, to attach the leash which makes training easier.
  • Look for breathable material.
  • Pay attention to the types of straps and attachments the harness has.  Long-haired cats might get their fur caught in the straps.
  • Velcro makes it easy to get a cat in and out of a harness.  It’s worth remembering though that the sound of Velcro being ripped open might aggravate some anxious cats especially if it’s near their head.  
  • Check there’s a D-ring to attach the harness to a leash.
  • Harnesses that put the light pressure on the shoulder and chest are better than those that go around the neck.  You’ll find most harnesses fulfil this.
  • If you’re going to be walking your cat at night, then you might want to consider a harness with reflective strips.
  • A lightweight harness will be more attractive to some cats.
  • If you have a larger cat, you may need to widen your search for harnesses that also fit small dogs. They are available and we’ll list examples below.  It’s worth looking through the reviews to ensure that people have had good experiences using these for cats, too. Some dog harnesses will be too big and unsuitable to use for other pets.

  • If your cat loves exploring, you can buy harnesses with a bungee leash so there’s a little give when the leash runs out and stops the sudden pressure being placed on the neck or chest.

2 Important Points to Remember

Two things that we keep seeing repeated about cat harnesses that are worth bearing in mind:

  • Almost all of these harnesses have reviews that say that they come up small.  We’d recommend double-checking the sizing guides and measuring your cat before buying. Don’t just rely on choosing small, medium or large but look at the dimensions because sizing differs between manufacturers.

     

  • Harnesses will often advertise themselves as “escape-proof” which we disagree with.  No cat harness is escape-proof but some features make escape less likely than others. It will also depend on your cat’s personality as to how much of a Harry Houdini he or she is.  You should look at the material’s quality, the type of buckles or straps used and the product reviews by verified customers.

Best Cat Harnesses

This cat harness adjusts from a size suitable for kittens right up to full-size cats. It makes it a good option if you have more than one cat or if you’re eager to start training your cat from a young age.

pidan Cat Harness and Leash Set for Walking Escape Proof - Adjustable Pet Harness for Kitten and Small Dogs Lightweight - Multicolor
  • COMFORTABLE: Pidan made harness with the most light weight materials available so that your Kitty won’t even notice they are wearing this harness.
  • ADJUSTABLE: This Harness is adjustable and the standard size is from small kitten to large cat. Escape proof and features the unbreakable infinity ring.Small animals such as rabbits also apply.
  • EYE-CATCHING LOOK: Put the Multi-color splicing pattern on your lovely cat. This amazing cat harness will be a complete charming outfit of your sweet kitties.
  • EASY CONTROL OF YOUR LOVELY PETS: Pidan's durable cat harness with leash set offers a safe option for your feline friend to explore the world.
  • DIMENSIONS: Fit for Neck Girth 7.8″-12.2″, Chest Girth 10.2″-16.9″, Leash Length 48″. Please check your pet's neck girth and chest girth before purchase. Up 14 inches in the abs(measure around kitty directly behind the front legs).

Last update on 2021-02-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

We love the pattern on this harness. Although the design probably isn’t high up on your list of harness must-haves, it’s nice to see one that’s different and colorful. 

Features:

Neck size 7.8 inches – 12.2 inches.
Chest 10.2 inches – 16.9 inches.
The leash length is 48 inches and fits around the cat up to 14 inches.
Soft polyester strap
Metal buckle and ring

Pros:

Quick-release buckles for safety if the harness gets caught on something.  It also makes it easier to put it on the cat.

It’s got an attractive design

Doesn’t put pressure on the cat’s throat

Adjustable sizing makes it usable throughout your cat’s life from kitten to fully-grown.

Cons:

Some owners have suggested that this is a little snug so double-check the sizing issues. 

This is a popular cat harness but we’d never take the “escape-proof” label too seriously. 

This is a really popular option and it has a lot of positive reviews that you can browse through. It comes in a range of colors, too, which means you can pick one for your pet’s personality. 

rabbitgoo Cat Harness and Leash for Walking, Escape Proof Soft Adjustable Vest Harnesses for Cats, Easy Control Breathable Reflective Strips Jacket, Black, XS (Chest: Chest: 13.5"-16")
  • 【Cat Harness with Leash, Fits Average Adult Cats】: Size measuring [Neck Girth: 8.5 -11 Inches], [Chest Girth: 13.5 - 16 Inches]. Please measure your cat carefully and refer to the size chart before order. (Tips: Your cat's head circumference should be at least 10 inches or your cat may slip out.) Package includes: 1x Small Cat Walking Vest and 1x Walking Nylon Leash (150cm)
  • 【Comfortable Outdoor Harness】: This real comfy kitten harness will snugly fit your feline friend's body, while still keeping him/her cool with its breathable air mesh. Soft and lightweight (approx. 100g), suitable for daily walking, jogging, training, and any outdoor recreations. Also a perfect comfort harness when you’re taking your kitty to an unfamiliar place, such as the vet or groomer
  • 【Escape Proof Cat Harness】: This adjustable kitty harness features 4 adjusting straps which allow a just-right fit for your flexible cat. Both sides have a sturdy safety buckle for a more secured closure - never worry about your cat getting lost during outdoor adventures (Tips: The harness should be snug enough for you to fit one finger between the straps and any part of your cat's body)
  • 【Cat Safety Harness】: You can attach the long, sturdy nylon leash to the metal leash clip on the back, allowing your kitty to explore the great nature safely and enjoyable. Its vest-style design can evenly distribute leash pressure across the chest and shoulder to prevent choking or neck strain, which is much safer and more comfortable than a basic halter or H-style harness. The reflective strips will keep your kitty always visible in dark environments
  • 【Hassle-Free Overhead Harness】: This easy-wearing harness is simple to put on and take off with 2 snap side-buckles and 4 fully adjustable straps. (Tips: To help your sensitive friend get familiar with this new feeling of wearing a harness, try to place it near your cat during sleeping or feeding time).

Last update on 2021-02-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This has reflective strips so your cat can be seen in the dark. 

Features:

Size measuring: Neck measurements 8.5 – 11 inches.  Chest measurements 13.5 to 16 inches.  Your cat will need a head circumference of at least 10 inches to wear this one.

Closure type: clip

Black metal ring to stop pulling against the throat

Made from soft breathable mesh

Pros:

Quick-release buckles make it easy to get the cat in and out of the harness.

Metal leash attachment attaches the leash to the harness

It’s made out of sturdy nylon webbing

There’s no Velcro so this may be more suitable for cats who are easily startled by strange noises.

Adjustable buckles – 2 neck straps and 2 chest straps for security.

It’s lightweight

Cons:

Not machine washable

Make sure you double-check the sizing because some owners have said it comes up small. 

This comes in different sizing options from small right up to x-large, so you’re more likely to find a size that’s suitable for your pet. 

PUPTECK Checkered Frills Soft Mesh Dog Vest Harness Puppy Padded Pet Harnesses for Cat Small Dogs
  • Size S: Chest girth: 11"-13", Neck girth:8.0"-10.5", Leash size:59" (150cm).
  • The baby's special soft closure is used in the neck and chest, a plastic closure is added to the neck to prevent the cat from escaping after get rid of the closure.
  • The harnesses are made with easy-to-secure closure, which makes outfitting your cat simple. it's a soft mesh material that doesn't suffocate nor overheat her when hot.
  • Two heavy D rings connect you and your pet when you are in walking, running, jogging or hiking.
  • Take your cat's girth measurement snug against her fur, and then add 2 inches to 23 inches to that measurement for comfort.

Last update on 2021-02-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It has 2 heavy D rings that you use to attach the leash. 

Features:

Size M: Chest girth: 11.1″-14.8″, Neck girth:8.6″-9.9″, Leash size:59″ (150cm).

Size S: Chest girth: 11″-13″, Neck girth:8″-10.5″, Leash size:59″ (150cm).

 

Size L: Chest girth:14.1″-16.1″, Neck girth:10.1″-13.1″, Leash size:59″ (150cm).

Pros:

Two heavy D-rings for security

Because this is a vest type harness, the pressure is more equally distributed across the cat’s shoulders and chest rather than the throat or neck.

Velcro around the stomach and neck sections for a secure fit

Adjustable slider for a comfortable fit and there’s a buckle, too.

Good sized leash

Cons:

Not escape proof so probably less ideal if you have a cat who can escape easily. 

We’ve included some colorful designs but this is a plain black harness which may appeal more to owner’s who want a less conspicuous harness. 

Technically, this is a harness for dogs but owners have used it for their cats, too.  It means you have to be careful about sizing but we LOVE the camo pattern. There are also other colors and designs to choose from.

Puppia Soft Dog Harness, Camouflage, Small
  • Authentic Puppia Soft Dog Harness made out of 100% Polyester
  • Adjustable chest belt and quick-release buckle
  • Comfortable padded neck opening
  • Machine washable, but hand washing and air drying are recommended
  • Please check the sizing chart below for correct size and the images for how the dog needs to be measured for the size chart.

Last update on 2021-02-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The attachments are strong and durable (and used in professional mountaineers’ equipment) and designed for dogs so should be secure enough for your cat. 

Features:

You’ll find a handy sizing chart for all the different sizes from extra-small right through to sizes suitable for big dogs.

Water repellent and breathable material

Double-coated D-rings

Pros:

Wide range of sizes

Different designs and colors to choose from

Adjustable chest belt for security and comfort

Quick-release buckle for easy access and safety

Can be machine washed although manufacturer’s advice handwashing.

Suitable harness for larger cats 

Cons:

Sizing seems to run a little small so double-check before ordering. 

Harnesses that are designed initially for dogs might be the best cat harness to buy for large cats like Maine Coons but again, be careful about the sizing. 

We love that 10% of the proceeds from sales of the Kitty Holster cat harness goes to an animal charity.

Kitty Holster Cat Harness
  • Ultra lightweight
  • Soft, non-abrasive 100% undyed cotton lining
  • Secure hook and loop closures
  • D-ring for attaching leash
  • Made in the USA

Last update on 2021-02-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is made in the USA

Features

Made from soft non-abrasive undyed cotton

Sizing listed on individual product pages but fits 9″ – 12″ neck and 13″ – 17″ chest girth

Pros:

Comes in several designs

Uses a secure and hook-and-loop closing system

Cons:

A leash is not included

Not as much information on the product page (aside from the pertinent information), but there are lots of positive reviews and you can ask any questions in the Q and A section.

Yizhi Miaow Cat Harness and Leash

We love the polka dot design on these harnesses and it comes in different colours. 

Sale
Yizhi Miaow Escape Proof Cat Harness with Leash Large, Adjustable Cat Walking Jackets, Padded Cat Vest Polka Dot Black
  • Both chest and neck strap are soft and adjustable with Magic Tape enclosure. Measure your pet chest girth and neck girth, choose the RIGHT size for your pet, please refer to the second photo for size chart.
  • Escape proof cat harness with durable and strong Magic Tape. No buckles but the Velcro is very secure. Please refer to the video for cat walking training tips.
  • Padded harness is more safe than traditional leash, it will also makes your cat feel comfortable.
  • Practicing 30 minutes every or twice a day, it's normal that your cat will keeps falling over at the very beginning.
  • No harness is inherently 100% escape-proof. Only collar which may present a choking hazard can make it. You need to wait until the harness will act as a safety mechanism rather than a tool to drag your cat around with. You need to learn how to control the leash. Watch video online on Amazon will help you.

Last update on 2021-02-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Uses Velcro which saves you having to strap the cat in through buckles. 

Features:

Sizing comes with weight limits, too, which should help you pick a more accurate size.

Pro:

Chest and neck strap secure it and makes it easy to put on.

Good ventilation

Fun design

Cons:

Some reviewers have found that the sizing is smaller than expected.

Buying a cat harness can make you feel better about taking your cat outside whether that’s for walking around the neighborhood or making sure your cat can stay safe in airports etc.

Our biggest piece of advice is to start training your cat to use the harness as soon as you can. Ideally, from when they’re a kitten. 

If you haven’t seen anything that you think is suitable, then there’s a range of cat harnesses on the Chewy website, too.  They’re one of the biggest names in the US for online delivery of pet items and have some great deals including on cat harnesses.  

FAQs

Can I walk my cat with a harness?

If you’re planning on taking your cat for a walk, we’d
recommend using a harness. It’s safer than attaching a leash to a collar and will give you peace of mind if you’re walking in urban areas or through busy public places like airport terminals and bus stations. 

You can train most cats to use a harness but some breeds and personalities will be more open to the idea than others. Some cats take right to it but others will require some training and reassurance. We’d recommend harness training from kittenhood to give you the best chance of getting your cat used to wearing one. 

If you’re walking your indoor cat outside for the first time, a harness can be a great way of getting them used to the surrounding area safely, but remember that the first couple of times outside might be overwhelming so move at a slow pace if your cat doesn’t take to it right away.  If you’re harness training for a specific reason (for example, an upcoming vacation), then introduce them to the harness as soon as possible so that they’ve got plenty of time to adjust to wearing it. Remember, too, that even with a harness you should be mindful of what’s happening around your cat including passing traffic, other pedestrians, dogs, and places with loud noises. 

Why won’t my cat walk in a harness?

Some women don’t like walking in high heels and some men don’t like wearing ties. It’s the same with cats: some cats just won’t walk in a harness. You have some cats that will just freeze or topple over when a harness is put on them. This is because they’re not used to the sensation of wearing one. 

Others may bite and try and claw their way free.  Remember that cats have never been domesticated as dogs have. They don’t always do well when constrained with straps or buckles especially if they’re an older cat and have never been leash or harness trained before.  If the cat is just a little weirded out by the harness, then leave it on for a bit and let them get used to it. 

You might like to distract them by giving them affection or treats.  If your cat is distressed, then take the harness off and take it slower. You should give them time to get used to smelling the harness and see if you can lie it on them without actually putting them in it. Some cat will never get used to wearing one.

If you’ve tried everything and been patient, there’s no reason to force them and traumatize your pet. If your cat seems fine with the harness, let them wear it around the house so they can get used to it.  Owners often leave them on for a while and then attach the leash and let it trail after the cat (supervised).

Getting a cat used to a harness is one thing, walking them is another. Once they’re happy to wear it and you’ve attached the leash then you’ll need them to walk with you. Hold the leash in your hand but let them wander where they like. Once they seem happy, start to lead them slowly and carefully until they’re used to it. The key with cats whether it’s training them to use a carrier, a litter tray or to walk with you, is patience and perseverance.  

You can’t rush them. 

Is it weird to walk a cat?

Some people think it’s weird to walk a cat but that’s because it’s still quite uncommon. We’re used to seeing cats wandering around of their own volition or being indoor cats. Owners might choose to walk a cat for several reasons: because it’s unsafe to exercise them any other way, because of an injury or illness or because the cat enjoys it. 

People think all manner of things are weird when they see something outside of their experience. Don’t take any notice if your cat enjoys it and gets something out of it. 

Likewise, if you don’t want or need to use a harness on your cat then don’t. 

Can a cat wear a harness all the time?

We wouldn’t let a cat wear a harness all the time.  When you’re first training them it can be helpful to keep it on them for an extended period (a few hours, perhaps) but it will depend on their personality and how well they take to it. 

We’d recommend removing the leash so that they can’t get tangled up in anything. If your cat is happy wearing a harness (and doesn’t cause any problems when you try and put it on), then we’d remove it when they no longer need it. 

For us, it would be a safety issue as a harness can catch on things and become a choking hazard. If your cat is wearing a vest harness, then it will stop them grooming themselves properly so we wouldn’t let a cat keep it on permanently for that reason also.

How long should a cat wear a harness?

When you’re first training your cat to wear one then keep it on for a few minutes at a time. There’s a balance to strike here so that they can get used to it comfortably but without stressing them out unduly.  Some cats take to it almost immediately. It really depends on the type of personality that they have. 

Often with cats, it’s better to do things small and often but once they’re over the initial shock of the harness it can be useful for them to wear it for several hours (without the leash attached and with them being supervised) so they can get used to the feel of it. 

Take your cue from the cat; they’ll let you know how long they’re happy to have it on for but, as we said in the previous section, remember that harnesses can get caught on things and can, therefore, be dangerous.  They can also make it difficult for a cat to groom themselves.