Cats are commonly known for being the independent cat that stays inside and sleeps all day. While that is largely true (my cat is sleeping on my lap as I type this), cats can also benefit greatly from seeing the world. Whether you take your cat to a park or your own backyard, this adventure can be a fun little experience for the both of you.
Taking your cat on these adventures isn’t practical or really possible without a harness in place. Cats are fearless at times but can be skittish when in an unfamiliar place like the outdoors. Therefore, a harness will give you the ability to keep your cat close and secure while out and about.
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OUR #1 RATED
Pet ArtistNylon Mesh Cat Harness & Leash
An excellent harness for all cats as it’s very well-constructed, has a safe and secure design, and is very comfortable for cats.
TrueLoveMesh Cat Harness
This harness’s large surface area, durable material, and easily adjustable straps makes it comfortable and effective as a harness.
BeiruiMesh Cat Harness & Leash
Not only is this harness’s design cute, but it’s also made from a comfortable and strong material and comes with an added leash.
FvhrtPetBreathable Cat Harness
Made from a strong and breathable material, this harness is quite adjustable and comes in many different colors.
CazzoNylon Cat Harness & Leash
This H-style harness is almost impossible to escape from and is overall lightweight but strong and secure.
Why Should You Walk Your Cat?
While cats do very well as indoor animals, outdoor adventures are an excellent way to enrich their lives. Harnesses give you the freedom to take your cat outdoors without having to hold them or fear that they’ll escape. There are several benefits to bringing your cat outside on a harness:
- Exercise – This is a huge one! It’s very easy for a cat to be unhealthy when they’re inside all day and barely moving. Walking is an excellent form of exercise that will allow your cat to stay in shape easier. As your cat gets older, this exercise will keep their health and energy consistent.
- Strengthening your bond – Taking your cat on a walk is a great way to strengthen your cat-human bond and take your relationship leaps and bounds above other people’s relationships. When you take your cat to new places, you’ll find yourself learning what exactly your cat is interested in, what their cues are, and how the communicate with you in general.
- Mental stimulation – Staying indoors isn’t the most stimulating experience, even with a copious amount of toys. The outside world brings so many unique sights, smells, sounds, and interactive things for your cat. These engaging experiences and actually being in nature will provide your cat with much more mental stimulation, making them less bored and more sharp overall.
- Stress reduction – Walking, for both humans and for cats, helps drastically reduce stress. This goes hand in hand with the mental stimulation point made above. Walking and being generally well-stimulated helps your cat get rid of some of their energy and relax overall. This is great for aggressive or anxious cats.
Besides Walking, What Are Harnesses For?
Cat harnesses are largely used for walking, but that’s not the limit of their uses. They’re also good for controlling your cat if you go out in the world at all. Taking a cat to the vet or to a friend’s house can be a huge pain and quite dangerous if you don’t have your cat properly secured to a harness and leash.
The harness and leash combo will both give your cat a bit of freedom so that they don’t feel confined and cramped in a cat carrier, and keep them close to you so that they can’t run off and hide or get themselves in trouble. It’s a very small addition to make to your cat’s life, but it’s really all you need to keep your cat safe and prevent them from running away.
Additionally, some cats simply don’t take well to collars. They can choke your cat if the hook on something, and some cats will try incessantly to take them off. Harnesses evenly distribute pressure throughout your cat’s body and are much harder to remove, making them a better choice for some cats. Plus, if you take your cat on walks frequently, a daily-wear harness will make walks a lot easier.
How To Leash Train A Cat
If your cat has never worn a harness or walked on a leash before, chances are that the first walk isn’t going to go very smoothly. However, you can make it go much smoother by getting your cat used to the harness gradually. These are the steps you should follow to introduce your cat to their harness and walking on a leash:
- Introduce your cat to the harness by keeping it around their environment. Place it beside their food bowl as they eat, and hook/unhook it near them so they get used to the sound.
- Drape the harness over your cat and give them some treats. This will help your cat get comfortable with the feel of the harness, and it will also get them to associate it with treats.
- Gently put the harness on your cat while giving them treats. They should be comfortable enough with the harness, but may not understand that they can move freely with it on.
- With the harness on your cat, get them to play and be active so that they know the harness doesn’t prevent movement. Lead them to walk with treats, dangle toys in front of them — anything to get them moving.
- Let them live their normal lives with the harness for a couple of days. Eventually, once they’re comfortable enough, you can attach a leash to the harness and walk them. Go short distances first, preferably just around the house.
- Once your cat is comfortable with both the harness and the leash, you can slowly start to walk your cat outside. Start with short distances, and always read your cat to see if they’re comfortable or not.
The Different Kinds Of Cat Harnesses
There are several different kinds of cat harnesses available, and each of them have their own uses. It’s important to understand what each kind of harness is and how it benefits the cat wearing it.
This is the bare-bones cat harness that contains only the basics. These harnesses come in an H-shape that wrap around a cat’s body, buckling in front of and behind their front legs. These harnesses are a lot more lightweight and affordable than other harnesses, but it’s a little less secure and can pinch a cat. These are best for cats that are very docile and calm.
Figure 8 Harness
This harness is similar to the H-style harness in its simplicity, but it’s a bit more advanced. The figure 8 harness is made from a continuous length of webbing that gently squeezes your cat every time that they pull forward. This action is to prevent unwanted pulling in cats and can get their walking under control. However, despite this squeezing, cats can escape from these harnesses, and it can pinch a cat’s skin. These also work for docile cats and in situations where security isn’t 100% necessary.
The step-in harness is designed for active cats due to them being very easy to use. They have two arm holes that your cat steps into and then the rest of the harness is fastened. These harnesses are less secure than vest-style harnesses due to their lower surface area, but they’re more mobile. So, these are great harnesses for cats that are going on an adventure where mobility is a priority.
These are the most secure harnesses available and some of the most prominent harnesses in our list of the best. Vest-style harnesses have a large surface area to make them a lot more secure and comfortable for your cat. For lots of owners that don’t know how their cat would react in the outdoors, these harnesses are a very safe choice. However, these harnesses can be a bit bulky, and they can also find some issues with long-haired cats.
What Defines The Best Cat Harness?
Not all cat harnesses are created equal. There are certain things that you want to look for in a cat harness to make sure that it’s a safe and effective addition to your cat’s life. Fortunately, we’ve made sure that all of the harnesses in our list of the best cat harnesses meet this criteria.
- Proper fit – This is the most important thing to consider when choosing the best cat harness for your cat. A harness can have a ton of awesome bells and whistles, but if it doesn’t fit properly, then it’s basically worthless. A harness that doesn’t fit your cat will be both uncomfortable and easy to escape from. A well-fitting harness will be snug without squeezing — you should be able to fit two fingers between the harness and your cat.
- Comfortable – Most cat harnesses are made from a comfortable and soft material, but there are other things to consider as well. Cats are sensitive, meaning that they can be bothered by things such as thin straps that pinch them or bulky harnesses that weigh them down or get in the way. The optimal harness sits naturally on your cat and evenly distributes pressure across your cat’s body.
- High-quality – Because your cat’s harness is keeping your cat from running away from you, you should go for nothing but high-quality harnesses. If a harness breaks or falls apart easily, even if it’s cheap to buy, it shouldn’t be trusted with your cat’s safety.
- Matches your lifestyle – As stated above, there are several different kinds of harnesses that perform differently. Cats that are very docile and don’t want to run away from you may require a simpler, minimally invasive harness. However, escape artists may require a more secure harness.
What Is The Best Cat Harness?
With so many different cat harnesses available on the market, it can be intimidating trying to find the best cat harness to trust with your kitty’s safety. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the five best cat harnesses available and provided information about why we’ve determined that they’re the best of the best.
our #1 rated
OUR TOP PICK
Nylon Mesh Cat Harness & Leash
Pet Artist has created a cat harness that’s easily one of the best available on the market. As you can tell by simply looking at the picture, this harness goes for security, and does it well. The large surface area of the harness makes it very comfortable for cats while also staying in place and preventing cats from wiggling out of it. The breathable material also adds to the comfort of it. Additionally, the straps on this harness allow for you to adjust it to your cat’s exact measurements, keeping it very secure. A reflective 3M strip on the harness adds an extra layer of safety for nighttime adventures, and an added leash ties the whole package together.Cat owners that use this harness with their cat are very happy with their investment. Many owners say that it’s made well with quality that’s great for the price. Additionally, it’s very simple for owners to put on. The Velcro straps and easy locking snap keeps it secure without pinching and hurting the cat. The adjustable straps ensure that all owners get a great fit on their cats.A couple of owners have stated that their harnesses didn’t really match up to the size chart. Most owners didn’t have a problem with this, so either these owners measured their cat incorrectly or they received the wrong size on accident. Regardless, this is a very rare occurrence, and most owners find that it fits their cat perfectly.
- Safe and secure design
- Very comfortable for the cat
- Some sizing issues
our #2 rated
Mesh Cat Harness
TrueLove is a manufacturer that we see frequently in the pet space, and they’ve done a great job constructing this mesh cat harness. This harness is made from a lightweight, breathable mesh material to make it comfortable and easy for cats to wear. As far as security goes, TrueLove says that this harness is escape-proof, with the single buckle being adjustable enough to perfectly fit to your cat’s body. The buckle also locks tightly to ensure that cats can’t accidentally break free. Additionally, the overall design is very easy to put on and take off of a cat without problems.Owners of this harness state that it’s a great value for the money. The construction is very solid and feels like it would last a very long time. Security-wise, owners see no problems. There’s no complaints about cats being able to escape this harness, and it feels very secure when it’s on a cat. Even though it does have a good amount of surface area, cats can still easily go about their day.The only complaint about this harness is that it’s too small at times, whether it be the head opening or the overall harness. This problem doesn’t exist for most owners, so the people that have this problem have probably incorrectly measured their cat. However, the TrueLove appears to handle this problem well.
- Large surface area
- Comfortable, durable material
- Simple to adjust straps
- Sometimes too small
our #3 rated
Mesh Cat Harness & Leash
This stylish little cat harness adds a tough of flair to an accessory that’s usually pretty bulky and ugly. Beirui’s mesh cat harness and leash combo is a high quality and secure harness for cats of all shapes and sizes. The material itself is soft and breathable which makes it very comfortable for cats, and the large surface area helps it to distribute pressure evenly throughout a cat’s body. The adjustable strap is very easy to adjust and helps you get this harness fitting snugly around your cat. In addition, the included leash is high quality and gives you the full cat-walking package.Owners of this harness love the quality of it. One owner has even described the material as “suede-like”, meaning that it’s very comfortable for cats to walk with. Additionally, lots of owners have described their cats as escape artists, but very few have been able to escape. This combination of quality and function makes owners very happy with their purchase.A couple of owners with skinny, escape-prone cats have noted that their cats escaped from the harness. This could be due to incorrect sizing, not enough training of their cat, or the harness just wasn’t right for them. Regardless, most owners had no problem keeping their cat in the harness.
- Very comfortable for cats
- Nice design + added leash
- Strong, secure build
- Some cats have escaped
our #4 rated
Breathable Cat Harness
Although this cat harness looks more simple than the others we’ve shown so far, it’s just as safe and secure. It’s made with a strong polyester and covered in a breathable, lightweight mesh to make it durable yet comfortable for your cat. The thick, adjustable strap ensures that you get snug and comfortable fit on your cat, no matter the size. Due to the fact that there’s only one buckle, it’s extremely easy to put this harness on your cat and light enough to leave it on all day.The cat owners that decided to go with this harness are just as happy as the owners of the other harnesses. Owners frequently point out the solid build quality of this harness, as well as the nice fit on their cat. Many owners also like to point out how good this harness looks on their cat, as the many different colors available allow for good customization.Like all the other harnesses, a few owners have an issue with the sizing of this harness. Because this is such a common problem, it is most likely due to incorrect measurements by the owner. However, this theory can’t be proven unless we had access to all these cats and their harnesses (we wish).
- Soft, breathable material
- Nicely adjustable
- Plenty of colors to choose from
- Some sizing inconsistencies
our #5 rated
Nylon Cat Harness & Leash
This cat harness by Cazzo is different from all of the other harnesses we’ve shown so far, as it’s the only H-style harness in the list. This style of harness can be executed poorly, but this is one of the better budget options for this style. The harness, despite having thin straps, still distributes pressure evenly throughout a cat’s body. The buckles on the front and rear body straps allow for accurate sizing and adjusting to your cat’s dimensions. Additionally, the harness comes with a matching leash to really up the value.Owners of this harness say that it lives up to their expectations. It fits excellently and there’s no complaints about cats being able to escape it due to the two separate straps. The quality is pretty strong and doesn’t feel as if it will break easily, and the included leash is a hit among owners.Although this harness is a great value for the price, it comes with a minor drawback in the quality department. Some owners note that the leash isn’t the highest quality, and the plastic buckles on the harness aren’t the strongest. However, there’s no complaints about the harness failing, so these problems shouldn’t impact performance.
- Very secure and hard to escape
- Easily adjustable
- Included leash
- Not the highest quality
Whether you decide to go with a simple harness or one that’s a little more heavy-duty and flashy, you’re ultimately doing a great thing for your cat. Taking your cat outside on adventures is an excellent way to keep them happy and healthy while strengthening your bond. In order to do this safely, though, one needs a high quality and safe harness.
So, after carefully reviewing all of the cat harnesses available, we’ve determined that the best cat harness is the Pet Artist Nylon Mesh Cat Harness & Leash.
Pet Artist has created a life jacket that checks all the boxes of a great cat harness. The build quality is great, it’s nearly impossible to escape from, and it’s comfortable for all different cats.