Cats are a huge part of our families. They are companions and they're happy to spend time with us and alone, playing or snoozing. If you would like your cat to truly enjoy the outdoors, it's a good idea to get them a cat harness, so you can go outside with them without fear that they'll run away. Also, it's wonderful for you to get your cat out and about if you live in a flat or a house with no garden.
Do you want to buy a cat harness but are you unsure where to start? We've got you covered: continue reading this ultimate guide to cat harnesses, where we have rankings of the best cat harnesses on the market, reviews of these products, and lots of hints and tips. Ready? Then let's get started!
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The best cat harnesses: Our Picks
- 4 Shopping Guide: Everything you need to know about cat harnesses
- 4.1 Can I train my cat to walk with a harness?
- 4.2 Why does my cat need a harness?
- 4.3 What should I do if my cat doesn't like their harness?
- 4.4 Can I take my cat out the first time they use their harness?
- 4.5 How do I know when my cat is ready to leave our house wearing their harness?
- 4.6 What else can I do to help my cat get used to their harness?
- 4.7 Why should overweight cats go out for a walk with a harness on?
- 4.8 What advantages are there of taking my cat out in a harness?
- 4.9 What vaccinations should my cat have so that they can go outside with a harness on?
- 4.10 What is a reflective harness?
- 4.11 What is the difference between a roman harness and a cat harness?
- 5 Shopping Criteria
- 6 Let's sum things up:
- The majority of cats need to familiarise themselves with their harness before putting it on and going for a walk.
- For cats who live in cities and love to be outside, it's best for them to go out with a harness on because it will be safer for them.
- There are many types of harnesses you can choose between, so continue reading and you'll find the best one for your cat.
The best cat harnesses: Our Picks
We’ve had a look at the cat harnesses on the market, analysed prices and customer reviews, and come up with this comprehensive list of the best in the UK. You can see each of our favourite cat harnesses in the selection below, alongside a little description of each product.
Shopping Guide: Everything you need to know about cat harnesses
You’ve seen the best cat harnesses on the market, now it’s time for the buying part. We’ve put together this fab list of things we recommend that you think about before making your purchase. We’ve also got a list of the most frequently asked questions. Let’s dive right in.
Can I train my cat to walk with a harness?
Why does my cat need a harness?
If if you don't have a garden or a yard so your cat can't go exploring by themselves, if your cat is too young to go out by themselves, an outing with you and their harness can be wonderful.
Some things, such as going to the vet for vaccinations, travelling in the car if you're moving house, or going to the vet for a check-up are trips that every cat has to make. Use a harness so that they stay with you and they don't go wandering off.
What should I do if my cat doesn't like their harness?
The first few times you put the harness on your cat, it's a good idea to give them a treat or a cuddle after so that your cat will associate the harness with positive feelings.
Can I take my cat out the first time they use their harness?
Leave the harness on for a couple of minutes, until your cat gets tired and loses interest. Repeat the training every day for a short period of time. If you see that your cat starts to calm down when wearing the harness, you can gradually increase the time they spend wearing it.
Once you see that your cat is comfortable at home with the harness, you can tighten it and attach the lead, but wait a few days before taking them outside in it. In the meantime, keep giving them treats and cuddles. Don't wait until they get overwhelmed because then you could be back to square one. Always watch them and notice any changes in behaviour.
How do I know when my cat is ready to leave our house wearing their harness?
Start by walking in a quiet place. First, just sit with your cat in a place without much noise and let them explore the environment, while you hold the lead. Just like you did at home, make them feel comfortable by giving treats and cuddles. Take your time to feel to help your pet feel positive about their first contact with the outside world.
What else can I do to help my cat get used to their harness?
Even when your cat has got used to going out, never do it without the harness because they could get spooked or chase after another animal. After all, this is their instinct. So make sure that every time you go out, your cat has their harness on firmly and securely before leaving home. If you have to enter a shop or other building, do not leave your cat outside on their own.
Why should overweight cats go out for a walk with a harness on?
Overweight cats may need more exercise than cats of a normal weight since the extra weight on their joints could lead to joint problems in the long term. This is why a harness is good so that they can go for walks and maybe lose some weight.
What advantages are there of taking my cat out in a harness?
If your cat is always inside, they can develop bad habits, like trying to hunt random items around your house, climb your furniture, explore and scratch the furniture. This is why experts recommend getting a harness and taking your pet out to enjoy the outside world.
What vaccinations should my cat have so that they can go outside with a harness on?
What is a reflective harness?
What is the difference between a roman harness and a cat harness?
When buying a harness for your cat, it is very important that you make an informed decision. Here we summarise the most important issues to keep in mind:
- Which style do I want?
- Which closures are best?
- Which materials do I want?
- What size is your cat?
- What type of hooks and straps do you want?
Which style do I want?
The following chart shows the main types of cat harness that you can find on the market, classified by form, and their advantages and disadvantages:
|Roman style||The belt forms a circle around the cat's stomach and another around their neck.|| They are usually the cheapest.
| Your cat may find it easy to escape.
You have less power over their movements.
|Jacket / vest style||Like a jacket that covers your cat's body, but not their legs.|| It is very difficult for your cat to sneak out of this harness.
In winter it keeps them warm.
There is a great variety of designs and styles to choose from .
| In summer, it can be very hot.
The cat may feel stranger when covering the whole body.
|Wide belt style (classic style)||A combination of the two above styles. It covers more body than the roman style, but it doesn't cover as much body as the jacket style.||
Partially shelters your pet from the cold in winter and less hot in summer.
It can be less intrusive to your cat than a vest.
Enough to have control over your cat's movements.
|They don't tend to be made from fabric so the material may not be as comfortable as a jacket harness.|
Which closures are best?
When choosing a closure for your cat's harness, we must keep two key things in mind: how secure the closing is and how easy it is to open. Bear in mind that the more secure and harder to open the closure is, the longer it will take for you to get the harness on your cat and the more agitated they may become. There are three main types of closures:
- Buckle: Not so easy to open, adjustable but take a while to do up since you need to close them in exactly the right spot.
- Velcro: Velcro closures are quick and easy to close.
- Plastic: This is the fastest type to close, you should always be careful because it can catch on the skin if your pet moves and cause pain.
Which materials do I want?
The material of your cat's harness is very important because your pet will be wearing it close to their skin. Think about when you will be using the harness the most - in summer or winter? If you're planning on taking your cat outside throughout the year, then we recommend getting a vest style for the winter and a classic harness or a roman style harness for the summer. There are vest-style harnesses which are particularly designed for the colder months, since they're warmer.
What size is your cat?
Before buying a harness, it's important to consider the size of your cat. There are adjustable harnesses, but you should still buy the correct size. If it's too big your pet will be able to out of it too easily. Too small and it can be very uncomfortable for your cat.
Most cat harnesses are available in various sizes so it shouldn't be too hard to find a harness that fits your cat perfectly.
What type of hooks and straps do you want?
Obviously, in order for the harness to perform its function, you need to attach a lead of some kind to walk your pet. The most common type is a resistant nylon lead that cannot be lengthened or shortened. The lead is usually not much more than 1.2 metres.
Unlike dogs, who usually have extendible leads, for cats, there are so-called 'Bungee' leads, which can also stretch, but only a little. These give your cat a bit more freedom for your feline friend to explore.
Let's sum things up:
Cats can get bored if they don't have enough stimulation, especially cats who live in cities and don't go out much or house cats. If they get bored they can develop bad habits like scratching the furniture, or they could become overweight. The perfect way to let your cat experience the great outdoors in the safest possible way is to take them out with a harness.
If you liked our guide, feel free to leave us a comment in the section below and share some top tips on how you got your cat to become accustomed to their harness. You can also share this article on your social media!
(Source of featured image: Pac Jan: 29892769/ 123rf.com)