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.
Cats love being at home and sleeping, we all know this. But they also love exploring and being outdoors – they love new places, new smells and new sounds. It’s a shame that, for some cats, this may be difficult and scary for them, since some cats ar are timid and scare easily. If this sounds like your cat, then it’s a good idea for you to buy a harness for them, so that they can go outside without worrying about being scared because they’ll be safe and sound if they’re by your side and wearing a harness!
Do you want to buy a cat harness but are you unsure where to start? Well don’t worry, 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 about cat harnesses so you’ll know all there is to know and you’ll be able to choose the best one for you. Ready? Then let’s get started!
- 1 First things first:
- 2 Ranking: The best cat harnesses in the UK
- 3 Buying Guide: Everything you need to know about cat harnesses
- 3.1 Can I train my cat to walk with a harness?
- 3.2 Why does my cat need a harness?
- 3.3 What should I do if my cat doesn’t want to wear their harness?
- 3.4 Can I take my cat out the first time they use their harness?
- 3.5 How do I know when my cat is ready to leave our house wearing their harness?
- 3.6 What else can I do to help my cat get used to their harness?
- 3.7 Why should overweight cats go out for a walk with a harness on?
- 3.8 What advantages are there of taking my cat out in a harness?
- 3.9 What vaccinations should my cat have so that they can go outside with a harness on?
- 3.10 Why might my cat need a reflective harness?
- 3.11 What is the difference between a roman harness and a cat harness?
- 4 Buying Criteria
- 5 Let’s sum things up:
First things first:
- The majority of cats need to familiarise themselves with their harness before putting it on and going for a walk. Don’t worry, it’s normal and there are ways to do this with as little fuss as possible. Keep reading and you’ll find out how.
- 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..
Ranking: The best cat harnesses in the UK
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. We’re certain that by the end of this ranking and this guide, you will have chosen the perfect cat harness for you and your feline friend!
No. 1: BINGPET Escape Proof Cat Harness and Leash
First up we have this escape-proof cat harness by BINGPET, which is Amazon’s Choice for cat harnesses. It comes in three sizes: small, medium and large, and in four colours: plaid, black, red and pink, so you’re guaranteed to find a size and colour which matches your cat’s size and personality to a T!
Additionally, this harness comes with two heavy D rings, so you can easily attach the harness to yourself and you can take your cat with you hands-free! So you can go walking, hiking, running, you name it! Made from comfortable material and an easy-to-secure hook and loop, putting a harness on your cat has never been easier!
No. 2: Simply Natural Escape Proof, Easy On Easy Off Cat Harness
Next up we have this harness by Simply Natural, a brand which prides itself on its use of premium non-toxic materials, safety-inspected design, third-party verification and machine washable fabric. This cat harness is ideal for if you want to go for walks with your cat, or if you need to travel or move house, or even if you need to train your feline friend!
The velcro straps are easily adjustable, so this harness is guaranteed to fit most cats and kittens without any problems. The super-soft puffed fabric around the harness means that your kitty will always be comfortable. They won’t get too hot in the summer since the mesh that the harness is made from is breathable, so it will be like your feline friend isn’t wearing anything at all! What more could you want?
No. 3: Trixie Large Cat Harness with 1.2m Leash
Do you have a large cat? Or maybe a cat who isn’t too large but has a lot of fur? Then this cat harness by Trixie is perfect for you and your purring friend. The nylon material is fully adjustable, and the snap buckles make it very easy for you use, so there will be no time wasted fiddling with buckles and unnecessary straps, this goes on like a dream!
What’s more, this handy harness comes with a free lead, which is a lengthy 1.2 metres so you don’t have to worry about the extra expense of a lead, everything comes in this package! Now you’re free to roam around the neighbourhood, the streets and the park with your cat to your heart’s content!
No. 4: Rabitgoo Small Escape Proof No Pull No Choke Cat Harness
This harness is made from premium breathable air-mesh, which is soft enough to give your cat a snug fit around their neck and stomach. It is snug but also strong enough to resist weather changes. You also have peace of mind with this harness in the sense that you won’t have to worry about them escaping because this escape-proof harness has two side buckles for secure closure. The four fully adjustable straps allow you to quickly customise the harness to fit your cat, so they won’t go astray!
The D ring easily attaches to a lead, and the bright reflective studs provide extra security for if you want to take your cat for an evening or a nighttime adventure. The vest style of harness is great because it distributes the weight evenly, so your cat won’t ever feel uncomfortable and they’ll never pull or choke on this harness.
No. 5: Mynwood Cat Jacket / Harness – Escape Proof
Last but certainly not least, we have this fab cat jacket and harness two-in-one by Mynwood. It’s very stylish since it has a skull pattern on it. It is secure and strong and comfortable. What’s more, each of these cat jackets is made by hand by a lady named Maria who is based in Yorkshire. Her aims for success are security, strength, practicality, design, comfort and customer satisfaction. It is wonderful to buy a jacket from Maria and support her local business.
Additionally, these jackets are triple sewn for extra strength, a super-secure welded D ring with extra reinforced stitching. A lot of research has gone into the design of these jackets since Maria has noticed that a lot of cats slip out of their harnesses, so she has designed hers to make sure that this doesn’t happen. Finally, each jacket is reversible with black cotton- I couldn’t think of a better harness if I tried!
Buying 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 by people who are considering buying cat harnesses and we’ve answered them, so by the end of this section, any remaining doubts will be dispelled and any remaining questions will be answered. Perfect! Let’s dive right in. Following this, we will cover the challenges involved in taking your cat for a walk with a harness and some tips to make this easier.
Can I train my cat to walk with a harness?
The first time you put your cat in a harness, it may be a struggle because they most likely have never been restrained before and it will feel strange for them. But don’t worry! After a few goes, the will get used to it and they will soon be out exploring with you.
Even if they hate it at first, a cat can be trained to use a harness. Kittens love learning and they are like sponges, so they will learn how to use and walk with a harness a lot quicker than older cats. Older cats can still learn, but it will take longer.
Why does my cat need a harness?
If you live in an urban area and want your cat to be able to get out of the house, or if you need to go to the vet, for example, it is essential to put your pet in a harness. Experts recommend taking lively cats or cats that live in cities, small houses or houses without a garden out for a walk, so you satisfy their yearning for adventure.
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 or if you simply think that it is too dangerous for them, an outing with you and their harness can be wonderful. If your pet is kept inside without the freedom to get out and see new things, spending too much time inside the same four walls can make it agitated, anxious and grumpy.
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. In these cases, you should definitely use a harness so that they stay with you and they don’t go wandering off, since this can be dangerous.
What should I do if my cat doesn’t want to wear their harness?
It is perfectly normal for your cat to not to want to wear their harness, especially at the beginning. Cats are creatures of habit and it takes time to get used to something new. If your cat seems uncomfortable, take it off and leave it out, maybe close to their bed, their favourite play space or next to their food bowl so they get used to the smell and the sight of 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. You can repeat this process for several days until your cat is more comfortable with the harness.
Can I take my cat out the first time they use their harness?
We recommend you to make sure that your cat is used to the harness before you take them out with it. You may have a cat that adapts to new places and new situations very easily and it may be fine for you to take them out straight away, but this is uncommon as most cats need time to get used to things. When you put your harness on for the first time, leave it loose and don’t adjust the straps and don’t attach a lead, so they can get used to the feeling of wearing a harness.
Leave the harness on for a couple of minutes, until your cat gets tired and loses interest in the rewards. 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?
You know your cat better than anyone else and you will know whether they feel comfortable. When that happens, you can take your pet outside in their harness. Now the second training phase begins: your cat will be exposed to a range of new stimuli. Not all animals like this.
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?
Remember that cats love their habits. So if your pet loves to walk and explore the wider world, set a schedule so they know when you will be going out together and so they don’t expect you to take them out all the time. Be strict with your timings too – only take them out at the times you have chosen, don’t just put it on because they want it on because this will lead to them begging for it a lot.
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?
Vets advise that one of the solutions to feline obesity is to buy a harness, get the cat accustomed to it and go out for daily walks. City animals lead very sedentary lives and obesity can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes or liver diseases.
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?
Obesity is not the only problem for cats which are always locked up at home. Pets which never go outside can develop aggressive behaviour as well as depression and lack of appetite because of boredom and a lack of stimuli.
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?
Following a vaccination plan will protect your cat from catching potentially dangerous diseases. Vaccines are important even if your pet stays at home. They are absolutely essential if you want to put a harness on them and take them for a walk. For kittens, the vaccination process must begin at two months of age.
The RSPCA recommend your cat to start having vaccinations when they are nine weeks old, and at three months old they should receive the second set to boost their immune system. These vaccinations commonly protect against cat flu, feline infectious enteritis and feline leukaemia virus. Therefore, if your cat has the opportunity to go outside with their harness, it is recommended that they get vaccinated. This can be done at the vets.
Why might my cat need a reflective harness?
There are also reflective harnesses available on the market these days. It is a very useful accessory for walking your cat at night. In this way, your pet, whatever size or colour it may be, will continue to be very visible to you and to others on the street.
With a reflective harness, you can avoid collisions with pedestrians and vehicles. And if your cat gets away from you, you’ll be able to easily find them in the dark. This type of product can be found in a wide range of colours.
What is the difference between a roman harness and a cat harness?
The roman harness is simpler than the classic harness in its design, giving more freedom to the cat. A harness has a strap in the middle of their front legs and they can step into it. A roman harness, on the other hand, has a strap around the cat’s neck and another strap around their stomach, connected by a strap along their back. A harness doesn’t have anything around the neck so they do not choke the cat.
When buying a harness for your cat, it is very important that you make an informed decision, taking into account some important factors, both relating to your pet and to the product. Here we summarise the most important issues to keep in mind so that you make the best decision for your cat’s comfort. The key factors are:
- Which style of cat harness do you want?
- Which closures are easiest for you and your cat?
- Which materials do you want your harness to be made from?
- What size is your cat?
- What type of hooks and straps do you want?
Which style of cat harness do you want?
There are different shapes of cat harnesses which cover a greater or lesser part of the body of the cat, some of which are easier to remove than others and which can be made more or less comfortable for each animal. 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.
Each ring is joined by a strap which goes along the back of the cat.
| They are usually the cheapest.
| Your cat may find it easier to get out of this harness compared to other models.
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, if it does not have a breathable material, 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, and more comfortable than the thin roman style.
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 easiest for you and your cat?
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, unless the harness is loose. It offers several sizes and more can be added by making extra holes. These types of closures 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. Velcro is usually a complement to another closure since it can be pulled open easily under tension or when the material begins to wear.
- 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. They are more difficult to open, although if you press in the right spot it should open easily.
Which materials do you want your harness to be made from?
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, so that they don’t get too cold in the summer or too hot in the winter. It should also be made of a strong material so it won’t easily rip or tear, but soft to the touch so that it doesn’t irritate your cat’s skin.
Some harnesses are made of a mesh material to be breathable in the summer months, and others are waterproof. 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.
For this reason, a harness is a great tool which lets you take your cat out of the house so that they can get some exercise, experience new things or go to the vet without running the risk of getting lost. There are many types, as well as specific techniques for getting your pet accustomed to this new object.
If you liked our guide, feel free to leave us a comment in the section below and let us know what your cat’s favourite harness is, or 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 so some of your friends can try out getting a harness for their cat!
(Source of featured image: Pac Jan: 29892769/ 123rf.com)