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A great cat harness is essential whether you’re traveling with your cat, going hiking, or taking a trip to the vet. A good cat harness enables your adventure-loving feline to safely explore the world outside your front door.
As an increasing number of cats spend time exploring the world beyond the windowsill, choosing a great cat harness becomes an ever more serious endeavor and a real issue for a growing percentage of the cat guardian population.
For years, the need for good cat harnesses has been overshadowed by the popularity of dog harnesses, but we’re finally starting to see a few manufacturers recognizing the unique needs of cats and designing harnesses made specifically for them.
In this article, you’ll learn what it takes to make a great cat harness and how to choose the perfect one for your feline explorer.
At A Glance: Our Top Picks For The Best Cat Harnesses
We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we’ve compiled below where we’ve highlighted the features of each product featured in this review. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
- Wide, comfortable straps
- Comes with a matching leash
- Highly secure vest-style design
Top Picks Explained
What Should You Look For In A Cat Harness?
The Best Cat Harnesses Are Safe and Secure.
Cats are nimble, quick, and can slip out of almost anything you put on them, so it’s important to choose a harness that’s secure enough to keep your cat safe.
Because the selection of cat harnesses is relatively limited, you might feel tempted to opt for a small dog harness instead of one made specifically for cats. Some small dog harnesses work well for cats but remember that a small dog has a very short torso compared to a cat. Because they’re designed to fit a dog’s shorter torso, dog harnesses often squeeze uncomfortably in your cat’s armpits.
It’s always important to check the manufacturer’s size chart and sizing instructions to find the perfect harness for your cat. A well-fitted harness should be snug, but not tight. You should be able to fit two fingers between the harness and your cat’s body.
Seek out harnesses that feature adjustable neck and waist straps. These allow you to fine-tune the fit for your unique feline to ensure optimal safety and security.
The Best Cat Harnesses Are Well-Made.
It’s easy for cat harness sellers to order cheap dog harnesses at wholesale, sell them at low prices, and still make a profit. But these harnesses usually aren’t well made, and they are apt to fall apart within months of wear.
It’s important to choose a well-constructed cat harness that won’t fail you in the middle of an outdoor adventure. The best cat harnesses are intelligently designed and constructed with integrity.
The Best Cat Harnesses Are Comfortable.
Do you know any kids who are ultra-sensitive to the way their socks feel inside their shoes or who squirm at the touch of a tag in their T-shirt? Hypersensitive kids are the human version of your cat.
Felines are extremely sensitive creatures who require a perfectly fitted harness that won’t restrict their freedom of movement.
Look for harnesses with wide straps that distribute weight evenly across your cat’s body. Harnesses made with thin nylon webbing straps often have pinch points that can dig into your cat’s body, making them less comfortable.
In addition to being less comfortable, they’re usually less secure than those with wider straps. Opt for breathable soft mesh or cotton material instead.
The Best Cat Harnesses Are Appropriate for Your Unique Cat.
Every cat demands something slightly different from their harness.
Large cats like Savannahs, Maine Coons, and Siberian Forest Cats will likely have a harder time finding a harness that fits their longer, wider bodies. Some cats are uncomfortable with the sound of Velcro and are better off using a harness made with buckles. Others hate having a harness slipped over their head.
It’s also important to think about your cat’s lifestyle and where you’ll be using the harness.
If you’re looking for the best cat harness for hiking, your needs will revolve around security and breathability. If you don’t plan to take your cat on walks and just need a harness for trips to the vet’s office, you can get away with a lightweight, cheaper, and somewhat less secure harness.
Our Top Picks For The Best Cat Harnesses
Now that you have a better understanding of how we came to our top picks, you’re probably eager to see them! Here are our top picks for the best cat harnesses:
Here are our top picks for the best cat harnesses you should consider:
#1 Best Overall: Sleepypod Martingale Cat Harness
Cats can be tricky, especially when they’re in a situation where they feel uncomfortable or threatened. If you’re worried about taking your cat outdoors, it’s well worth investing in a secure cat harness. The Sleepypod Martingale Cat Harness is our top pick because it features a unique design that will help to prevent your feline friend from slipping out.
This harness is designed with a martingale-style cinching feature around the chest that gently tightens when your cat pulls. You can adjust the Velcro closures at the neck and belly for comfort and security as well, making this the perfect walking jacket for an active cat.
Made with laminated, triple-layer mesh, this harness also offers excellent durability. Cat owners can rest easy knowing their cat will be both comfortable and secure in this pet harness.
The Sleepypod Martingale Cat Harness comes in three different sizes and five different colors. It is a little more expensive than some harnesses, priced a little over $30, but it is worth the added cost to know that your cat will be safe and secure.
- Made from high-quality triple-layer mesh
- Martingale cinching feature for added security
- Available in three sizes and five colors
- Breathable materials for comfort in all situations
- A little more expensive than some harnesses on the list
- Some cats dislike hook and loop closures
#2 Runner Up: Kitty Holster Cat Harness
The Kitty Holster was designed with maximum security in mind and makes it almost impossible for your cat to escape the harness.
It’s a vest-style harness made with wide cotton straps that keep your cat safely and comfortably contained. The pressure from the leash is distributed evenly across your cat’s chest and waist, making it easy and comfortable to control your cat on a walk.
Instead of slipping over your cat’s head, the Kitty Holster cat harness has a butterfly shape and uses hook and loop closures to fasten around your cat’s neck and waist. It’s highly adjustable, allowing you to get a secure and comfortable fit.
In addition to being highly adjustable and very secure, the Kitty Holster harness is available in four different sizes and nearly ten different colors and patterns. It is priced under $30.
- Well made with 100% breathable cotton
- Wide straps for comfort and security
- Difficult for cats to escape from
- Mesh fabric is machine washable
- Available in several colors and patterns
- Some cats dislike the sound of the hook and loop closures
- Vest design may be overwhelming for some cats
#3 Budget Pick: PupTeck Checkered Frills Soft Mesh Dog Vest Harness
This PupTeck adjustable cat harness seems to take a few cues from the Kitty Holster. It’s a vest-style harness with wide, comfortable straps and features an open butterfly-shape design. This allows you to put it on your cat without slipping anything over his sensitive head.
The wide straps and generous surface area of this harness make it one of the most secure products on the market. Plus, in addition to the hook-and-loop closure around the belly, the harness adds adjustability and security by including a plastic buckle closure on the neck.
This harness is made from soft mesh material that, according to the company, doesn’t suffocate or overheat your cat when the temperature rises. It also features two heavy D-rings for quick and easy leash attachment using the included lightweight leash.
Not only is the PupTeck vest harness available in four different sizes (small, medium, large, and x-large) but it comes in several solid colors and patterns as well. It is priced around $17.
- Features wide, comfortable straps
- Comes in many sizes/patterns with matching
- Highly secure with adjustable neck strap
- Made from lightweight, breathable mesh materials
- Good for cats who don’t like harnesses slipped over their heads
- Some cats bolt at the sound of hook-and-loop closures
#4 Best Lightweight: PetSafe Come with Me Kitty Harness & Bungee Leash
This lightweight cat harness is best for cats in low-risk situations who don’t need extra security. It comes with a bungee leash, which allows you to gently lead your cat without harsh tugging. If your cat does reach the end of the lead, the webbing straps will gently tighten, helping you keep control of your cat.
Because the harness is very open, however, it’s not the most secure design and not ideal for feline escape artists or cats in high-risk environments. This harness is, however, ideal for an indoor cat when going to the veterinarian and for taking other short trips in the car.
The Come with Me Kitty Harness set comes in three sizes and half a dozen different colors. It is affordably priced around $15 as well.
- Perfect for cats who need a lightweight harness
- Sold with a flexible bungee leash for gentle leading
- Dual adjustability allows you to get the right fit
- A lightweight leash perfect for short trips
- Not the most secure harness and not ideal for adventuring
#5 Best for Adventures: RC Pets Adventure Kitty Harness
If you plan to take your cat on outdoor adventures, you need a durable cat harness that offers a snug and comfortable fit – one that won’t restrict your cat’s movements. This RC Pets Adventure Kitty cat harness is fully adjustable at the neck and waist to keep your cat comfortable, and it is made with breathable mesh fabric.
This cat harness comes in two different versions, one of which (the Primary Collection) must be slipped over your cat’s head to put it on. If your cat doesn’t like this kind of harness, the version we’ve chosen might be a better fit. It has buckles at the neck and waist for convenience.
Priced around $27, this harness may be a little more expensive than some options, but it comes in several colors and patterns, and it comes with an included 6-foot leash.
- Fully adjustable neck and waist
- Air-mesh fabric for breathability and comfort
- Durable materials are machine washable
- One design requires harness to be slipped over the head
- May not be as secure as other designs
#6 Best for Small Cats: Puppia RiteFit Soft Dog Harness
Remember how we said harnesses made for dogs aren’t usually a great fit for cats? This harness is an exception to that rule. It offers several features that make it work well as a harness for cats.
The Puppia RiteFit harness is a step-in harness, which means that you don’t need to slip it over your cat’s head. The neck is adjustable with both a hook and loop closure and two quick release buckles, allowing you to get a secure, comfortable fit.
The harness is constructed from soft, breathable mesh material that makes it comfy for all activities, including outdoor exploration. On Amazon, the customer review section is filled with photos of cats adventuring outside while wearing their Puppia harness.
In addition to being comfortable and secure, the Puppia harness comes in seven different sizes, so you can easily find one that fits even a small cat. It is affordably priced under $15 as well, and it comes in over a dozen different colors.
- Step-in design that doesn’t slip over your cat’s head
- Highly adjustable for a safe, secure fit
- Wide straps distribute weight evenly across your cat’s chest
- Secure enough for outdoor adventures
- Available in a variety of colors
- Designed for small dogs, may be too short for some cats
- Bulky around the neck
- The hook and loop closure may frighten some cats
#7 Best for Large Cats: Best Pet Supplies Voyager Step-In Pet Harness
The Voyager harness from Best Pet Supplies comes in a wide variety of colors and many different sizes. It has a step-in design that allows you to easily insert your cat’s paws through the leg holes and then fasten the harness on their back.
Because this design allows you to put on the harness without ever slipping anything over your cat’s head, it’s comfortable and easy to put on.
The arm holes in this harness are nice and roomy, but the harness isn’t adjustable. That means that the fit isn’t particularly secure. Because it’s not the safest harness for high-risk situations, it’s a good idea to avoid this product if you’re going into remote or noisy areas where your cat might try to escape the harness.
That being said, the Voyager harness is ideal for short, casual trips or exceptionally calm cats with a lot of harness-wearing experience. Because it comes in so many different sizes, it is also a great option for larger cats that don’t fit into traditional cat harnesses.
- Extremely comfortable with wide straps
- All-season design made from soft, breathable mesh material
- Perfect for cats who don’t like having garments slipped over their heads
- Available in a variety of colors
- Limited adjustability and large arm holes make this harness less secure than some others
- Features a hook-and-loop closure, which might disturb some cats
#8 Best for Kittens: Frisco Wrap Cat Harness
Many of the pet harnesses on the market are designed with dogs in mind. The Frisco Wrap Cat Harness is not only designed specifically for cats, but it is particularly good for small cats and kittens.
The Frisco Cat Wrap Harness features adjustable straps at the chest and belly that can be adjusted to a girth as small as 9 inches. The hook and loop closures make it easy to ensure a snug fit, no matter your cat’s size, and there is a D-ring on the back to attach the included leash.
Perfect for use as a walking vest or for quick car trips, this cat harness is made from breathable poly/cotton materials for maximum comfort. The materials are also easy to clean, though they are not machine washable. Simply hand wash and hang dry.
Though this harness is an excellent option for kittens, it only comes in two sizes (small and medium), so it may not be ideal for larger cats. It is also a little more expensive than some of the harnesses on this list, priced around $25.
- Ideal for smaller cats up to 16inches in girth
- Vest-style design with hook and loop closures
- Wide, adjustable neck and belly straps
- Made from breathable poly/cotton materials
- Comes with a matching leash for taking walks
- May be too small for larger cats
- Slightly more expensive than some harnesses
- Some cats may not like hook and loop closures
Your cat harness is a travel essential, and so is a great cat carrier. Click here for a guide to the best cat carriers of 2021.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of harness is best for a cat?
Every cat is different, so there may not be a one-size-fits-all best cat harness. When shopping for a harness, think about your cat’s size, activity level, and comfort to decide on a harness design. Be sure to take your cat’s measurements as well to pick the right size.
Are cat harnesses cruel?
There’s nothing cruel about buying your cat a harness, as long as you choose one that fits well and keeps your cat safe. It’s also important to use the harness appropriately – your cat shouldn’t need it unless you’re walking him outdoors.
Can I train my cat to walk on a leash?
Yes! Having a cat harness helps keep your cat secure during leash training sessions and the walks that follow. Check out our in-depth guide to training a cat to walk on a leash.