A great cat harness is essential whenever you and your cat travel, go hiking, or take 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 theworld 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 cats’ unique needs and designing harnesses made 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.
Our Top 3 Recommended Cat Harnesses
Kitty Holster Cat Harness
Escape Proof Cat Harness
What do cats need out of a harness?
The best cat harnesses are safe and secure.
Cats are nimble, fast, 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 them 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 short 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.
Seek out harnesses that feature adjustable neck and waist straps. These allow you to fine-tune the fit for your unique feline.
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 that you 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 a few kids who are ultra-sensitive to the way their socks feel inside of their shoes or who squirm at the touch of a tag in their T-shirt? These 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 and 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 out of their harness.
Large cats like Savannahs, Maine Coons, and Siberian Forest Cats will likely have a harder time finding a harness that fits their long bodies.
Some cats are uncomfortable with the sound of Velcro and are better off using a harness that features buckles instead. 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.
Top 5 Best Cat Harnesses on the Market
Puppia RiteFit Soft Dog Harness
Remember that harnesses made for dogs aren’t usually a great fit for cats? This harness is an exception to that rule.
This harness has several features that make it work well as a cat harness.
It’s 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 comfortable 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.
- A step-in harness 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
- The harness was designed for small dogs, so it might be too short for some cats
- Bulky around the neck
- The hook and loop closure may frighten some cats
Kitty Holster Cat Harness
The Kitty Holster was designed with maximum security in mind and makes it almost impossible for your cat to escape their harness.
It’s a vest-style harness made with wide cotton straps that contain your cat in secure comfort. The pressure from the leash is distributed evenly across your cat’s chest and waist, making it easy and comfortable to control your cat.
Instead of slipping over your cat’s head, this 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.
- The harness is made with 100% breathable cotton
- Has comfortable wide straps
- Difficult for cats to escape from
- Safe to clean in a washing machine
- Available in several colors and patterns
- Some cats dislike the sound of the hook and loop closures
- The jacket or vest design may be overwhelming for some cats
Escape Proof Cat Harness with Leash – Holster Style Adjustable Soft Mesh
This harness takes 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 their sensitive head.
The wide straps and generous surface area of this harness make it one of the most secure products on the market.
In addition to the hook-and-loop closures, the harness adds adjustability and security by including a plastic buckle closure on the neck. It’s made from soft mesh material that, according to the company, doesn’t suffocate or overheat your cat when the temperature rises.
The harness features two heavy D-rings for attaching the included lightweight leash.
- Features wide, comfortable straps
- Comes with a leash
- Highly secure
- Made from lightweight, breathable mesh
- A great choice for cats who don’t like harnesses slipped over their heads
- Some cats bolt at the sound of hook-and-loop closures
PetSafe Come With Me Kitty Harness & Bungee Cat 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 to control 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 ideal for going to the veterinarian and other short trips in the car.
- 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
Best Pet Supplies Voyager All Season Pet Harness
This harness 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 are roomy and the harness isn’t adjustable, so 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.
It’s ideal for short, casual trips or exceptionally calm cats with a lot of harness-wearing experience.
- Extremely comfortable with wide straps
- An all-season harness 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
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 2018.
About the author
Mallory Crusta is a writer and adventurecat enthusiast on a mission to make cats’ lives extraordinary. She’s one of the founders of Wildernesscat – a site for happy, healthy, and adventurous cats who are fueled by nature. Visit Wildernesscat for radically natural cat nutrition, home remedies, and lifestyle inspiration.