Best Cat Harness

There are some people out there who scoff at the mention of a cat harness. These are the same people who probably have the pleasure of living away from main roads with cats that have road sense. 

For those of us who have indoor cats or happen to live near busy roads, cat harnesses are an absolute blessing. 

Taking a cat out on a leash can be terrifying. We all know how slippery our feline friends can be. They seem to wriggle out of the smallest spaces! This isn’t what you want when you’re on a walk!

Luckily, cat harnesses are much more secure and comfortable nowadays. At least the good ones are. There are a huge number of cat harnesses on the market now and finding one that works can be tricky.  

That’s where we come in! 

We’ve put together a buyer’s guide to help you understand the different features and requirements. So, even if you aren’t taken with any of the products we’ve reviewed, you can still make a safe, secure, and comfortable purchase for your meandering moggy. 

Alright, strap in, we’re going to walk you through the best cat harnesses on the market! 

Is Felix begging for a walk? Here’s our top pick:

Top 5 Best Cat Harness Review

OUR TOP PICK

This is the most reviewed cat harness available on Amazon. An overwhelming majority of these reviews are wholly positive. 

Owners label this harness as escape-proof, comfortable, and easily adjustable. What more can you ask for? 

Made from breathable, light mesh the vest design secures your kitty without making them feel overly restrained. 

Four separate adjustment points allow you to tailor the fit to your cat. The two buckles on the neck and two on the chest straps are easy to use. They make the harness snug in all the right places without restricting your cat’s movement too much. 

The harness fastens via two side clips. These are easy to access and simple to use. It will make the experience much easier and kinder for everyone involved! 

Our only gripe with this harness is that it has an over-the-head design. This can be a bit tricky to get on with reluctant, wriggly cats. 

Pros:

  • Vest design for extra security.
  • Easy to use clip fastening.
  • Plenty of adjustment range. 
  • Available in a range of colors.
  • Two sizes are available.
  • Leash included.

Cons:

  • Over the head design.

EDITORS CHOICE

Nobody said cat harnesses can’t be stylish as well as functional! 

These harnesses come in a range of colors and patterns so your moggy can be the coolest cat on the block! From a simple black polka dot to three different camo designs, we’re sure you’ll be able to find a design that suits your style.

There is also a range of sizes from xs to xl so you can properly fit this harness to your cat. The sizes are given according to weight, but you should still measure your cat’s chest and neck.

Fastening under the neck and belly with hook and loop strips, this isn’t the easiest harness to put on. The awkward position of the fastening and the hook and loop design can freak your cat out if they are not used to it.

That being said, plenty of customers claim that this is the best harness they’ve ever used. Many find that their cats are comfortable and at ease while wearing the harness. 

Also, the vest design makes escapes much less likely, even with a spooked cat. 

Pros:

  • Comes in a range of colors and patterns. 
  • Breathable mesh material.
  • Range of sizes to fit all cats. 
  • Vest design for added security.

Cons:

  • Hook and loop fastening may frighten some cats. 
  • Limited adjustment range.
  • Awkward fastening position.

BEST VALUE

This woven nylon harness is slim and lightweight. It has a basic H-style design that connects the neck and chest looks with a short back strap. 

Some customers do report that the back strap is slightly too short which causes the neck loop to cut in when the cat lowers its head. 

Available in a range of colors, some of which have a light reflective strap, you’ll be able to find a perfect match for your cat. 

There are two adjustment points, one on the neck loop and one on the chest. These allow you to get personalized, snug fit for your cat despite there being only one size. 

Customers have reported that this harness fits cats of many shapes and sizes. The only issue they have with the fit is the short back strap. 

Fastening with two clips, you don’t have to force this harness over your cat’s neck. This should make the whole process a bit more relaxed for your cat. 

Pros:

  • Lightweight design.
  • Available in a range of colors. 
  • Reflective strip for better visibility. 
  • Clip fastenings.
  • Good adjustment range.
  • Leash included.

Cons:

  • Short back strap restricts neck movement.

RUNNER UP

Made from woven, nylon fabric. This harness allows a more natural movement style than some vest harnesses. 

The interesting design moves the tension from the neck of your cat to the shoulders. This prevents harmful tugging on the throat or neck. 

You can adjust the belly band and the neck loop which allows you to custom fit this to your cat. The adjustment range is excellent and allows you to make sure your cat cannot escape.

Fastening with a single clip, there is no loop and hook to spook your cat. The clip is sturdy and easy to use. 

One issue with this kind of harness is that it needs to go over your cat’s head. This can be a bit frightening for your cat if not done correctly. Luckily, the slim style means you can get it over and on quickly. 

Customers have found that their cats take to this harness quickly. They don’t seem too bothered by the feel of it on their bodies. 

Pros

  • Slim, lightweight design.
  • Easy clip fastening.
  • Ergonomic design.
  • Plenty of adjustment range. 
  • Leash included.

Cons:

  • Over the head design.

RUNNER UP

Although the product listing does call this a dog harness, they have two sizes that are specifically designed for cats. 

Made from weatherproof mesh, this harness is soft and comfortable enough to please the fussiest felines. 

It has a light padding that avoids painful pressure on your cat’s body.  However, the padding isn’t excessively bulky so it gives a nice snug fit to prevent escape. 

This harness has a step in design which means that there’s no need to try and wrestle it over your cat’s head. It is a much calmer and relaxing overall experience. 

The harness fastens on the back in three different ways for added security. 

The harness wraps around the body and attaches with a hook and loop section. This allows you to customize the fit for your pet. 

Then, a simple but sturdy clip holds both sides firmly in place. You can make minor adjustments to this fastening to tailor the fit. 

Finally, the double D rings are attached to a leash creating a failsafe. In the unlikely event that the hook and loop fastening and the clip fail, the D rings will hold the harness in place. This should give you enough time to catch your cat. 

Pros:

  • Comfortable mesh fabric.
  • Secure vest design.
  • Multiple fastenings for security. 
  • Available in a range of colors.

Cons:

  • Hook and loop fastenings can frighten some cats.

Best Cat Harness Buying Guide

Cat’s are fussy creatures. They don’t always take well to change or new things so getting the right harness is key to reducing their stress. 

This guide will help you choose a harness that will keep your cat safe on a walk or trip while also making them feel more comfortable wearing a harness. 

When To Use a Cat Harness

There was a time, not so long ago, when the very thought of putting your cat on a leash and taking them for a walk would have been met with incredulity and scorn. 

However, since the 1980s the number of indoor cats in American households has exploded to nearly 70% of all pet cats. 

While indoor cats are lovely, the problem is they still have a lot of their wild instincts. Cats are curious creatures who love to chase, climb, and sniff. 

We keep them indoors because that is the only truly safe place, but sometimes this doesn’t make them happy. Sometimes, even with indoor cats, their instincts will out. 

Indoor cats can become depressed, anxious, or overweight when they can’t go outside. You’ll notice they stare longingly out of the window meowing at passing birds but don’t do much else. 

This is when you want to consider getting a cat harness. 

A harness allows your cat to engage in more natural behaviors like stalking, climbing, and sniffing whilst also being safe.  

They are a good compromise for our little lions who aren’t quite as tough as they think they are. 

Cat harnesses are also a good idea whenever you need to transport your cat. 

Carriers are widely used for taking cats to the vet or moving them to a new home but they aren’t foolproof. 

Sometimes our cats are just too quick and they slip past us. A harness and leash will give you more control and security. There’s no more crawling under the vet’s desk to retrieve a frightened fuzzball if you’ve got tight hold of a leash. 

Fit

Before purchasing a harness you need to measure your cat. This can sometimes be easier said than done. However, you need to get the right fit. 

Measure the girth of the chest with a tape measure. You need to get the tape close to the body. On fluffy cats, this is going to mean fighting your way through the fur! 

For the neck, measure the area where their collar sits. Again, make sure you are taking measurements close to the body. 

When choosing the size, you want to look for measurements that are ever so slightly larger than your cat’s measurements. This is because a perfect fitting harness, just like a collar, should have room for you to fit a finger between the fabric and your cat. 

It’s not about wiggle room. This gap prevents the harness from restricting your cat’s breathing.

When you put the harness on, it shouldn’t pinch fir or skin. It should be snug but not tight. 

Material

Cats are notoriously picky. It’s in their nature. This does make buying a harness a bit tricky. 

You’ll need to find a fabric that your cat will tolerate whether that’s mesh or woven nylon fabric. Unfortunately, it might be a case of trial and error until you find something that works. 

Another thing to think about is the fastenings. 

Velcro can be quite loud and startling for many cats so it might not be the best choice. 

Buckles are quiet but they’re also fiddly. If you have a cat who likes to wriggle, buckles are going to be frustrating for everyone involved. They’re also quite annoying to do up on long-haired cats. 

Clips are a simple but effective choice. They are secure and easy to do up even on the squirmiest cat. 

Style

There are two basic styles of cat harnesses; strap and vest. 

Strap harnesses are lighter and don’t tend to restrict the cat’s movement as much as vest harnesses. 

However, they are less secure than vest harnesses as cats can sometimes slip out, especially if they’re not properly fitted. 

Usually made from woven nylon fabric, these harnesses tend to have a loop that goes over the head and a loop that goes around the chest behind the front legs. 

These two loops are joined by a strap that goes along the back of the cat. Sometimes there is also a strap that runs along the belly.

These harnesses are sometimes called H style harnesses because the straps look like the letter h. 

Vest harnesses are also sometimes called holster harnesses. They are often made of mesh and have a lot more fabric in contact with the cat. Some cats prefer this, others don’t. You’ll have to try it out. 

The best vest harnesses will have a step-in design. This is much less frightening than slip-on harnesses which need to go over the cat’s head. 

Step-in vest harnesses usually fasten at the cat’s back with clips or velcro.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get my cat used to a harness?

This is super important! Cats don’t tend to take kindly to new things so taking the time to get your cat comfortable with a harness will ultimately lead to safer walks and a happier cat. 

The first thing you need to do is to create positive associations between the harness and the cat. 

Gently put the harness on indoors and give treats while they wear the harness. After a few minutes take the harness off. 

Repeat this step a few times each day for a few days. Increase the wearing time every time you do this. 

After a few days, your cat should tolerate the harness. 

It is important that you only give treats when the cat wears the harness. If you give them treats all the time, they won’t make the association between treats and the harness. 

Once your cat is used to the harness, you can clip a lightweight leash onto the harness. Avoid heavy leashes or chains as this will bother the cat. 

For the first few days, follow your cat as they walk while holding the leash loosely. Essentially, you’re getting them used to walking beside you. 

When they are fine with your presence, let them walk around with the leash dragging on the floor behind them. This will get them used to tension on the leash.

Always supervise your cat when they are wearing their leash and harness. You don’t want them to get tangled. 

The final step, before you tackle the wide outdoors, is to walk your cat in the house. 

Clip the leash on and allow your cat to walk freely at first. Once they seem comfortable, gently tug them in a different direction. You may need to bribe them with treats initially. 

Each time they follow your lead, reward them with treats and praise. 

Only once your cat can walk comfortably indoors on a leash should you go outside. 

Can I use a small dog harness?

You shouldn’t put your cat in a small dog harness. It might look like it fits but there are a few design features that make dog harnesses unsuitable for cats. 

Firstly, dog harnesses are heavier than cat harnesses. Even the ones designed for little dogs. 

Dogs are stronger and generally pull more than cats. To compensate for this, dog harnesses are strengthened with extra padding and thicker seams. Dogs, being bigger, don’t mind this.

Cats are a different kettle of fish. Heavy harnesses can make them feel weighed down and uncomfortable. 

Another problem with dog harnesses is that they are bulkier. Again, this is to do with the added padding. 

Dogs, being less flexible than cats, generally can’t pull out of these bulky harnesses.

Cat’s are like furry little snakes. They can bend and twist their way out of anything that isn’t fitted properly to their body.

The padding might make a more comfortable harness but it is not secure.

Should my cat wear a harness all the time?

You shouldn’t leave your cat in a harness unsupervised. Even when you are training them to get used to the harness, you need to take it off when you aren’t watching them. 

Cats are curious creatures who like to explore and often find themselves in tight spaces. If they are wearing a harness, the risk of them getting caught or trapped on something increases. 

Think about it. A harness has lots of loops and flaps that can get snagged or caught on wires, banisters, and doors. 

You don’t want your cat to come to any harm, nor do you want them to associate the harness with bad experiences. 

If they’re not in sight, take it off.