The Best Cat Harnesses

Harnesses are one of the most important tools of having a cat who explores the world with you. But they're also the hardest to get right.

While walking your cat, you attach their leash to their harness. Their harness needs to fit well – not too tight that it is restrictive and not too loose that they can wriggle out of it. You also need to think about whether it is appropriate for the adventures you go on with your cat. Some harnesses may be made out of materials that are too thick and hot for your climate, while these would be perfect for another kitty on the other side of the world.

And then, of course, each cat is different and has their own preference. And there are so many options out in the marketplace!

It can all get rather overwhelming when you are trying to pick a harness for you kitty.

To make it easier for you, we asked our community about the harnesses they use to walk their cats and why they picked these harnesses. We asked them what works well, what doesn’t and what they would recommend.

Always attach a leash to a harness and not a collar. If you attach a leash to your cat’s collar, and they make a sudden movement, it can strangle them.

Type of Harness for Cats

There are 3 main types of cat harnesses: a H-harness, a vest harness or a jacket harness.

H-harness

 H-Harnesses are shaped, you guessed it, like a letter H. They are typically the most popular harness for kittens as they have the least amount of contact area with your kitty. Typically they do not need to be put over your kitty’s head and have 2 points to be fastened on your kitty’s side.

Due to the design of H-harnesses, they do focus pressure on limited areas on your cat, especially in moments of fast movements

In saying that, many kitties prefer them as they have less contact area and their heads do not need to be ‘pushed’ through the harness.

Vest Harnesses

Vest harnesses (and once again, you guessed it!) look like a vest.

As such, they have more contact with your cat than a H-Harness. Typically they are fastened on the back.

As they have more contact with your cat’s body it does mean that the pressure points are more spread out, which is helpful when your cat makes sudden movements.

In order to put a vest harness on a cat, you will be usually required to out their head through the harness, and this may have the turtleneck effect. Many cats do not like this, but some cats do get used to the sensation.

Jacket Harnesses

Another popular type of harness is the jacket harness, otherwise known as a butterfly harness.

These cover more of your kitty’s body and typically fit better. This means that your kitty is less likely to wriggle their way out of their harness, if they get spooked while you are out and about.

How to Decide What Harness is Best for Your Cat

There are positives and negatives to each of these harness types and even to each harness brand (see below) but there are a few other factors you should consider.

Your Cat’s Size

A smaller cat would need a harness that can be easily adjustable. In fact kittens can even wear a ferret harness!

A larger cat may fit well into a dog harness.

The Activates You & Your Cat Will Be Doing

If your cat might get wet while exploring, a harness that dries quickly would be ideal. This could be a H-harness as it has less material area.

Similarly harnesses with mesh and more material are more likely to hold onto sand. However, these tend to be more comfortable for some cats.

The Weather

Yes, just like the weather impacts what we wear, it can impact the harness we pick for our cats.

In very cold weather, when our cats might wear a jacket, they will need to wear a harness that fits comfortably under their jackets like a H-harness. Perhaps your cat will prefer to wear a jacket harness in cold weather instead. While at other times they may prefer a vest harness.

Your Cat’s Fur

Some cats with longer fur may find their fur gets tangled when wearing vest harnesses while other cats prefer to wear vest harnesses as they feel more comfortable.

If your cat has long fur it is also important to think about how the harness will be fastened. Longer hair cats tend to get their fur caught in Velcro and clasps.

Illnesses

As much as we don’t want to think about it, some cats do have some chronic conditions, like asthma, that we need to consider while picking a harness.

If they have asthma, a harness that clasps around the neck can trigger an attack.

A cat with arthritis may struggle with harnesses that require a lot of movement to put on.

Your Cat & You

The harness you pick, really depends on what is important to you & your cat.

And most cats have several harnesses, either because they have tried a few or because they have a different harness for different activities or climates.

Cat Harness Brands

Puppia

Puppia makes several types of vest harnesses including:

Instagram:    @maplethemews

Instagram: @maplethemews

  • Soft Harness - probably their better known ones, but do need to be put over your cat's head and the neck may be too large

  • Catspia range for cats which surprisingly is not used in our community

  • Ritefit, which has an adjustable neck but does not come in a XS

 Positives of Puppia Harnesses for Your Cat

  • Fully adjustable

  • Provide more coverage on you cat

  • Good for cats with long fur due to material

  • Easy to find in stores and online

Negatives of Puppia Harnesses for Your Cat

  • Cats can get out or get a limb out

  • Like all vest harnesses – it is like putting on a turtleneck

  • Can create tangles on cats with longer fur

  • Might not fit under jackets

  • Easy to slip out of

 

The Voyager Soft harness is a vest style harness and XS usually fits cats

Positives of the Voyager Soft Harness for Your Cat

  • Comfortable and secure

  • Affordable

  • Comes in a variety of colours

  • Velcro makes it easier to fit

Negatives of the Voyager Soft Harness for Your Cat

  • Too big for kittens as made for dogs

 

The Rufus & Coco soft mesh harness is a vest harness and the XS size can be used for cats.

Positives of the Rufus & Coco Soft Mesh Harness For Your Cat

  • Fits well, soft

  • Comfortable

  • Can be put on one handed by one human

Negatives of the Rufus & Coco Soft Mesh Harness For Your Cat

  • Some cats can wriggle out of the harness

  • Only available in Australia

 

Come With Me Kitty Cat Harness

The Come With Me Kitty Cat Harness & Bungee Leash is a H-harness and is available in most pet stores.

Positives of the Come With Me Kitty Harness for Your Cat

  • Not restrictive

  • Adjustable

  • Sits low on chest rather than neck so doesn’t pull on him

  • Slides over neck and doesn’t require clipping around the neck

  • Feels like he is not wearing a harness

  • Easy to find in stores

Negatives of the Come With Me Kitty Harness for Your Cat

  • Some cats slip out of the harness

Tip for The Come With Me Kitty Harness

  • Knot the harness section where the leash ring is to make it snugger on your cat. This will help prevent them from escaping from the harness

Supakit Gatsby Harness

The Supakit Gatsby Harness is a H-harness.

Positives of the Supakit Gatsby Harness For Your Cat

  • Easy to size

  • Easy to put on

  • Made of natural products

  • Fits well

  • Difficult for your cat to wriggle out of

Negatives of the Supakit Gatsby Harness For Your Cat

  • Only available on their online store

  • Slightly dearer than other harnesses

 

Kitty Holster Cat Harness

The Kitty Holster Cat Harness is a vest harness. It does cover a lot of the body, so it may be warm in summer but would be suitable in winter.

Positives of the Kitty Holster Cat Harness For Your Cat

  • Secure and fits well

  • Easy to put on and don’t have to slide anything over their heads.

Negatives of the Kitty Holster Cat Harness For Your Cat

  • Secured using Velcro, which some cats do not like

  • Warm in Summer

RC Pet Products Adventure Kitty Harness

The RC Pet Products Adventure Kitty Harness is a vest style harness.

Positives of the RC Pet Products Adventure Kitty Harness for Your Cat

  • Secure

  • Easy to put on

  • Good for growing kitties due to ability to adjust

  • Comfortable

  • Has many colour choices

  • Made for cats

Negatives of the RC Pet Products Adventure Kitty Harness for Your Cat

  • Cat may take some time to get used to it (perhaps use it as a second harness)

RC Pet Products Dog Harness

The RC Pet Products Dog Harness is also a vest harness.

Positives of the RC Pet Products Dog Harness

  • No  chance for your cat to escape from harness

  • Easy to put on

  • Doesn’t pull on you cat’s neck

Negatives of the RC Pet Products Dog Harness

  • Not adjustable

  • Made for Dogs

 

The Cat Walking Jacket is a jacket harness for your cat.

Positives of the Cat Walking Jacket by MetPet for Your Cat

  • Adjustable and easy to put on and off

Negaitves of the Cat Walking Jacket by MetPet for Your Cat

  • If your cat pulls hard or makes sudden movements, it can be harsh against their neck

 

The SturdiPet Walking Vest is a jacket harness for your cat.

Positives of the SturdiPet Walking Vest for Your Cat

  • Secures well

  • Cat unlikely to escape

  • Comes in a variety of colours

Negatives of the SturdiPet Walking Vest for Your Cat

  • Attaches around the neck

  • Uses Velcro for attachment and adjustment. Some cats may be afraid of the Velcro noise or fur can get caught.

 

Hyendry Pet Products make harnesses as walking jackets.

Positives of Hyendry Pet Products Walking Jacket For Your Cat

  • Comfortable and secure

  • Hand Made

Negatives of Hyendry Pet Products Walking Jacket For Your Cat

  • Attaches around the neck

  • Uses Velcro for attachment and adjustment. Some cats may be afraid of the Velcro noise or fur can get caught.

 

Mynwood Cat Jacket

Mynwood Cat Jackets are custom made jacket harnesses

Instagram:    @roxythe_kitty

Instagram: @roxythe_kitty

Positives of the Mynwood Cat Jacket for Your Cat

  • Adjustable

  • Comes in different materials for different weather

  • Reversible so 2 colours in one

  • Fits well

  • Don’t pull at neck

  • Supplier is great at custom making

Negatives of the Mynwood Cat Jacket for Your Cat

  • Uses Velcro for attachment and adjustment. Some cats may be afraid of the Velcro noise or fur can get caught.

 

Rieriebird Harnesses

Rieriebird harnesses are vest style.

Positives of Rieriebird Harnesses for Your Cat

  • Custom made

  • You can pick your preferred fabrics

  • Has buckles that adjust as your cat grows

Negatives of Rieriebird Harnesses for Your Cat

  • Only available on Etsy

 

The Gooby harnesses are vest harnesses.

Positives of the Gooby Harnesses for Your Cat

  • Fit cats well

  • Cats don’t escape from the harnesses

Negatives of the Gooby Harnesses for Your Cat

  • Need to be re-tightened every few weeks.

 

The Animates Harness is a H-harness.

Positives of the Animates Harness for Your Cat

  • Has additional leash attachments which means your leash doesn’t get tangled wherever they are.

  • Adjustable

Negatives of the Animates Harness for Your Cat

  • May require your cat’s legs to go through to attach the harness

 

Rukka Pets Harness

Rukka make 3 types of vest style harnesses for dogs (which can be used for cats!). These are:

Positives of Rukka Pet Harnesses for Your Cat

  • Comfortable for your cat

  • Soft material

  • Easy to wear with long fur

Negatives of Rukka Pet Harnesses for Your Cat

  • May have to place cat’s head through harness

 

The Catit Harness is a H-harness.

Positives of the Catit Harness for Your Cat

  • Cost Effective Option

  • Easy to find in stores

Negatives of the Catit Harness for Your Cat

  • Some cats can wriggle out of the harness

 

Make Your Own Cat Harness

Did you know that you can even make your own harness?

Perhaps you can use this option on Etsy, or this one on Cutness, or this one from Instructables or this one from Catspro.

Other Harnesses Used by The Catexplorer Community

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