How do I choose a harness for my cat?

Taking your cat for a walk is an excellent way for it to get some well-needed exercise. Additionally, if you walk your cat regularly and provide it with a healthy and balanced diet, your cat is less likely to be overweight. Cat owners who take their cats on walks typically use cat harnesses. In this article, we will give you tips on how to choose the right cat harness for your cat.

Important criteria for choosing a harness

To begin with, you should start by taking your cat’s measurements. To do this, measure your cat’s neck, its chest, and the length of its back.

The size

Harnesses should neither be too big nor too tight. It should not squeeze the neck of your cat as this could strangle or even suffocate your cat. In addition, the harness should allow your cat to move around comfortably. If your cat is still growing, it is best to search for a harness with adjustable straps.

The shape

Many different harness shapes exist on the market and each one of them has its own purpose. For example, some of the most popular styles are the cat vest harness, the H-shaped harness, the Roman harness, the figure 8 harness, and the step-in harness.

The figure 8 harness hugs both the torso and neck and is shaped like an 8. When it comes to the H-shaped harness, it has two loops connected by a band, similar to the 8-shaped harness. With this design, the leash puts less pressure on the cat’s neck, protecting it from potential injury.

The vest harness is useful if you have a larger cat. It hugs cats well and adapts to their morphology perfectly. Vest harnesses are available in all sizes (S, M, and L) and are usually available in many different colors.

The material

Harnesses are typically made out of cotton, nylon, or leather. Nylon harnesses are practical, aesthetic, and comfortable. Moreover, they are easy to wash and dry quickly. Cotton harnesses are lighter but just as comfortable. Lastly, leather harnesses are more durable. However, if you choose this material, keep in mind that it could cause burns in hot weather.

A good locking system

For a harness to be effective, it must be able to hold your cat without breaking or detaching. It must also be able to withstand the pulling force of the leash attached to it. It is therefore recommended that you choose a clip closure system. Special attention should also be paid to the seams of the harness. Make sure they are strong enough to withstand the pressure and pull.

The length of the leash

A good length leash allows you to have better control of your cat. It also allows your cat to enjoy optimal freedom of movement. If you want to use a harness on a daily basis, choose a 3 meter (approximately 9 feet) long leash. If not, you can choose 1 or 2 meters (around 3 or 6 feet).

Ease of use

It is best to buy a harness that is easy to use. You’ll avoid unnecessarily stressing your cat. A stressed cat might scratch you or injure itself while you put on the harness.

Reflective strips

If you prefer to take your cat out for walks in the evening, you should consider buying a harness with reflective strips. The reflective strips are helpful because they shine in the light, allowing your cat to be visible to people and cars around it. Reflective strips are typically found in colors such as blue, green, red, or purple.


While it’s true that harnesses are useful and keep cats safe, they are also beautiful accessories that can bring our your cat’s charm. Consider buying a color or model that emphasizes your cat’s beauty and blends well with its coat.

Helpful tip

To check if your cat’s harness is the right size, slip two fingers between its body and the harness. If you can do this, your harness is the ideal size. If not, it’s too tight. If you can do it and still have room, then the harness is too loose.

A Siberian cat wearing a harness.

Why should I put a harness on my cat?

Harnesses are lightweight, durable, and designed to prevent injuries. Some models are equipped with an identity tag and a bell to allow you to find them more easily. However, it is best to remove them often so that your cat can groom itself without a problem.

This accessory is very useful if you plan on going on walks with your cat. It offers security and freedom of movement, which a leash and simple cat collar do not. Cats are less cooperative than dogs and can easily strangle themselves when attached to a collar.

In addition, many cats that are accustomed to living in apartments can be disturbed by particular outside noises such as car horns, voices, or car engines. With a harness, your furball is less likely to run away and injure itself when panicked.

Additionally, they are also useful if you want to let your cat out on the balcony. This will prevent your cat from falling or running away.

How do I put a harness on my cat?

It all depends on how your cat is feeling. It is best to avoid putting a harness on when your cat is agitated or excited. This might cause your cat to scratch you or even hurt its neck. Equally important, you need to be patient. If the style of the harness requires you to pull it over your cat’s head, be gentle and do not force it.

For the figure 8 and vest styles, pass the straps all around the belly before closing the larger ring. You will see the crossing of the straps around its belly or back. For maximum comfort, adjust the straps.

As for the H-shaped model, after inserting your cat’s head into the small opening, insert its front legs into the larger one. Then bring the straps under its belly and on its side before closing the buckle. You can adjust the straps if necessary.

A cat wearing a harness.

My cat doesn’t like its harness

It is rare that a cat will accept its harness the first time it is tried on. It is necessary to get your cat accustomed to it. Kittens usually adapt more quickly than adult cats. It is important to keep in mind, however, that not all cats will accept wearing a harness.

Tips for familiarizing your cat with a harness

After succeeding in putting it on, let your cat wear it inside the house without a leash for 5 to 10 minutes. This will help your cat to get used to its new accessory. Repeat this after about 2 hours. When doing this, don’t forget to reward your cat for its efforts. When you feel like your cat has gotten quite used to the feeling of the harness, attach a leash and take it out for a small walk. However, be sure not to force your cat to go out. Let it gain confidence and trust gradually.

One trick is to carry your cat in your arms to the park to introduce it to the outside environment and sounds. Make sure to stay away from dogs and avoid pulling on the leash. Once your cat realizes that you are letting it roam around outside with its harness on, it might start to come back to you regularly to ask for it.

Harness are practical accessories for cats. They are comfortable and safer for cats that regularly go on walks or go out on the balcony or garden. While it takes time to get your cat accustomed to it, once it gets used to the feeling, you will be able to walk with your cat in complete peace of mind.