What is a Cat Harness and Why do You Need it

Even if your cat never walks outside, you may need a cat body harness in some situations. Suppose, you need to take your pet to a vet – using a harness is the easiest way to control it on the way. There are known cases when cats escaped from cars and pet clinics; if you put a harness with a leash on your cat, the chance of escaping will be minimal.

Another example is travelling with a cat. No matter how you are travelling – by car, by air or by train – always use a harness if you don’t want to lose your pet. In some places, cats are not allowed without a harness at all.

Before we proceed to description of top harnesses models, let’s talk about the types of this important accessory. Basically, there are two main kinds of it.


Leads (aka straps) are simple textile straps that go around the cat’s neck and body behind its front legs with a buckle on the back. A well-trained cat can feel comfortable enough with the harness of this type. Young, nervous, and non-trained kitties tend to slip out of their leads or struggle with them, causing discomfort to themselves.

Figure 8 Leads

As the name implies, such a lead resembles the figure 8 by its shape. Roughly speaking, it is made of two round loops. The first one is the collar; the second one wraps around the chest. These two loops are interconnected with a D-ring, which is located on the pet’s back. If the leash is pulled, the loops are tightened, improving the fixation.

H-Shaped Leads

An H-shaped lead also consists of two loops, but they are connected with an additional strap on the back. The D-ring is attached to the chest loop. Both lops are usually adjustable.


They are put on like people’s vests and fastened on the back (usually with Velcro fasteners). They provide a better distribution of pressure and cause less discomfort to a cat. Also, there are models resembling jackets that protect a pet from dirt and cold like clothes. Vests are slightly more expensive than leads but they are easier to use and more comfortable.

Top Cat Harness Models: A Comparative Chart

Best Choice
Kitty Holster review
Kitty Holster
  • Type of harness: H-shaped vest
  • Material: Strong cotton
  • Fastening: Velcro
  • Leash attachment: Metal D-ring

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Also great
PUPTECK Escape Proof review
PUPTECK Escape Proof
  • Type of harness: H-shaped vest
  • Material: Mesh fabric
  • Fastening: Velcro
  • Leash attachment: Double metal ring

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Also great
PetSafe Come With Me review
PetSafe Come With Me
  • Type of harness: 8-figure lead
  • Material: Nylon
  • Fastening: Plastic buckles
  • Leash attachment: Metal D-ring

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Also great
PUPTECK Adjustable review
PUPTECK Adjustable
  • Type of harness: H-shaped lead
  • Material: Nylon
  • Fastening: Plastic buckles
  • Leash attachment: Metal D-ring

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Also great
Smalllee Lucky Store review
Smalllee Lucky Store
  • Type of harness: V-shaped vest
  • Material: Mesh fabric
  • Fastening: Slip-type fastener
  • Leash attachment: Metal ring

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Best Choice
Mynwood Cat Jacket review
Mynwood Cat Jacket
  • Type of harness: H-shaped vest/jacket
  • Material: Strong cotton
  • Fastening: Velcro
  • Leash attachment: Welded steel D-ring

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Also great
Voyager All Weather review
Voyager All Weather
  • Type of harness: V-shaped vest
  • Material: Mesh fabric
  • Fastening: Velcro
  • Leash attachment: Metal D-ring

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Also great
LupinePet Originals review
LupinePet Originals
  • Type of harness: H-shaped lead
  • Material: jacquard woven nylon
  • Fastening: Plastic buckles
  • Leash attachment: welded D-ring

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Also great
PUPTECK Reflective Adjustable review
PUPTECK Reflective Adjustable
  • Type of harness: H-shaped lead
  • Material: Nylon
  • Fastening: Plastic buckles
  • Leash attachment: Metal ring

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Things to Consider When Choosing a Cat Harness

A cat harness is a popular accessory, and with plenty of models on sale, it can be quite difficult to make a choice. There are several crucial criteria that you need to consider to choose the best option for your beloved feline. An ideal cat harness must meet the following requirements.


Cats are small pets, and they are not as strong as dogs. A heavy harness with a lot of metal rings and fastenings will be uncomfortable and inconvenient to wear. Choose lightweight vests and leads that won’t cause serious discomfort to your feline.

Easy to Use and Clean

A good cat harness must be easy to put on and take off; otherwise, your kitty will be scared or irritated, and you will be scratched and bitten. The whole process of putting on, fastening and adjusting a harness should take less than a minute. A harness is predominantly used outdoors, so it will often get dirty. Fortunately, most cat harness models are washable.

Safe for Use

Needless to say, a cat harness must be safe for cats. Firstly, it should be made of non-toxic materials – don’t forget that it contacts directly with a pet’s skin. Secondly, it should not cause any real harm to a kitty. It means, it should not be excessively tight (a cat can choke), hamper a pet or be too heavy.


Cats’ outdoor behavior is unpredictable. They can roll on the ground, climb on trees, or play with fallen leaves. Some cats try to get rid of the annoying harness, tear and bite it. Finally, they pull the leash, trying to escape, and if the harness is not durable enough, it won’t last long.


There are no two similar cats. Meanwhile, most cat accessories come in standard sizes. A good harness is the one that can be easily adjusted for the size of a particular pet.

How We Picked out the Best Cat Harnesses 2018

To pick out the best cat harness 2018 we used a comprehensive approach. It was not just an analysis of the best cat harness reviews of real customers (though it was one of steps). We also tested a range of popular models in a live situation. We compared harnesses based on several criteria – materials used, size adjustability, quality of fastening, cat’s comfort, as well as some secondary characteristics. The result of this comprehensive testing is a list of top cat harnesses 2018.

Best Cat Harnesses 2018: Our Choice

Here are ten different cat harnesses that were considered the best based on the results of testing. All of them are of decent quality and made with a full compliance with existing norms and requirements, so you can safely buy any of them for your pet. Also we tried to pick out the best cat harness no escape, the cheapest option, the extra small cat harness and the largest one.

Kitty Holster Cat Harness

Kitty Holster Cat Harness


The Kitty Holster cat harness is made is the form of a vest. It is designed to control a cat without making harm to it. The vest is fastened on a pet’s throat and behind the front legs with a Velcro, which lets adjust the size. Available in four sizes – from XS to XL.


  • a convenient D-ring for a leash;
  • strong fabric;
  • cotton lining; a lot of color solutions;
  • adjustability. 


  • some cats are scared of a Velcro fastening sound;
  • not very convenient for long-hair cats, as their fur tends to be caught by the Velcro.
Escape Proof Cat Harness with Leash - Holster Style Adjustable Soft Mesh - Best for Walking Black

Pupteck Escape Proof Cat Harness with Leash


This is a well-made cat harness for walking designed in the form of a vest. It is marketed as an escape-proof model because of an additional adjustable closure on the neck. The vest is made of soft breathing materials that are comfortable to wear.


  • a double D-ring on the back;
  • a soft Velcro fastening is easy-to-use and convenient;
  • a leash is included, though without a flex.


  • the actual size is smaller than claimed;
  • the extra closure makes the whole item heavier, which makes it uncomfortable for small cats and kittens.
PetSafe Come With Me Kitty Harness and Bungee Leash, Large, Red

PetSafe Come With Me Kitty Harness and Bungee Leash


This Petsafe cat harness is a lightweight affordable lead for outdoor walking. It has an H-shape, which helps to shift pressure from the cat’s throat to its shoulders. The leash included has a smart bungee construction, which provides spare length.


  • easy to put on and lightweight;
  • doesn’t hamper a cat,
  • the size is easily adjusted.


  • the leash could be longer;
  • not completely escape-proof.
Adjustable Cat Harness Nylon Strap Collar with Leash Black PUPTECK

Pupteck Adjustable Cat Harness Nylon Strap Collar with Leash Black


This is one of the cheapest models intended for small cats and kittens. It also suits to small puppies. An H-shaped lead and a leash both are made of nylon.  The size of this small cat harness can be easily adjusted with the help of plastic buckles.


  • cheap, lightweight, and durable;
  • doesn’t cause harm or discomfort to a cat;
  • pets tolerate it well.


  • nylon straps can disturb cats with sensitive skin;
  • the strap on the back between the neck and the chest loops is not adjusted.
Petetpet Puppy Harness and Leash Breathable Adjustable Harness Set for Cat Small Dogs Pets Walking Training Running Hiking

Petetpet Puppy Harness and Leash


As the name implies, this harness is intended for both small dogs and medium-sized and big cats. It has a classic V-shaped vest style that is optimal for even pressure distribution. Three sizes – from S to L – are available, and plastic buckles allow further adjustment of straps. On the minus side, the durability of the harness is average. If your pet is active or aggressive, it will tear off the harness in a short time. It is for calm or passive animals.


  • a universal kit for dogs and cats;
  • easily adjusted;
  • breathing fabric and soft lining don’t irritate skin;
  • an interesting camouflage color solution (other options are also available).


  • the fabric is not too durable.
Smalllee_Lucky_Store Soft Mesh Nylon Vest Dog Harness Leash Set Leads

Smalllee Lucky Store


This is another amazing kit for small dogs or cats. The harness is a V-shaped vest with soft pads around the neck opening, which reduces skin irritation. The model is available in three sizes (S-L); a nice leash is included.


  • a cheap cat harness with a nice polka dot design;
  • made of soft breathable fabric – cute and pleasant to touch;
  • the harness itself and the buckles are sturdy enough.


  • it can be quite challenging to put it on correctly;
  • the closure system is a sort of complicated.
Mynwood Cat Jacket/Harness Black Adult Cat

Mynwood Cat Jacket/Harness Black Adult Cat


If you like upscale and unique designer products, this cat harness is for your cat. It is a hand-made jacket – comfortable, durable, and, what is most important, escape-proof. Every item is created manually from quality materials.


  • easy to put on and fasten with two long Velcros;
  • made of strong cotton fabric;
  • the leash is attached to a reinforced steel D-ring. It is more tear-resistant and escape-proof than most of the existing models.


  • it is expensive;
  • long-haired cats or those living in hot regions can be overheated under it.
Voyager All Weather No Pull Step-in Mesh Dog Harness Padded Vest Best Pet Supplies

Voyager by Best Pet Supplies


This is a lightweight and soft harness made of breathable mesh fabric. It can be adjusted to some extent to fit the cat’s size more precisely. The piece is easy to put on and fasten with a strong Velcro fastening, and the leash is securely attached to the harness with the help of a classic metal D-ring.


  • straps from mesh fabric are wide and comfortable;
  • breathable materials;
  • easy to put on.


  • openings are a bit wider than needed – a cat can slip out if it wants to.
LupinePet Originals 1/2

LupinePet Originals


This is a universal harness of the one-size-fits-all type. It is fully adjustable and fits to all cat breeds and smaller dog breeds. The harness is made of woven nylon – durable, lightweight, and easy to wash manually or in a washing machine. Multiple color patterns are available.


  • affordable and lightweight;
  • easy to put on and adjust;
  • several fashionable color solutions.


  • narrow straps can cause discomfort;
  • not totally escape-proof.
Reflective Adjustable Cat Harness Nylon Strap Collar with Leash Black PUPTECK

PUPTECK Reflective Adjustable Cat Harness


A simple affordable harness with reflective strips provides a better visibility in the low-light conditions. It is made of nylon, which means it is lightweight, durable, and easy to clean. The harness is fully adjustable to fit cats of different sizes.


  • reflective strips;
  • fully adjustable;
  • durable and lightweight.


  • it takes time and efforts to adjust it properly.

Five Amazing Facts about Cats and Cat Harnesses

1. A cat harness can be a fashion accessory. There are models with embroidery, beading, rhinestones and even hand-made unique items.

2. Even the best cat harness doesn’t guarantee a full control over a pet. Cats are so tricky that they manage to get out of virtually any fixings.

3. Unlike dogs, cats are uneducable. You can’t make a cat walk on the leash if it doesn’t want to, but you may try to persuade it to do so.

4. Never try to put a usual collar with a leash on your cat – you may simply choke it.

5. Resolve yourself to the fact that it’s your cat that walks you and not vice versa. It will never follow you like a dog; instead, you will follow it during walking.

Cat Harness Benefits

A cat harness is often perceived by people as something excessive. After all, a cat is not a dog: it won’t follow your orders and will never be your faithful companion during walking. Why take it outdoors at all? If you hold this view, here are some more arguments that can make you change your mind one day.

  • Indoor cats tend to become lazy and overweight over time. It is not good for their heart, vessels, muscles, and overall well-being. No secret, every animal needs physical activity to stay healthy; a cat harness for outdoor walks helps to maintain the needed activity level of your kitty.
  • Hassle-free travelling. If you try to travel with a cat that has never been outdoors in her life, she will be scared, frustrated, and stressed. As a result, a trip will bring no delight to both of you. Cats that are walked regularly are not afraid of new sounds and smells, and a harness prevents a pet from escaping.
  • Better understanding. Of course, cats won’t respond your words and movements as readily as dogs, and still, leash-training makes both of you better understand each other. It brings your communication to a new level.

Joy and new experience. Like all the creatures in the world, cats need new sensations and experience. Indoor cats often suffer from the lack of sensory experience; even a short walk is a perfect stimulation for a kitty – it makes her healthier and happier.

How to Use a Cat Harness. General Tips

It is crucial to use a cat harness correctly, otherwise, you may unwillingly make harm to your feline. When unboxing a new harness, read the manual and make sure that you’ve bought the right model. You must clearly understand how to put on, adjust, and take off a lead or a vest.

How to Put on a Cat Harness

Basically, a harness consist of two loops: the smaller one is put on the neck, and the larger one is wrapped around the chest. Unfasten the longer loop and carefully slip the pet’s head through the shorter loop. Then wrap the longer strap around the cat’s chest and fasten it: try to do it quickly in order not to irritate the cat much.

How to Adjust a Cat Harness

When you put a harness on your cat for the first time, you need to adjust it properly. If the harness is too loose, the cat will easily escape, and if it is too tight, the pet can choke. The happy mean is somewhere in the middle – it is usually found empirically. For a rough estimate, try to place fingers between the harness and the cat’s body – there must be enough space for two or three fingers, no more.

How to Take off a Harness

Take off the harness right after the walking. Don’t leave your cat in a harness unsupervised – it can get tangled in it. To free a pet from a harness unfasten it and then gently take it off

Don’t Forget about Training

Don’t take your cat outdoors immediately. Chances are it will be scared and stressed by both the harness and the new environment. A better approach is to train your kitty for some time before taking it outdoors: be patient and quiet to get the desired result.

How to Leash Train a Cat

A cat harness is an absolute must-have for anyone who walks cats outdoors. But to take advantage of this accessory you need to understand how to harness train a cat correctly. Cats are freedom-loving creatures. If your kitty is not leash-trained, using a harness can grow into a real problem.

Choose the Right Size and Model

It can seem simple – if your cat is big and heavy – buy a large cat harness, and if it is small – choose something lightweight and compact. But in fact, there are many variations available – it is important to find the harness that will fit your kitty perfectly. Use our cat harness review to choose a high-quality model.

Give Your Cat Time to Get Used to a Harness

Keep in mind that at the beginning of harness training a cat can get irritated and even aggressive, trying to get rid of the accessory at any price. Start with trying on the harness when the cat is calm and satisfied or when it is eating; then give it a reward treat. Repeat the procedure for several days in a row, gradually increasing the time in a harness. The cat will get used to it, and you will learn how to put on a cat harness quickly and correctly.

Start Early

The best age for training is 6-7 month. It is much easier to train a kitten than an adult cat. Take your kitty outdoors regularly – this is the best way to train it and to form a habit. After some weeks of regular practicing, you will get a leash-trained young cat.

How to Care for an Outdoor Cat: Tips for Cat Owners

Outdoor walks are crucial for cats’ health and well-being. However, if your furry friend often walks outdoors or lives in a barn, it faces much more dangers that any indoor cat. Here are four main problems you will have to deal with.

Your Cat Can Be Lost or Stolen

Of course, it is unlikely that an owner of an expensive pedigree cat will let it walk alone, but even alley cats are sometimes stolen. But there is another, more frequent sad scenario: a cat is scared of something, runs away and gets lost or run over by a car. The best way to avoid it is, of course, a harness. A cat in harness is gently but reliably controlled. If it is scared, you can quickly take it in your arms.

A Risk of Infecting is Higher for Outdoor Cats

Cats do not just walk on the road. Try actively contact everything they see during walking: they touch and lick ground, taste plants, roll on the grass and, finally, lick their paws. The risk of infecting is rather high, and harnesses won’t help to prevent it. The only method to avoid infecting is vaccinating.

Traumas are More Frequent than You Think

The risk of trauma for cats, walking outdoors, is very high. Your pet can be attacked by dogs or other cats, hit by a car, hurt by malevolent people. It can fall from a tree (yes, indoor cats are not good at tree climbing). You can avoid it if you learn how to put a harness on a cat and use this accessory for walking your pets.

Parasites: How to Deal with the Problem

Needless to explain that for a cat, the chance of catching parasites during outdoor walks is almost 100%. Parasites can be both external and internal, but all of them cause noticeable discomfort. The best approach here is to combine preventative measures and regular consultation with a vet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why Use a Cat Harness?

A: Using of a cat harness is the easiest and the most reliable way to control a cat outdoors. It ensures the pet’s safety and prevents its escaping and getting lost.

Q: Can the Cat Escape?

A: Yes, it can. Cats are very tricky, and it is virtually impossible to hold a kitty if she really wants to escape. The harness marked as escape-proof may be more reliable, but it doesn’t provide 100% guarantee as well. The best approach is to train a pet so that she wouldn’t make attempts to escape.

Q: What is the safest harness style?

Vests and jackets are considered to be safer than leads. Firstly, they are more comfortable to wear because of an evener weight distribution. Secondly, they are more escape-proof if compared to the narrow leads.

Q: How Can I Tell if the Harness is Too Tight?

A: If you can’t place a single finger between a harness and a cat’s body, it is too tight – you need to loosen it. It relates to both a neck loop and a girth. Ideally, there must be space for two fingers.

Q: My cat won’t use a harness. Are there other outdoor alternatives?

A: Yes, there are some. The final choice will depend on your goal: whether you want your cat to have some fresh air or physical activity, or you just want to take it with you somewhere. There exist cat patios that are attached to the window, cat strollers and back sacks for walking around with a pet, tents for outdoor exercising, and various carriers.

Verdict and Recommendations

We have reviewed some modern and convenient harnesses. But what is the best cat harness? It depends on a number of variables.

If your cat is leash-trained already, you may choose a low-budget leads option, such as PetSafe Come with Me or Pupteck Adjustable Cat Harness. They are lightweight, cheap and durable, while their size can be easily adjusted.

If you need the maximum escape-proofness, try Mynwood Cat Jacket, which is more expensive, but provides a stronger fixation. Mind that your cat can sweat under it, especially if you live in a hot region.

If you are looking for a nice design combined with a reasonable price and convenience, try vests models, such as Kitty Holster, PUPTECK Escape Proof, Petetpet Puppy Harness, or Smalllee Lucky Store. Meanwhile, our choice is Kitty Holster – a lightweight, adjustable, durable and versatile model for everyone.

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