The Best Cat Harness

Like dogs, cats like to get out of the house, get some exercise, and breathe some fresh air. Unlike dogs, cats do not do well with leashes. Attaching a leash to a cat collar is not advisable: a harness is more appropriate. When you do decide to put a harness on your cat, it is important to choose it wisely and use it well.

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Why Should I Put a Harness on My Cat?

As noted above, your cat would probably like to go outside from time to time. This can be an issue for most cat owners because, being highly adventurous and difficult to train, cats have a tendency of just taking off and getting into trouble or lost. A harness and leash will help to keep your cat at your side and out of trouble.

We are not just talking about a matter of entertainment, though. Cats that stay indoors all the time tend to become obese and develop behavioral disorders. You can prevent this by regularly taking your cat outdoors. This can help to provide enough stimulation and exercise to ensure that your cat does not get such severe problems later on.

Quick Look : Best Cat Harness in 2019

What Is Wrong with Collars?

There is nothing wrong with having a collar on your cat. Plenty of people do it for identification, decoration, etc. However, unlike dog collars, cat collars should not function as an attachment for a leash. There are two reasons for this.

First, if your cat ever wants to get away – which will probably happen – it will most likely try to slip out of the collar. As a cat’s physiology is different from that of a dog, this is relatively easy for a cat to do.

Second, the throat of a cat is different from that of a dog. While a dog can receive a lot of pressure from a collar without injury, a cat cannot. If you attach a leash to your cat’s collar and then yank on it, you could really hurt your cat.

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Two Types of Cat Harnesses

There are many different cat harness models on the market. These all generally fall under two main categories.

Leads

The first type of cat harness is the lead. This is composed of two or more straps that go around the cat’s body on both sides of the front legs and attach along the cat’s back.

The advantage of a lead is that it is minimally invasive. This can be important especially in the beginning, as cats tend to react negatively to having anything on their backs. They associate the sensation with being seized by a predator. They often react to this with agitation or fear.

While cats may still exhibit agitation with leads, they are less likely to do so with harnesses that cover more area.

Vests

Also called a holster, this type of harness is used on the same general area as the lead, but there is a lot more to it. As the name implies, this type of harness resembles a vest that a human would wear.

The advantage of a vest is that it is more secure than a lead. It is quite normal for cats to try to slip out of their harnesses, and being essentially a couple of thin straps, a lead can be easy to slip out of. A cat vest, on the other hand, has more of a tendency of staying in place even when the cat wearing it decides it does not like vests.

Training Your Cat to Wear a Harness

Whether you opt for a lead or a vest, your cat will most likely find it troubling in the beginning. It is also likely that you will find your cat’s behavior troubling as you come to the realization that a cat on a leash tends to behave in a manner far different from that of a dog on a leash.

As noted above, a cat may respond to a harness with agitation or aggression. Your cat also might seize up and fall on its side. To prevent problems such as these, make sure to put your cat through the proper training to get it ready for a leash and harness.

Familiarization

The first step in training your cat to wear a harness is familiarizing your cat with it. Make your cat sense that it is not something to be hated or feared. One of the best ways of doing this is just by putting it in your cat’s sleeping area and leaving it there for a few days. You may also use it as a toy to play with your cat. When you do put the harness on your cat, your cat will not see the harness as a foreign object.

Distraction

You should take care to keep your cat from associating the harness with negative feelings. This is most important while you are putting the harness on, as your cat may see this as an intrinsically unwelcome thing. To minimize this shock, distract your cat with a tasty treat or some other kind of reward while you are putting the harness on.

Even if your cat does notice what you are doing, it will make a mental association with the treat, which will help to create positive feelings toward the harness.

Acclamation

Once you have gotten your cat to wear the harness, instead of going straight outside, just go around the house for a few minutes first. This will lessen the shock of the experience and make it easier to accept. Do not leave it on for too long, as this will create negative feelings toward the harness. However, you may want to do this multiple times before going outside.

When you do go outside for the first time, try to stay in a quiet place with few distractions, such as your front yard or an alley. This, again, will help to reduce the shock of the experience. If this goes well, you can proceed to the park and elsewhere on future outings.

How to Handle Your Cat on a Leash

A cat on a leash does not act like a dog on a leash. Go for a walk in the park, and most dogs will instinctively trot along beside you, just happy to be with you in the park. A cat, on the other hand, will probably want to do its own thing.

Instead of trying to take your cat for a jog down the trail, just let your cat roam freely, rolling in the grass, looking for bugs, finding objects to play with, etc. However, do not let your cat climb trees, as it is not safe for a cat on a leash to climb a tree.

Cat Harness Recommendations

While a harness can contribute to your cat’s health by creating more opportunities for exercise and play, a poorly fitting cat harness can actually cause problems for your cat. That being the case, it is important to make sure that you are getting a harness that fits well and suits your cat’s needs without any unwanted side effects.

Here are some highly reviewed cat harnesses that you should consider.

Kitty Holster Cat Harness Check Price

Kitty Holster Cat Harness

Being a vest, this harness model is designed to make sure that your cat cannot easily slip out and escape. Putting it on is also quick and easy because it fastens with two Velcro closures.

One key benefit of this harness is that it is made of 100% breathable cotton, which will help to minimize the added heat that it creates for your cat. This can be a concern in hot weather.

Another key benefit is the fact that its inner lining is made of dye-free cotton. This is important because some cats are allergic to the dyes used in fabrics, so having this against your cat’s skin instead of some other kind of fabric may prevent certain allergy-related problems.

This harness is also machine washable, which minimizes the headaches of ownership by a lot.

Pros:

Cons:

  • More difficult to put on than a lead
  • Some cats may not react well to it

OxGord Control Pet Harness Check Price

OxGord Control Pet Harness

Something in between a lead and a vest, this OxGord pet harness covers more skin surface than the average lead but still less than a vest.

One particularly important aspect of this design is the padded neck. The design of a harness is already meant to reduce pressure on the neck and throat, but with the extra padding, this model goes a step farther in addressing such unwanted pressures.

With its waterproof design, this model is relatively easy to keep clean. Its straps also make it highly adjustable, which means that cats small and large can use it.

While a variety of pet types can use this harness model, it is ideal for cats.

Pros:

  • Covers more area than most leads
  • Padded neck
  • Waterproof
  • Highly adjustable

Cons:

  • Not as secure as a vest

Red Dingo Classic Cat Harnesses Check Price

Red Dingo Classic Cat HarnessesThis minimalist lead harness gives you everything you need and nothing you don’t.

It comes in four colors – black, green, pink, and red – and it is constructed of sturdy nylon webbing.

The straps of this lead harness fasten with fish clips on the cat’s side. These are very easy to both fasten and release, making things simpler than they would be with a vest when it is time to get your cat ready for an outing.

To reduce irritation, Red Dingo splice cuts the ends of the webbing so that you do not have hard corners rubbing against your cat’s skin. The harness is also highly adjustable.

In addition, this model comes with a leash so you do not have to buy one separately.

Pros:

  • Cats are less prone to react poorly to it
  • Comes in four colors
  • Highly adjustable
  • Comes with a leash

Cons:

  • Not as secure as a vest
  • May not be very comfortable for cats when pulled

PetSafe Come with Me Kitty Harness & Bungee Cat Leash Check Price

PetSafe Come with Me Kitty Harness & Bungee Cat LeashThis lead harness uses webbing connected with metal rings to create the most comfortable fit possible. When your cat pulls against the leash, the harness will constrict around the chest and shoulders rather than pulling on the neck and throat.

It is available in six stylish color sets: black/silver, red/black, royal blue/navy, dusty rose/burgundy, electric/lime green, and lilac/deep purple.

This harness also comes with a bungee leash. As your cat pulls against you, instead of causing a hard stop, the leash will give a bit, making the situation less physically strained for both of you.

Pros:

  • Cats are less prone to react poorly to it
  • Comes in four colors
  • Highly adjustable
  • Comes with a leash
  • Bungee adds another level of freedom and comfort

Cons:

  • Not as secure as a vest

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