domestic cats

Harness for a cat: types, subtleties of choice and rules of training

Cats are considered playful animals that love long walks in nature. Most of the owners of these “fluffies” live in apartments. To keep pets from escaping, they limit their access to independent access to the street. In order for the cat to have the opportunity to walk, in this case, special leashes are used, which can be purchased at any pet store.

What is it and why is it needed?

A harness or, as it is often called, a “cat leash” is a device designed to hold a pet while it is walking on the street. The cat leash looks exactly the same as the dog leash, the only thing is that it is fixed not on the neck, but between the shoulder blades of the animal. Harnesses are used in cases where the cat needs to be taken outside the house. It can be not only a walk in the fresh air, but also a trip to a summer cottage, a visit to a veterinary clinic or exhibitions.

Thanks to this design, walking the cat becomes much easier, as it is held and constantly under control. This is especially important when the animal gets into an unfamiliar environment and starts to panic and climb to a height from fear, after which it is extremely difficult to get the pet from a tree or other place. In addition, cats can simply run away in such situations, hiding in a quiet shelter and then not be found.

The same applies to trips to the country, where free range is allowed only a few days after the pet gets used to the new environment. To speed up this process, the owners need to walk the cat on a leash daily, gradually introducing him to the surrounding area. The main advantages of cat harnesses include:

  • the possibility of a comfortable and safe walk with the animal on the street, which will provide both the pet and its owner with positive emotions and good health;
  • the presence of control over the cat, he will not be able to run away and climb a tree;
  • the ability to adjust the distance between the animal and its owner;
  • investment of trips to the country house, exhibitions and to the veterinary clinic.

As for the shortcomings, they also exist.

  • Cats at the sight of harnesses can panic, break out and become nervous. Animals try to get off the leash in any way and often harm themselves.
  • The leash and harness must be securely fixed, otherwise the pet will easily free itself and run away. Then it will be difficult to find it.
  • Models made from cheap fabrics and low-quality material are quickly torn. Harnesses of well-known brands serve for a long time, but are expensive.
  • It is not recommended to use these devices for kittens who are under 5 months old. Their body is not yet adapted to a private exit to the street and they can easily “pick up” any infection.

In addition, experts advise refusing to walk on a leash in the following situations:

  • if the animal does not have the necessary vaccinations;
  • after a previous illness or surgery;
  • during the flow period.

Before you decide to buy a cat harness with a leash, it is important to take into account the fact that many pets have difficulty adapting to unfamiliar conditions, so such walks are contraindicated for some of them. They will not be of any use, and stressful situations will negatively affect the animal’s immune system and cause heart pathologies.

It is also impossible to take too aggressive cats outside, since they will only cause problems (fights cannot be avoided). This also applies to pets over 10 years old who have not walked on a harness before. It is best not to try to accustom them to it.


Harnesses are usually sold with a leash. They consist of two collars, one of which is fixed on the cat’s neck, and the second on the stomach. Therefore, when choosing a particular model, it is very important to pay attention to the parameters of the animal and buy the harness that would not be too small or large. The leash is attached to the harness with a special ring. Its maximum length can reach 2.5 m, there are also models 4 meters long.

Today on sale you can find a huge range of cat harnesses, which differ in the material of manufacture. Most often, this accessory is made of thick fabric and tarpaulin, but it is best when the harness is leather. In addition, products may differ in color and decor options; models decorated with stripes and rhinestones are very popular. To participate in exhibitions, pet owners, as a rule, purchase original harnesses. For ordinary walks, you can give preference to cheaper options.

The most common types of harnesses include the following.

  • Harnesses-overalls. They are considered universal because they allow you to additionally protect the cat from cold and pollution. On the back of the accessory there is a ring with which you can attach a leash. Thanks to the chic selection of colors and designs, harness-on overalls are easily matched to every taste.

  • Harnesses in the form of a vest. Such models are equipped with fasteners to which you can quickly attach a leash. They are reliable in operation, but not suitable for summer, as the pet will be hot in them. In addition, many experts believe that such vests restrict the cat’s freedom of movement.

  • Leash collar. It is ideal for docile and calm cats. To make your pet feel comfortable in it, you need to choose the right size. The harness should not hang freely around the neck or squeeze it. Accessories of this type in the form of a figure eight are very popular. Products consist of two loops fastened together, one of which is put on the neck of the pet, and the second on the front paws on the body.

The junction of the loops falls on the back (between the shoulder blades), a ring is fixed to it for connecting the leash. The loops have a convenient adjustment, which is carried out with the help of special fasteners. This allows you to adjust the size of the harness to the specific dimensions of the cat.

Such a model has one main advantage – it completely eliminates the possibility of strangulation of the pet. In addition, the product is notable for its low cost and low weight; animals do not slip out of it.

Also found on sale V-shaped leashes. They are similar to regular harnesses, the only thing is that the straps are connected to each other under the chest.

How to choose?

Choosing a walking harness for a cat should be guided not only by personal preferences, but also take into account that the accessory is comfortable and safe for the animal. If you pick up a product that is of poor quality or does not correspond to the dimensions of the pet, then it can quickly break. Therefore, when choosing a vest or harness, you need to pay attention to the following indicators.

  • Cat size. Take measurements from the animal should be in advance. Usually the girth of the chest (behind the front legs) is measured.

  • Material. Harnesses should be made of dense, but not rough material. In addition, the accessory should be easy to wash. Nylon products are considered a good choice, they do not rub the cat’s body and fit snugly. Nylon harnesses allow you to securely fix the animal and are suitable for both very active and young pets. Older cats can buy cotton accessories, as they do not show much activity during walks. For “fluffies” who have delicate skin, fleece-lined or felt-lined harnesses are suitable.

As for beautiful leather harnesses, they are expensive and unsuitable for pets, as they can rub the neck and are too bulky.

  • Leash sizes. It is best to purchase a leash up to 15 mm wide and at least 2 meters long. It should unfasten easily. Usually all these parameters are indicated on the product packaging.

In the event that the time of purchase falls on spring or summer, then it is best to give preference to harnesses made of straps. Models in the form of vests made of transparent mesh fabric are also well suited. In them, cats will be comfortable and not hot. For winter, you need to purchase models of overalls, it will not only secure a walk, but also protect your pet from the cold.

How to properly assemble and wear?

After the cat harness is bought, the most important thing remains – to assemble it correctly and put it on the cat.

It is immediately worth noting that out of habit, the pet will resist in every possible way at first and will not want to wear this accessory, so the owners will have to be patient, and everything will definitely work out.

A harness with a leash is assembled according to the instructions in the instructions that come with the product. Putting on a harness on a cat should be done in stages, adhering to the following recommendations.

  • First of all, the product must be placed next to the pet. He will sniff it, carefully examine it and make sure that an unfamiliar thing will not harm him. It is good if the pet plays with the harness for a while.

  • Then the “fluffy” must be picked up, calmed down, stroked and affectionately talked to him, after which you can start putting on the product. First, you should throw one of the loops around your neck (with a carabiner up), and carefully insert the cat’s paws into the second loop. In the case when a model with a clasp is purchased, the pet’s paws must be put into loops one by one, adjust the strap under the belly and fasten the clasp on the back.

It is important to make sure that everything is fastened securely and not twisted. In addition, you should make sure that the accessory does not press on the skin of your pet; if necessary, additional adjustment is made on the straps.

  • The process ends with fastening the leash to the ring, after which you can safely go for a walk.

How to train a cat?

The choice and purchase of a cat harness is considered only the first step towards the implementation of joint walks. The main obstacle to this can be accustoming the cat to the leash, which is very difficult and not so fast. Gradual adaptation of the animal to the “innovation” will help speed up this process. To do this, you need to do everything so that the pet takes it as a game and does not get nervous. It will be good if you start accustoming a cat to a harness from an early age, then less effort and time will be spent, and the animal will not get stressed.

If the owners do not have experience in teaching a cat to a leash, then experts recommend adhering to the following recommendations.

  • The first few days you just need to put the harness with a leash next to the animal, this will allow the cat to get acquainted with the object and get used to it. In addition, the product will be saturated with the smell of the pet and will not seem dangerous to him.

  • Then you can start putting on a harness on the cat. At the same time, if he breaks out and gets nervous, then he should be distracted by a toy, a treat, or simply stroked. A similar procedure should be repeated every day, allocating a little time for it. As soon as the cat painlessly gets used to the harness, you can attach a leash to it.

  • It is best to start walks on a leash at home. The pet cannot be pulled in different directions. The owners need to be patient and give the cat time to get used to the new feeling. If you constantly pull the leash, the pet will simply lie on the floor and will not want to move.

  • When walks around the house were successful, you can go outside with a cat. At first, a deserted place is chosen, to which the cat must be delivered in a basket or carrier. After the owner with the cat has come to the place of the walk, they open the carrier and wait until the pet gets out of it on its own. The pet himself will choose a place for his walks, the owner just needs to follow him.

  • Since various situations can happen on the street, it is recommended to put a pendant on the cat’s collar containing information about the contact details of the owner and the address of the animal. If it is lost, then the search will be faster.

  • You can not go for a walk with kittens, whose age is less than 6 months. Babies still have a weakened immune system, they can quickly become infected on the street. The same goes for older cats that have never seen a leash in their lives. It is worth refusing to walk with an animal that has a postpartum or postoperative period. It is not recommended to take pets with a cowardly and aggressive character outside.

  • As soon as the walk in deserted places has passed, you can gradually go to squares and parks with your pet. At first, you need to hold it in your arms, then gently lower it to the ground and observe the behavior. If the cat behaves frightened and wary, do not worry, this is normal. The pet needs time to get used to the new terrain.

  • It is impossible to force the animal to go while walking, the owner should only follow. You should come to terms with the fact that not the owner, but the pet walks him. Over time, the situation will change for the better, and walking in the fresh air will turn into a real pleasure.

In the next video, you can learn how to properly dress and train a cat for a harness.