Cats need to engage in regular exercises for them to remain healthy and fit for a long time. One of the best exercises you can give your cat is walking him around your neighborhood or even on adventure rides.
Due to their curious nature, walking a cat is not easily done without a harness and leash. You can easily lose control of your kitty because they like jumping and chasing small insects as they move.
This now means that as a pet parent, you will have to get a good harness and leash for your cat so that you can have more control over him as you walk. You can learn of the benefits of taking your cat for a walk and how to train him in this article.
While looking for the best cat leashes and harnesses for your cat, you have to be considerate of many factors including where and how you are going to use them.
When moving with your cat for long distances or traveling with him, it is advisable to get a cat backpack that will not only keep your kitty comfortable but also allows him to enjoy the scenery while you travel.
Pet strollers are also viable options to use when you want to move with your cat, especially If he has mobility issues that prevent him from walking properly or if you have an elderly cat who still enjoys going outside.
Whether you are using a backpack or a pet stroller to move with your feline friend it is important to have a leash and harness for your cat that you can use to attach to the backpack/stroller for more security in the compartment.
In this buying guide, I will give you comprehensive coverage of the 15 best cat leashes and harnesses in 2021 that you can buy.
What Is a Cat Harness?
It is a material that is wrapped around the body of the cat specifically behind the front legs and over the shoulders for safer walks. A harness has a ring that can be attached to a leash which will now enable you to control your cat as you go.
These accessories come in many forms, colors, and types. Most commonly you will find that they are made with a material that gives your cat maximum comfort when he wears them. Pet parents have a variety of choices to make when it comes to the preference of cat harnesses.
Why a Cat Harness Is Better Than a Collar
You have probably encountered cat collars before which is a belt-like accessory worn on the neck of a cat.
When it comes to walking your pet using a leash, then a harness is better than a collar for the following reasons.
A neck collar can choke your cat during pulling. When you connect a leash to your cat via a collar, he can get choked due to the pulling force that rests on the throat of the cat. This poses a safety and health concern for your cat since it can cause a tracheal collapse in the long run. A comfortable cat harness reduces the strain on your cat because it distributed the pulling force to a larger surface area.
A cat harness discourages pulling. It’s not very easy for a cat to pull frequently when wearing a harness. Pulling becomes very easy and straightforward with a neck collar. Since your cat will find a lot of resistance in pulling, a harness is, therefore, a great solution to discourage and stop your cat from pulling.
You will have more control over your cat when using a harness. When you are walking along a busy street with your cat, you definitely need more control over him to guarantee his safety. A harness gives pet parents this control because it covers a large surface of the body hence giving you more stability in controlling your cat. Gaining more control over your cat when walking him means that you can also teach your cat how to focus and ignore distractions along the way.
Your cat cannot escape from a harness with ease. Pet parents usually worry about cats escaping when walking with them using a neck collar with a leash. This problem can be avoided by using a good harness which provides a safer way of attaching to a leash.
4 Broad Types of Cat Harnesses
All the cat harnesses in the market can be classified under 4 broad categories. You can choose the one that fits your cat based on the intended purpose you would wish to achieve with the harness.
1. H Harnesses
As the name suggests, these harnesses form a shape similar to the letter ‘H’. They have two bands, one on the neck and the other near the belly. The bands are connected by a fabric strip that runs down the sides of the cat.
These harnesses provide the least contact area with your feline friend compared to the other types. This makes them a good option to use for small cats and kittens. It’s easier for a cat to escape from this type of harness than the others.
2. Vest Harnesses
These harnesses are made with a bigger fabric that covers a large part of your cat’s chest and back. It resembles the human vest leaving the front limbs open. This property makes these types of harness a good fit for your cat in case you need one that distributes pressure to a larger surface area. The larger contact material also makes it very difficult for your cat to escape out of these harnesses.
In most cases, the vest harnesses are made with one fabric material and as such, you will put them on your cat by sliding the head through the front space and putting the front limbs in the side spaces. The leash attachment ring is located at the back or front.
Vest harnesses are not the best fit for elderly cats with health issues because the fabric material can be heavy on them. Also, you need to be careful when using these harnesses in the summer because they can get very hot especially if they lack an effective ventilation mesh.
3. 8-shaped Harnesses
These are the harnesses that form an 8-figure shape when worn by your cat. The strap runs around your cats’ neck then makes another round behind the front limbs then gets connected on the back of your feline friend.These harnesses have a D ring at the back that can be attached to a leash for guidance in walking.
The form and design of these harnesses make them a great fit to use when training your cat against pulling by applying gentle pressure once your cat lunges forward extending the leash’s length. It is therefore recommended to use this type of harness with cats that have no respiratory issues.
4. Step-in Harnesses
These harnesses have a bigger contact area and are the easiest ones to put on your cat. You will simply lay this harness open on the floor, then let your cat introduce his front limbs in the armholes then pull it up and close the harness.
The bigger contact areas make this type a very good option to use when you want to avoid accumulating pressure on one part of your cat.
Step-ins are also lightweight compared to vest harnesses and this makes them a good option to use when walking your cat in hot weather.
This type of harness has bigger arm and neck holes hence making your cat more comfortable and less restricted. This might also be a disadvantage because your cat can easily escape out of a step in that vest harness.
Choosing the Right Harness for Your Cat
Just like when buying a harness for your dog, you also need to consider several factors before you can get the best cat harness for walking your furbaby.
1. Get the Perfect Fit.
Take the body measurements of your cat and match them with a harness that will snugly fit him. Don’t get one that is too loose because your cat can wiggle out with ease. Also, do not get a harness that is too tight and can prevent your cat from breathing and moving freely. A good way to ascertain that your cat fits well in his harness is by placing one finger between the harness fabric and your cat’s body. If there’s enough space to put more than one finger, then the harness might not be a good fit for him.
Many pet parents might encounter a challenge when measuring their cats to get the perfect harness. You can watch the video below from eHowPets and see the procedure you can take to get this done perfectly.
2. What Do You Want to Do With the Harness?
There are many activities that you can do with a cat harness and leash including, going for a walk, taking a car ride, strolling your cat, going to the vet, and many more. If you intend to take your cat for a walk for long hours, you need a harness that is made with strong fabric material and comfortable too. If it is during the summer, then you can avoid the vest harness that tends to be so compact and uncomfortable in hot weather.
3. Safety Features in the Harness.
Taking your cat for a walk can be risky especially along busy highways and streets. You need a harness that includes extra safety features that will make you feel more secure during the activity.
For example, you can choose a harness that has reflective straps especially if you will be taking your cat for walks in the night. You can also consider getting one that contains different levels of closure just to cover up if one fails.
4. Leash Connection Options in the Harness
Some harnesses have a ring at the front in the neck area while others have at the back and we also have some with the leash connection ring at either side. You will need to decide how you would wish to connect the leash to your cat’s harness.
The connection point affects how you will use the harness e.g., for training or routine walking. Best of all, you can consider getting a harness that has multiple rings for connecting your leash, this will allow you to change depending on the desired usage.
15 Best Cat Leashes and Harnesses In 2021
This cat harness is sold separately and does not include a leash. There are nine different color patterns you can choose from this product. The Kitty Holster has a patent with a cloth-like pattern that makes your cat more comfortable when wearing it.
Putting on this harness is a straightforward process that will only require you to put it over the back of your cat and clip it beneath the belly. There are two closures in this harness, one at the neck area and the other at the bottom part.
If your cat fits the measurements of this harness, then it will snugly fit inside and he will not find it very easy to escape from it. The D ring is located on the side of the harness and you can use it as an attachment point for your leash.
Snugly fits with the right cat size.
The fabric material has no stretch.
Interesting colors to choose from.
The fabric material can easily be torn.
Since this harness does not come with its leash, we have a recommendation for you if you need to get one.
This leash comes with a choice of 8 colors and it has four sizes namely; X small, small, medium, and large. The X small option has a tape length of 10 feet while the other size options have a similar tape length of 16 feet. The difference in the sizes lies in the weight of your dog or cat.
This product has a handle that houses the polyester tape and it has a swivel hook at the front. It has a good and comfortable grip that keeps your hand in good shape for long walks. The leash tape has a reflective tape along its length and it ensures that your cat remains visible in the dark.
The handle has a button that easily releases the leash, and you can lock it at your desired length. You can comfortably use this product to walk your cat, or for other intense adventures.
Lightweight, comfortable and sturdy.
Easy to lock and unlock.
The reflective material is useful at night.
The retractable part snaps back very fast; it might injure your cat if you are not very careful.
This product comes with a light blue and pink variant and it includes a harness and leash. The leash comes in a similar color to the harness and it measures 120cm which is a good length for leading your cat. This ultra-slim harness is made with a lightweight nylon material and it has two plastic buckles for the enclosure.
With the two buckles, it is much easier to adjust this harness and leash based on your cat’s size. Just be sure not to put it so tightly.
Very easy to put on your cat.
Long leash with a loop at the end.
Limited options for color.
This harness and leash come with red, blue, and green color variants. This beautiful product has adjustable neck and chest straps beautifully made and polished. The leash extends up to 42.7 inches, the neck strap can be adjusted from 10.6 to 13 inches, the chest strap can be adjusted from 12.6 to 17.7 inches. The leash of this product is strong enough and can be used to lead active cats during a walk or training.
The harness has a nice ribbon at the neck area that adds to the beauty of your feline friend without affecting him in any way.
Beautiful design with a hanging fish toy on the neck.
The leash is not detachable.
This harness and leash come with 6 color variants to choose from. The product has reflective straps that make it a good option to use in dim areas or at night. The detachable leash measures 121 cm and the harness is adjustable to make a snug fit for your cat.
The harness is made with a nylon material and it has a breathable mesh lining that allows your kitty to be comfortable even while taking a long journey with him.
You can safely use this product to take your cat for hiking adventures or long journeys, it is both strong, sturdy, and distributes pressure on a larger surface area of your cat’s body thanks to its make.
Your cat will be visible at night due to the reflective straps.
Sturdy and comfortable harness.
It has a detachable long leash.
Might be bulky for a small cat.
This product comes in 3 colors to choose from and it has a small, medium, and large sized harness and a leash. The harness is made with a breathable mesh material that ensures your kitty remains comfortable and cool by dissipating heat generated during walking or exercising. The material is also durable and can be washed by a machine.
It also has reflective strips along with the chest and belly areas of the harness that keeps your cat visible at night hence making him secure during such times.
The D ring is located at the back of the harness and you can use it to attach the removable leash. The leash clip has a swivel that can make a complete 360-degree rotation hence giving your cat freedom of movement while training him.
Good harness for adventures and hiking.
Perfectly fits the right size cat.
Not so easy to put on some cats since they might get their heads in the big open spaces with ease.
This product comes in 5 different colors and it includes a harness and 5 feet leash with a soft handle at the end. The harness has buckles at the neck and chest area which are easily closed and firmly keeps your cat enclosed in his harness.
The harness has an all-around reflective strap that makes it possible for our cat to be visible in dim environments and at night.
The mesh fabric that is used to make this harness is comfortable and makes your cat feel more secured without causing any constraints when worn. The harness has a D ring at the back that allows you to buckle your leash for leading your cat on adventures, walks, and training.
The leash has a swivel hook that can make a complete 360-degree rotation hence allowing your cat to move freely while walking with you.
The harness and leash are very easy to install and put on your cat. Ensure you adjust the sizes accordingly to fit your cat properly. You can easily adjust the straps to achieve a snugly fit.
Easy to put on and remove from your cat.
The reflective straps are useful during the night.
Sturdy and comfortable for your cat.
An active cat can easily escape.
This product comes in grey color only and it includes an adjustable neck and chest strap harness with a leash. The vest harness releases tension on your cat’s neck hence making it a safer harness to use while walking and exercising.
You will get both a Velcro and buckle enclosing clips that ensure your pet remains securely in the harness and does not escape with ease during your adventures.
There’s a breathable air mesh padded on this harness that makes it more comfortable for your cat when wearing it. There is also a reflective strip on both sides that makes your cat easily seen from a distance at night.
The harness has two D rings at different sides that allow you to connect your leash to the preferred location. This increases the versatility of using this harness for different cat training goals.
Very easy to put on your cat and enclose
It has 2 leash attachment locations.
It has reflective straps.
An active cat can easily escape.
This product comes in 6 color options and you can choose between small and medium-sized harnesses according to your cat’s size. The detachable leash is strong and measures 150 cm in full extension. The harness features both magic tape and buckles enclosures to ensure that your cat snugly fits and prevents him from escaping with ease.
This is a vest harness and it is good for preventing pulling which might harm your cat’s neck. It is therefore a good harness to use for walking and exercising your feline friend.
The harness is made with a nylon material with padding that makes your cat feel more comfortable and secure whenever you are using it. There are also reflective strips along this harness that makes it a good option to use at night.
Reflective strips that are useful at night.
It has a sturdy and comfortable design.
Very easy to put on and it prevents escaping.
Inconsistent sizing chart for the product.
This product comes in 4 colors and it includes an 8 shaped harness and leash with a soft padded handle that allows you to comfortably control your cat when using it. The harness is made with a strong nylon material that can withstand the pull force of your kitty of the right size.
The D ring is located on the back of this harness and the leash has a fish clip that you will use to attach to the harness. The harness uses buckle enclosures and it has one for both the neck and chest strap. Ensure you adjust the harness size to get the correct fitting for your right cat’s size.
Soft handle for the leash
Sturdy and comfortable for your cat.
Easy to put on and remove.
It might slide around your cat with ease.
This product comes in 6 color variants and it includes a harness and a detachable leash. Both neck and chest straps can be adjusted to snugly fit your cat and they have a tape enclosure. The tape and harness are strong enough to ensure your cat does not escape with ease.
This harness is very easy to put on and enclose. The inner side of this harness is padded and hence makes your cat feel more comfortable and secure while wearing it.
You can safely use this harness to take your cat for walks or trips. The larger surface area distributes pressure hence making it easy to lead your cat using the leash.
Difficult for your cat to escape.
The leash is strong and detachable.
It is well padded to make your cat feel more comfortable.
Sometimes it can bunch up the fur around the neck area of your cat.
This product comes in 11 different colors and it includes a harness with 3 fabric materials and a leash. The harness is ultra-lightweight at 50 grams which makes it a good option to use for kittens or cats which cannot hold much weight. This harness can also be used to put on rabbits and hamsters for easier control in petting and walking.
The detachable leash is 4 feet long and it includes a soft handling loop at the end. This makes it comfortable to lead your cat for long distances without getting a lot of force from him.
The harness is very easy to put on your cat and it includes a Velcro and buckle for an enhanced enclosure. You can adjust the enclosure based on your cats’ size while ensuring that you give him room for free movement.
The harness has high elasticity that features a moisture absorption material that ensures your pet remains dry in the entire period he wears the harness.
It has a very lightweight material.
Very easy to put on your cat.
It features a good design and is comfortable for your cat.
Might be easy for some cats to escape
This product comes in 10 different color variants and it includes a vest harness and leash. The harness weighs 100 grams hence it does not offer a big load for your cat and can be used in walking and training. The leash is long with a full length of 150 cm and it is made with strong nylon material.
This harness has a total of 4 adjusting strips that allows you to make the right fit for your cat to snugly fit inside. There are safe buckles on both sides of this harness which are enclosed to ensure your cat is secured. There is a reflective strip in this harness and it will make your feline friend visible during the night hence increasing his safety on roads.
The D ring is located at the back of the harness and you will attach your leash to this point and it will give your cat free movement as you lead him in walks and training.
The harness is very simple and easy to put on your cat, you will simply use the snaps to fasten and release them when taking it off. This makes your cat enjoy his walking times more hence improving his health.
Secure and comfortable for your cat.
Reflective strips are useful at night.
It has a nice design with many color options.
An active cat can easily escape.
This product from Luxroom includes a cat harness and a leash. It comes in 3 color variants to choose from. The leash can be adjusted in length from 34.4 to 59.0 inches. It has a swivel hook at the connection point that allows your cat to rotate up to 360 degrees hence giving him more freedom when walking.
The harness is made with a nylon material and it is padded with a breathable mesh that keeps your cat cool even when using it under the hot sun. You can choose between the small and the extra small harness size for your cat. The neck and chest straps of both size variants can be adjusted appropriately to ensure your cat snugly fits in his harness with the buckle enclosure module.
The harness and leash have a smooth line of reflecting strips along their length. This ensures that your feline friend remains visible even at night to guarantee his security while walking.
Good design with adjustable leash length.
The reflection at night is easily noticeable from a far distance.
Sturdy and comfortable for your cat.
Not many colors to choose from.
This product comes in a grey and black color variant and it includes a step-in harness and 4.5 feet leash. The harness uses a Velcro to enclose and a quick-release buckle to keep it in place. There are 2 D rings on the back where you can attach your leash via the metal hook which has a swivel that can rotate up to 360-degrees.
The harness is made with a breathable mesh material that will dissipate heat from your furbaby as you continue with the activity. This makes it a good option to use during the summer. The reflective tape ensures that your feline friend remains visible during night walks.
The soft edges along the harness make your cat more comfortable because it prevents him from experiencing sharp contact. This will make him easily swing his neck, move his chest and legs during training sessions.
It keeps your kitten snug and comfortable.
Very easy to put on and remove.
It has good value for money.
The small size might be big for some small kitten.
This product comes in two color options and it has 3 different size ranges for the harness. The vest harness features a unique design with a bow and bell decorations. This makes it a good product to consider when you want your cat to step out with fashion and elegance in a gathering.
The harness is made with a light material that is breathable hence it will allow your cat to remain cool even after wearing it for some time. It is also easy to put on your cat and remove, it features a step-in design for this purpose.
The D rings are located at the back and you can use them to attach your leash to lead your cat. The leash clip can make a complete 360-degree turn hence allowing your pet to move freely even when connected.
The harness has a beautiful design.
It has 2 D rings for leash connectivity.
Sturdy and comfortable for your cat.
Some cats can easily escape.
Might put more strain if tightened on the cat.
As you have seen above, searching for the best cat leashes and harnesses is a task that involves many considerations. Always put your cat’s comfort and conditions first before yourself. You should get a harness and leash that give your cat a more comfortable feeling before considering how your hands will feel while guiding him.
Have a look at the video below by JJ Yosh where he shows how to train your cat for hikes using leash and harness.
Thank you for reading through my buying guide and I hope you found a product or more that fits your needs. If you have any concerns or questions, please leave them in the comment section below and I will get back to you.