Best Cat Harness-Here’s an interesting fact: left to his own devices, your male cat will wander 1,500 feet from home. That’s 4 football fields in any direction. His territory—according to him—is 150+ acres.
It turns out our female cats are a little less interested in the outside world—they cover half that area.
Maybe you don’t have 150 acres where your furry friends can play safely. I don’t. My apartment offers 0.02 acres at best. So for my feisty furballs to get exercise and see the world, I need two things: a good cat tree, and the best cat harness my money can buy.
In order to find the best cat harness, I took to the internet with a whopping checklist named Stuff a Cat Harness Should Have. Later in this article, I’ve turned that into something a little more refined, and a lot more detailed, to help you find the best cat harness for you.
But before we get to that—I’ve used my research to find you the Top 5 Cat Harnesses our interwebs has to offer. We’re going to look at material quality, design, how secure they are, how affordable they are, how comfortable they seem, and—because vanity—how cute your cat will look in them.
We looked at dozens of cat harnesses of all different sizes and shapes and designs, and narrowed it down to the top 5 best cat harnesses. Read on to view the best of the best.
1. Best Cat Harness: Vetoo Adjustable Cat Harness Escape Proof
Let’s talk safety for a minute. The best cat harness needs to be durable, snug, and secure, so that your cuddly companion can’t get tangled up, or slip out of it during your morning walk. Honestly, this is the biggest sticking point for all cat owners. A snug, secure fit is everything.
That’s what lands the Vetoo Adjustable Escape Proof Cat Harness at the top of our list. It has a hardy, vest style that sits well on larger—or feistier—cats. It covers a larger area of cat, to hold them in and distributes the pressure load over a wider area if they struggle.
Vetoo’s offering is made from a breathable mesh fabric, feels comfortable on the inside—the part touching your cat’s fur—and feels durable on the outside. It is also 100% machine washable, and comes in a range of sizes.
The harness has a D-ring so you can attach a leash directly to it. As an all-purpose harness, the Kitty Holster Cat Harness is perfect for everything from trips to the vet to long walks outdoors.
Best for …
Escape artists, first time harness wearers, and large cats.
What we love
I think I’ve mentioned most of what I love about the Vetoo Escape Proof Cat Harness already, but there is more.
It uses D-rings to attach the lead, which means less chance of fraying or tearing. This gives you more peace of mind during your walk. It offers wide, adjustable straps and reinforcing velcro. It has a 3M reflective strip for night and early morning exercisers. It comes in five sizes, too.
What we don’t love
It is a little heavier than some of the other options on this list. You might find that this cat harness isn’t a great choice for walking your cat in the heat of the day—but that’s not something we would recommend, anyway.
The Wrap Up
This is the most affordable cat harness to make the Top 5 Cat Harnesses list, and it carries a solid 4.5 star rating. It may only come in two colors, but for all the features it offers this is something its fans are happy to overlook.
2. Kitty Holster Cat Harness
The Kitty Holster Cat Harness is our second vest-style harness to make the list. This one is made from breathable cotton, and has an undyed inner liner. The inner liner is easier on your cat’s fur and delicate skin, and feels comfortable to the touch. If you get the right fit—which we did—the harness sits snug and secure around his chest and back. The secure D-ring is a great security feature for attaching a lead.
Several of our fellow cat-parents raved about the durability and comfort of the Kitty Holster Cat Harness. We loved its functional design and how easy it was to get on and off with minimal fuss—and no affronted yowling from our test-cat!
Best for …
Cats of all ages and sizes—just be sure to check the measurement chart.
What we love
We loved the feel and quality of the materials—especially those that sat closest to our cat’s skin. Using undyed lining is a great call by Kitty Holster to reduce the chance of irritating delicate feline skin, and is the primary reason this cat harness landed so close to the top of our list. We also loved that this one is machine washable and suitable for most weather conditions.
What we don’t love
There’s not a lot you can do to adjust the Kitty Holster Cat Harness. If you have an extra-long or extra-round cat, you may find you should have gone up or down a size. Be sure to check the measurement chart when you order, to get the best fit for your pet.
The Wrap Up
Kitty Holster’s Cat Harness is the priciest offering to make the cut, but with a convincing 4.2-star rating and more than 1,600 reviews, it’s proved to be worth the moolah. The secure fit gives us cat parents peace of mind, and with nine different color ways you can let your fashionable feline shine.
3. Voyager Step-In Air Dog Harness
So, full disclosure statement: this is a dog harness. I know, I know, but bear with me! This vest-style pet harness is the #2 Cat Harness on Amazon, and it has thousands of great reviews from cat-parents. It also has reflective bands for high visibility at night, a breathable mesh fabric, strong, durable construction and a heavy duty hook-and-loop fastener at the top. If you’ve got a big cat, I’m telling you—the Voyager Step-In Air Dog Harness is worth a closer look.
Best for …
Large cats only.
What we love
Have you noticed we love a vest-style harness? Well, in addition to the enhanced security and wearability of a vest harness, Voyager has gone a step further. This step-in harness is so simple to put on, and because it fastens at the top of your cat’s body, it’s impossible for them to make an accidental escape. It comes in five sizes—we recommend XS for a large cat—and has a super strong, durable fabric.
One of my favorite parts of the Voyager’s design was that it didn’t rub on my big cat’s neck and chest, and he didn’t feel sweaty or matted after our walk. Since the secure fastenings are on his back, and not on his belly, I feel more comfortable that I haven’t accidentally caught up his fur (plus I don’t worry that it’s gradually unfastening underneath him).
What we don’t love
Because it’s technically a dog harness, we don’t have the flexibility to buy this for a kitten or smaller cat. Seriously—if Best Pet Supplies ever creates a size range for cats, I will be snatching them up.
The Wrap Up
6,000 Amazon reviews and a whopping 4.5-star rating can’t be wrong. Nor can an Amazon’s Choice award. More than that, you’ve got 16 different color options and a sturdy, high-quality design. Despite how heavy duty the Voyager looks, it also seemed to be the most comfortable for our test-cat in warm weather.
4. PUPTECK Adjustable Best Cat Harness Nylon Strap Collar with Leash
The PupTeck Adjustable Cat Harness is the first H-style harness to make our Top 5 list, and it has a lot to offer in the right situations. H-style harnesses are a pretty basic series of adjustable straps. PupTeck’s version is durable and easy to adjust, and really easy to put on and take off your furry friend.
Because it’s so lightweight, it is a great pick for hot weather or if you’re just popping out to your courtyard to give your cat a potty break. The snap-lock buckles are secure, and the back strap is double bound. A good quality back strap means that pressure is more evenly distributed along your fur baby’s back—always a plus!
If you’re looking for a cat collar and harness for indoor use—I’ll show you some examples in a minute—this is a great choice.
Best for …
Cats who are experienced and calm in a harness, and indoor use.
What we love
Good quality, durable nylon makes this a hard-wearing option, and the H-style design is easy on your cat’s back. The back strap has a D-ring to attach the leash (which is included) and it comes in at least 12 colors that we’ve seen so far.
If you are trying to train your cat indoors or moving around in the vet’s office, this is a perfect lightweight choice. Cats who are experienced with a harness, or don’t care about it one way or another, will also be quite comfortable moving around with you in your backyard.
What we don’t love
This is an excellent harness for what it is, and it shouldn’t be used outdoors or in public spaces. It’s so important that cat-parents have a more sturdy harness for your daily walks.
The Wrap Up
This is a popular cat harness, with a quality design and super low price point. We noticed people complaining about their cats making an escape from the harness, but if you limit its use to the kind of situations we’ve suggested, I’m confident you’ll be happy with your choice.
5. PetSafe Come with Me Kitty Harness and Bungee Leash
Another H-style Cat Harness, but this one comes with a bunch of thoughtful features. The PetSafe Harness ; Bungee Leash is promoted for outdoor use, and is designed to apply pressure through the shoulders rather than through your fur baby’s neck and throat. Another cool function? The bungee lead has a little give in it. If your cat suddenly lunges forward, the give in the lead prevents a sharp stop to her range of motion.
Best for ….
Cats that are experienced and calm in a harness, indoor use, and use in enclosed outdoor areas—like your backyard.
What we love
The PetSafe H-style harness comes in 3 sizes, and has two adjustment points for a customized fit. For such a simple harness, everything about its design is well thought out and functional. The harness is easy to get on and off, and the straps are a high-quality, thick nylon construction.
We also love the lifetime warranty, because sometimes you just need that extra peace of mind. The absolute best feature of the PetSafe cat harness is the bungee lead—I will never be without one of these.
What we don’t
We love all the features and functions of this harness.
After looking at some online reviews, I noticed a lot of feedback which—as unfair as it sounds—is more user error than product malfunction. Please, fellow cat-parents: check the adjustable straps every time you pop the harness on your cat. If we get into the habit of checking the harness is snug, we can reduce the risk of our fuzzy buddies making a surprise escape.
The Wrap Up
A simple, high quality design that delivers everything it says it will. It’s no wonder the PetSafe Come With Me Kitty Harness and Bungee Lead is a 4-star Amazon bestseller—you won’t be disappointed in this one.
Now that we’ve rounded up the top 5 best cat harnesses for different situations, I hope you’ve found one that could work well for your furriest family members. If you did, please leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts on the pick you chose!
But maybe you’re looking for something a little more specific. If so, we’ve gathered together the ultimate list of features you should consider when choosing the best cat harness for your cuddly companions.
So let’s get started.
Buying The Best Cat Harness: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need
What Style of Harness Suits Your Needs?
The H-style harness basically looks like an H if you look at it from a side angle. You have one loop that goes across the chest of your cat, one loop that sits behind her shoulders, and they are joined by a back strap. A good quality H-style harness should be made of hard-wearing nylon, and ideally have two D-rings on the back to evenly distribute pressure across your cat’s spine.
An H-style harness is a great lightweight option if your cat is used to a harness already, if you’re moving around indoors (like at the vet or a pet store) or just popping out to the backyard.
Best H-style harness: PetSafe Come With Me Kitty Harness ; Bungee Lead
The vest-style harness looks like a little life-vest that fastens around your cat. They are heavier than an H-style harness, and offer a lot more security. If you fasten and adjust it right, your cat isn’t likely to escape this thing. They are the most comfortable, safe option for walking your cat around the block, or popping out for a coffee.
A good quality vest-style harness should have D-rings on the mid-back to fasten to your cat’s lead. Look for one that uses breathable fabrics—like cotton or mesh—and strong fastenings. Our favorite fastenings are a velcro + hook and eye combo.
Best Vest-style harness: it’s a tie!
How heavy should it be?
Your cat isn’t going to enjoy her walk if she’s humping around a harness that isn’t suited to her size. Look for a lightweight vest-style harness that isn’t bloated with extra fillings, and is easy for her to move around in while you’re pounding the footpath together. Several of our choices for the Top 5 Best Cat Harness list are suitable for all-weather use, without weighing your cat down.
If you’re indoors or wandering around your own property, all H-style harnesses are lightweight and airy.
Lightest vest-style harness: Kitty Holster Cat Harness
What materials do I need?
Choose heavy duty materials if you’re going for an H-style harness—most are made of nylon, which is durable and tough. Be sure to check the nylon regularly for fraying or separating at the seams.
A vet-style harness is going to give you a lot more to consider…mesh or cotton; leather binding or nylon; dyed or undyed. What to do with all these choices?
Mesh and cotton are both solid options for breathability.
Leather is sturdy, but it can be too much for summer or warm weather, and is fairly inflexible.
Nylon is sturdy too, and a lot easier on your wallet.
Dyes are fine for the outer cover of a vest-style cat harness, but if you can find a vest with an undyed liner that sits close to your kitty’s skin—it’s definitely worth a closer look. This will be especially important if you have a hairless cat or a cat with sensitive skin.
Best for materials: Kitty Holster Cat Harness
Is it easy to clean?
If your cat is spending time in the great outdoors with you, this is definitely going to matter. A vest-style harness will collect fur, dirt, dander, mud, leaves, and bugs. Most outer materials should be able to be wiped clean, but the key is to find one that is 100% machine washable. Let’s face it: if you have to waste precious time cleaning your cat harness, you’re less likely to want to use it every day.
Best for cleaning: All our top 5 are machine washable!
Is it durable?
This all depends on where you and your cat will be blazing your trails. If you plan to be out in the forest somewhere, a mesh outer is likely to snag. If you will be out in the sun, don’t choose something heavily lined. This is all common sense stuff that you already know, so let’s move on to the next point. It’s a big one!
Best for durability: Vetoo Adjustable Cat Harness Escape Proof
Is it adjustable?
Having a harness that can grow as your cat grows (whether that’s upwards or um…outwards) is the key to getting the best. If you have a kitten it’s going to be a lot harder to do this, so you may need to buy a specific kitten harness, and then invest in a new one when they grow up. If that’s the case, keep in mind that your kitten may not need (or be able) to go outside when they’re very young. Plus escaped kittens are a whole lot easier to recapture.
Look for a harness with several quality straps that you can tighten or loosen, strong velcro, or hook and eye mechanisms.
Best for adjustability: Vetoo Adjustable Cat Harness Escape Proof
What types of fasteners does it have?
There are so many different fasteners out there. H-style cat harnesses usually use some type of snap-lock mechanism. Vest-style harnesses may have a combination of buckles, hook and eye closures, buttons, Velcro, or zippers.
We suggest avoiding buttons. They are difficult to manipulate if they come loose in the cold or damp, and do not wear well. Zippers are likely to seize or catch.
Buckles are very secure, but can be difficult if your cat isn’t that keen to get her harness on.
For ease of use, a combination of hook and eye closures and Velcro are simple and secure. If there is a buckle fastener for reinforcement, well that’s an added bonus.
Best for fasteners: Vetoo Adjustable Cat Harness Escape Proof
Does it attach securely to a lead?
This one should be non-negotiable for all cat-parents. You absolutely want a harness with one or two D-rings, so you can securely attach the lead of your choice. Of our top 5 picks for best cat harness, only one came with a lead. The PetSafe Come With Me Kitty Harness with Bungee Lead was the best cat lead I’ve seen in a long time, and I attach it to easily to whichever cat harness I use.
Best for attaching to a lead: All our top 5 picks attach with a D-ring.
How easy is it to put on my cat?
Easy access is going to be more important to some cat-parents than to others. I spend around five minutes Velcro-ing, hooking, and buckling both my big cats into cat harnesses every morning to visit the outside world. My grandma watched me do it once and she was not having it. She uses a simple Velcro harness, which takes two seconds to get on and off every day.
How much time you want to spend, how experienced your cat is in a harness, how likely they are to go careening into the wild blue yonder after a bird—all these things will dictate whether your cat needs a vest-style prison, or a gentle wrap.
Easiest to put on: Kitty Holster Cat Harness
There you have it—all the advice you need to select the perfect cat harness for your cat family.
As we wrote The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need, I came across quite a few questions online. These didn’t really fit anywhere else, but I think they can really help cat-parents to embrace the cat harness life. If you have more questions than I’ve answered so far—hopefully this next section gives you what you need.
Buying The Best Cat Harness: Frequently Asked Questions
How to I know if my cat will like a harness?
The short answer is: you don’t until you try.
It takes a lot of patience and time to get your cat used to her first harness. Start by putting it on her for longer and longer lengths of time: 5 minutes, 15 minutes, and so on, so she gradually adjusts. Don’t leave her alone in her harness—ever—and use the rewards she likes to reassure her that a harness isn’t a punishment. When she becomes used to it, then you can start taking trips outside. Again, gradually increase the length of each outdoors adventure.
How should I walk my cat in her harness?
We have some general advice that can help you:
- Be sure to carry a soft blanket or towel with you whenever you walk your cat. If she begins to panic or seems frightened, you can pick her up and cover her head with the blanket to reduce stimulation. Always be ready to take your cat straight home if this happens.
- Cats don’t walk like dogs. If walking a dog is a straight line from A to B, with a couple of pit stops, walking a cat is a bunch of doodles going from W to T to F. Be patient, enjoy yourself, and be proud that you’ve given your cat a great adventure.
- Avoid busy roads or places where there’s a lot of activity going on. Quiet streets and parks are a really nice way for your cat to explore.
How do I know if my cat’s harness fits right?
A good measure is to slip your finger between the harness and your cat. Pay attention to around her neck, shoulders, chest, and belly. If you can fit one finger, this is a good fit. Being able to fit more than one finger sideways means your harness is too loose. If you have to wriggle your finger under the harness and it’s uncomfortable for you, it’s too tight.
Can I just walk my cat on a lead?
Cat experts recommend that you do not walk your cat on a leash. The chance of your furry friend getting spooked during a walk are always high, and her first instinct is to run away. If you have a lead wrapped around her neck, instead of a proper cat harness that supports the body, you run the terrible risk of choking your little companion. With cat harnesses being so super affordable, it makes no sense to choose a lead-only option.
How do I wash my cat harness?
All the cat harnesses we reviewed were sent with washing instructions so we recommend that you follow the manufacturer’s advice.
Generally speaking, if it has Velcro, close the Velcro pieces together. If it has metal parts, like buckles, fasten them. Brush or wipe of large chunks of dirt or debris, and pick off as much cat fur as you can. The latter are just better for your washing machine, and for whoever puts their laundry in after you’ve used the machine. Then wash on a cool cycle with a gentle, natural detergent.
Conclusion: Picking the Best Cat Harness
We’ve covered a lot of ground here, and I hope now you feel ready to get your furry friend into a great harness and cover some ground together.
If you found some value in our top 5 best cat harness picks, that’s great! Each of them is of excellent quality, and delivers everything we expect from that specific style of harness. On top of that, 4 of them are under $15!
Whether you keep your cat indoors because you’re an apartment-dweller, or to keep them safe from predators and traffic, a cat harness is a great way to give them some mental stimulation and adventure—safely.
It’s also a great way to get fresh air and bond with your cat over something new. When you watch your favorite feline stalk falling leaves for the first time, you’ll appreciate the benefits of a quality cat harness.
I don’t think I’m overstating when I say that the best cat harness can enrich a cat’s life. Exploring their world safely with their favorite human—what could be better? (Apart from cat treats.)
Have you tried any of the harnesses we reviewed today? Comment below and let me know what you thought!