Best Cat Harnesses & Leashes [To Prevent Escapes]

What Type Of Harness Is Best For Cats?

Choosing a harness for your cat can get overwhelming. There are lots of harness styles and each seems to have a different way to secure.

Couple that with the fact that cats are extremely flexible, you’re going to want a harness that your cat can’t escape out of. There’s nothing scarier than your cat wiggling out of their harness outside where they could run and get lost or injured.

The best cat harnesses are ones that have thicker adjustable straps that buckle or ones that are a full torso jacket. These will be the most difficult for your cat to get out of making them safer.

Each cat has different flexibility and strength so it will be up to you to decide which harness is the best for your particular cat. Below I’ll go over the harnesses individually to cover their pros and cons.

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long-haired cat laying down while wearing a plain cat harness with nylon leash

My Top Picks:

How Do I Choose A Cat Harness?

When choosing a cat harness, you need to factor in your cat’s personality, strength, and agility. If your cat is large and strong, you’re going to want to harness that uses buckles instead of velcro.

If your cat is small and goes with the flow, may be able to use a cat walking jacket that secures using velcro. Some cats may even prefer the snug safe feeling of a walking jacket.

Also, take into account the cut of the harness. Some cat harnesses cover their shoulder blades which restricts movement somewhat.

Cats will often prefer one style of harness over another. While you can train your cat to use a different style harness, often it’s easiest to go with the style they like from the start.

The most important thing is that you find a harness your cat can’t get out of easily. You’ll want to practice and test walking around in a harness with your cat indoors well before you ever bring them outside.

Best Cat Harnesses

Cat harnesses entirely depend on your needs and the behaviors of your cat. Some cats never try to get out of their harness so some of the ones that offer more freedom of movement are perfectly fine.

Other cats will try to back out of or wiggle their way out of a harness if they get spooked. With any harness, it’s important to properly fit your cat and train them to wear the harness so that they’re comfortable wearing it.

Best Escape-Proof Harness: Rabitgoo Breathable Harness

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This cat harness dubs itself as escape-proof. While no harness can claim to be 100% escape proof, this harness has features that make it hard for your cat to slip out.

First, the harness has adjustable straps that secure via buckle. This means you can make sure the harness isn’t too loose on your cat.

Buckles are more secure than velcro if you have a large cat or one who is really strong, this is the better option. The cut of the harness doesn’t impede your cat’s shoulder movement which makes them more likely to want to wear it.

This escape-proof harness is a nice breathable mesh with reflective strips. It also comes in different sizes and colors so it can be used for both cats and kittens.

Best Walking Jacket: Kitty Holster Cat Harness

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If you want a harness your cat will have trouble wiggling out of, this is a great option. The Kitty Holster comes in different sizes and colors to best fit your cat.

What makes this harness “escape-proof” is that it fits more like a walking jacket without straps for your cat to squeeze out of. The entire jacket wraps around your cat’s torso and is secured with strong velcro.

The faster is velcro instead of buckles like some other harnesses. While velcro is strong, some cats, especially larger or stronger cats are able to rip open the velcro.

Best Kitten Harness: Rabitgoo Soft Kitten Vest

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A kitten harness is basically the same as the other recommended harnesses except it’s perfectly sized for a kitten. Kittens are a lot smaller and more flexible so they need a harness that fits their tiny bodies.

Even if you don’t plan on taking your kitten outside until they’re grown, familiarizing them with wearing a harness will make the transition easier when they’re grown. This harness is a step-into style harness that then wraps around your kitten.

It’s secured by both Velcro and a buckle, making it difficult for your kitten to squeeze out of. The kitten harness comes in a few sizes and colors to fit your kitten best.

Best Step In Harness: Supet Cat Vest Harness

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Some cats absolutely hate objects going over their head. If your cat is one of them, a cat harness that they can simply step into is a better option.

With this harness, your cat’s legs go into the leg holes. Then the entire harness is brought up and wrapped around to the back of your cat.

It secures by velcro and then also has an adjustable buckle that snaps the harness closed for added security. The harness is made out of a breathable mesh and also has reflective strips for safety.

What Cat Harnesses Should I Avoid?

Due to a cat’s flexibility, a lot of the more commonly promoted harnesses are actually terrible choices. I’m talking about the figure-8 and H-style harnesses.

Here’s are examples of an H-style cat harness and figure-8 style that recommend you avoid.

These two styles are made up of adjustable thin nylon straps. While they’re minimalist and offer your cat the widest range of movement, they’re also the easiest for them to get out of.

The scariest thing that could happen when you’re outside is that your cat gets spooked and is able to slip their harness. This is why my top suggestions are for cat harnesses that are buckle-secured vests and walking jackets.

Best Cat Leashes

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For a cat leash, you want one that’s made of nylon since the woven threads are stronger and more chew resistant than an extendable leash.

Extendable leashes are thin and known to break. Cat’s have very sharp teeth that can quickly chew through an extendable leash.

There are some nylon leashes that incorporate a small section of bungee. This gives your cat a little bit of give if they pull instead of a hard stop, but this isn’t a must-have.

When using your cat leash, make sure the nylon isn’t frayed or chewed. If it is, then it’s time to get a replacement leash.

Conclusion

Picking the best cat harness and leash is easy once you know what to look for. The main takeaway is to stick with vest and jacket-style cat harnesses to help prevent escape.

Harnesses that secure using a buckle rather than velcro will over the best security. Each harness is sized differently so make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommended sizing guidelines to get the best fit.

The harnesses your cat will most likely get out of are the H-style or figure-8 harnesses due to their flexibility. These harnesses are better suited for dogs and not cats.

Once you find your harness, make sure you have a sturdy nylon leash and get to training your cat to walk with a harness. Let me know down below if your cat leash walks.

Stephanie Mantilla curiosity trained header logo holding black cat
Stephanie Mantilla

Positive Reinforcement Trainer & Enrichment Specialist

Stephanie has over 12 years of experience training and enriching exotic animals as a Zookeeper. During this time, she received a certificate in Behavioral Husbandry from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and is an expert in animal behavior.
In her free time, she uses positive reinforcement to train her numerous pets at home and is always thinking up creative ways to prevent her pets from getting bored. On Curiosity Trained, Stephanie now helps people make their pets’ lives better by giving them easy to follow tips and science-backed information.

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