All Your Cat Harnesses Questions Answered

Cat in garden

I wrote a post Cat Harnesses – Your Ultimate Guide, but I still receive questions on the topic. Which by the way, thank you so much for trusting me and coming to me for advise 🥲🥲🥲 Here are some of the most asked questions – and please reach out to me if you don’t find what you’re looking for!

Psst… I have a weekly newsletter focused on everything (adventure) cat related. I like to share what cat community finds beneficial, helpful tips/ advice, and talk about common challenges – such as the struggles of finding THE cat harness. Plus some wholesome content to brighten your day and kick off your weekend with positive message. Sign up below:

Can cats wear harnesses?

Absolutely! Taking your cat outside on a leash and in a harness is actually the most responsible way of “letting your cat outside”. If you choose to get a harness for your pet, please make sure that it’s created for cats specifically.

Are cat harnesses a good idea?

There are many pro’s to cat harnesses – the main one is that they allow your cat to explore outdoors safely. There are many reasons to keep your cat indoors.

Harness training your cat allows you to bring them along for many adventures! There is an ongoing debate whether or not letting your cat roam freely makes them happier. We are advocates for responsible cat ownership – including outdoors exploring.

How to choose a cat harness?

Choosing the right harness can take time – we all have been there. That’s why I created an ultimate guide to cat harnesses. It explores each kind of gear, factors to consider when deciding on one, as well as recommendations!

Cat walking on tree log Cat walks funny and falls over with harness / Cat doesn’t like harness

It’s pretty adorable to see your kitty walk funny or fall over, as soon as you put a harness on them. I believe every (adventure) cat owner has gone through that stage.

It’s very normal and most likely temporary – your pet is just getting used to the harness. Keep the harness sessions short and give them lots of positive feedback – either by snacks or words.

If your cat keeps falling over or walking funny despite your training efforts, you might look into getting a different harness or going up or down in size.

Best cat harness for hiking

My personal favourite is The Outbound Cat Harness. It is very comfortable and adjustable (perfect if you need to put a sweater on your pet). Check out my guide to cat harnesses for other recommendations – depending on where you live (or where you’re going) you might want to decide on more/less “coverage” harness.

It’s also strongly recommended that you have a cat backpack before heading out the door.

Best harness and leash for cats

Check out my guide to cat harnesses to choose the best one FOR YOU(r pet).

Black cat walking on path Cat harness for balcony

We don’t have a balcony in our place, however, the best thing to do is cat proof your balcony. You can turn it into a catio so you don’t need to worry about harnesses.

A harness itself is not going to be enough to stop the cat from sneaking out from the balcony. Some people attach things – such as wooden spatulas or balls (check out this cat named Pawl).

Check out my guide to cat harnesses to choose your favourite one 🙂

How should a cat harness fit/ how tight should cat harness be

You want the harness to be snug, but not too tight. You want your cat to be able to walk comfortably with no movement restriction.

A rule of thumb is that you’re able to comfortably fit 2 fingers under each strap.

What size harness for my cat

Different brands will most likely have their own sizing, so it’s important to check the sizing guide for each harness you look at. There are some harnesses that are custom made and/or where you have some room to adjust to fit. Once again – check my guide for recommendations 😸😸

How to measure your cat for a harness

Here is a great video explaining how to properly measure your pet:

Little personal tip: Chumka is a long skinny cat so one thing I learned is to measure the distance between his neck and girth. If your pet is in between sizes you are supposed to go with the smaller size. However, I found that the product was too short on Chumka and I had to return it. So knowing that measurement helped me to “weed out” harnesses that wouldn’t fit him right off the bat.

Cat laying in grass Cat slips out of harness… Is there an escape proof cat harness?

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as an escape proof harness. There are couple things that you can do to prevent your cat from escaping. The most important one is to learn your pet’s body language to “foresee” their escape – a lot of the times the cat tries to escape because they got scared.

A harness that’s well fitted is very important to prevent escaping.

Can a cat wear a harness all the time

It’s important that your cat gets used to the harnesses but I don’t recommend to keep it on for extended time – unless you’re exploring outdoors. For my cat, harness is a bit of a sensory experience so I keep it on him only when necessary. I take it off of him when travelling in the car (unless I need to tether him to the cat car seat).

What is the difference between cat and puppy harness

To simply put, cat harnesses are designed for cats and puppy harnesses are made for puppies. Each animal has different anatomy therefore it’s best to stick to species’ appropriate gear 🙂

Which is the best harness for an old cat

Elderly fur babies struggling with arthritis might struggle with a harness that requires lots of “wiggling” to get in. It’s best to go with a step in harness in my opinion. But always double check with your vet that walking your older cat/ cat with medical problems is okay 😊

How to tell if cat harness is too small

There are couple ways that you can check this.

Does you cat seem to be uncomfortable wearing the harness? In the beginning it’s normal for cats to walk awkwardly and flop. However, if it continues for over a week, I would suggest looking into a different kind of harness to try/ going a size up.

Does it look too small? You want the harness to fit snugly, but if the fit seems too small – then it probably is too small.

You want the harness to be snug on your pet, but to allow for smooth movements. Cats are very gracious so the chances are pretty high that you will notice something is off.

How to put a harness on a cat step-by-step

The instructions vary depending on the style of harness you have. There are step in style harnesses, which are very easy to put on. There are harnesses that you need to pull through your pet’s head. Chumka is not a fan of those, but it takes like 2 seconds to put it on, and then he just forgets it even happened.

Check out the instructions on the packaging or visit the brand’s website. The chances are pretty high that either of those places is going to have the needed info 😌

Can you harness train an older cat

Absolutely! Though it might take a bit longer, cats of any age can be trained to be adventure cats! Bao Zi (@bestadventurecat) was 4 years old when her pawrents started training her! You totally should check Bao Zi’s page as it’s a great source of tips for training your pet.

“Cat harnesses near me”

Check out your local pet stores if you need the harness ASAP. But Amazon/ Online is pretty good place to get one, if you don’t mind couple days wait time.

Make sure to measure your cat before heading out the door – especially if you’re unable to take her/ him with you. And make sure to keep the receipt! I returned a number of harnesses because Chumka was in between sizes or the harness simply didn’t work.

Last words

I hope this post answered your questions, however, if you still have any – please reach out to me via the contact page or my instagram 🙂 And please give some love to your pet(s) from me 💛💛

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Picture of Paulina, Chumka's Mom

Paulina, Chumka's Mom