Do you dream of taking your cat on an excursion with you? If your cat turns into a limp noodle as soon as you put a harness on it, don’t worry. There is hope for you and your adventurous cat!
How to Choose the Best Harness for Your Cat
First of all, you need to find the right harness and leash for cats. Cats are notoriously slippery escape artists, so finding the perfect fit can be a little trickier than picking up a dog collar. We’re here to help you make the process a lot easier and avoid Houdini-style vanishing acts on the road.
The 3 Styles of Harness for Cats
Most cat harnesses can be classified into three basic styles, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Before you click “buy” in your online shopping cart, you need to know the difference between a vest and a jacket for cats.
H-Harness: These cat harnesses are made of thin straps like a cat collar, but they wrap around the chest and shoulders. Minimal coverage makes them good in hot weather and easy to combine with clothes in cold weather, but they are the easiest to twist. The feeling of lightness could make this style easier for a beginner cat to get used to.
Vest Harness: Vest-style cat harnesses have wide, padded straps that wrap around the cat’s chest and shoulders. They can slide over the head or be a retractable harness that attaches to the shoulders. Soft mesh materials are ideal for their breathability, as thick padded harnesses can make cats warm in the summer sun. Vest harnesses for cats are a comfortable and versatile harness option.
Jacket Harness: A jacket harness for cats (also known as a cat matter) is the most complete style of harness, covering your cat like a shirt or a jacket would. This blanket helps to provide the most secure fit and usually includes several velcro adjustment points, perfect for the restless cat in your life. On the other hand, this makes them more difficult to adjust for touch-sensitive cats or cats who do not like the loud noise of the velcro. The full coverage cut also means that they can be stuffy in hot weather.
Finding the Right Fit
Finding a harness that your cat really likes may take a little trial and error, but there are a few things you can look for in a harness to make sure the only problem is your fussy cat, as usual.
Measure your cat! Putting a tape measure around a cat can be tricky, but it’s worth it. By matching your cat’s measurements to the product description, you will get the best fit.
Find several set points to customize the fit.
Your cat will appreciate an easy-to-put-on harness. Many cats prefer a harness that they can get into rather than a harness that has to go over their head.
Safety comes first – make sure all clips, snaps and latches are secure.
Opt for safety devices such as reflective material and bells to ensure that your cat is seen and heard.
Buy a harness specially designed for cats. Some companies will repackage small dog harnesses for cats (sneaky!), but they will not fit your cat’s body properly. Look for brands that are transparent and specific about how they design their cat harnesses.
How to Train Your Cat to Wear a Harness
This may be the most difficult step of the process, but on the plus side, it’s a lot of fun to see your feline friend boned when you try on his harness for the first time. Whether your cat is a drama queen because of all this or is actually wearing the harness, it’s a good idea to use positive reinforcement to make your cat feel comfortable in his walking vest. Here’s how to get started.
Start attaching the harness inside. Tie your cat up, then focus on giving him delicious treats and playing his favorite games. The goal is to distract them from the extraneous in their body and focus on the things they like. Start with short sessions until your cat feels more comfortable.
Add a lightweight strap. It’s time to teach your cat the limits that come with being on a leash. You’ve gone from a metaphorical hip attachment to a literal attachment.
Start venturing outside! Bring a cat carrier that you feel comfortable in so that you have a safe place to retreat to. Start in small enclosed spaces like a fenced yard and grow from there as you become more comfortable.
Introduce new locations little by little. If your cat seems ready, you can leave your yard to walk around the block or go to the local park. With a little patience, you can have your cat by your side when you take your favorite trail. Take a carrier or a bag with you on your outdoor adventures so that your adventurous cat always has a safe hiding place to return to.
The most important thing is that you always keep a close eye on your cat’s body language to make sure that he is happy. Outdoor exploration is a great enrichment for cats, but not all cats want to climb Everest, and that’s okay! Having a good relationship with your cat is all about understanding the boundaries of others, and fortunately, most cats are better than people.