You’ve seen plenty of dogs out on a walk enjoying themselves, but what about your cat?
Perhaps you own an indoor cat but want to give him or her the stimulation presented by the outside with a good amount of control. Well, a good way to go about doing this is to purchase a cat harness where your feline can join you on walks.
What Are the Types of Cat Harnesses?
There are a few different types of cat harnesses, two to be exact, that are useful for a variety of reasons.
Leads: This type of harness is made with a few straps that attach to a leash. The pressure applied to the cat is evenly spread out due to the fitted regions around the neck and back. These are also similar in design to a typical harness used by dogs.
Although lead harnesses can be convenient and don’t require much when it comes to putting on, there are a few drawbacks.
They can be less comfortable for your cat, specifically if they decide to tug on walks. Additionally, they are easier to slip out of.
Walking Vests or H-style: Catster describes this type of harness as a mesh-style harness with a thick lining around the shoulder and stomach regions. These work best for cats that tend to pull.
Harnesses with a vest style are great for adding a sense of comfort to your feline’s stroll around the neighborhood.
Keep in mind, however, that they take a bit of time to get accustomed to as they do squeeze the cat’s body. Some cats like this feeling while others find it claustrophobic.
The 5 Best Harnesses for Cats
Below are the top picks for a high-quality harness to get you started on walking your feline friend around the neighborhood.
Who Should Buy a Cat Harness?
Cat harnesses aren’t for everyone. There several things to consider before taking your feline out on a walk. Vet Street pinpoints what cats and owners should take on this new sense of adventure.
Outgoing felines: Not every cat is going to benefit from walks. Owners with a spunky, bold kitty will find this activity fun.
Outdoor cats: It is best to avoid taking your indoor cat on a walk as they wouldn’t know how to fend for themselves if they got loose. If you have an inquisitive outdoor cat, chances are that a harness should be in your future.
Young pets: Taking an older cat out of the house is not the best decision as it can lead to an uncomfortable experience. Younger cats, around a year or two should be lively enough for a walk without being too distracted.
Why Would You Want to Walk Your Cat?
Dogs find a lot of enjoyment and important stimulation out of getting a daily walk, but what about your felid friends?
Huff Post examines how a cat could benefit from strapping on the harness and leaving the house to explore the streets.
Stimulation: When a cat lives indoors, it is exposed to the same stimuli day in and day out. By going outside, you are giving your feline that chance to use their brain in different ways, therefore keeping them from becoming bored.
Development: Not all cats will be gifted in the art of walking on a leash. This is especially true for cats that find most objects scary. You could either keep your cat locked up inside, or choose to take them out, letting them turn into a walkable feline.
Exercise: All too frequently, our pets become overweight which leads to unwanted health problems and weight gain.
You could use a laser pointer for physical exertion, or that be achieved through daily walks. This way, both of you are benefitting from the use of a cat harness in the first place.
Bonding: Finding an activity that you and your cat can do together is always a win in the books. By taking your cat on walks, they are experiencing new stimuli and experiences alongside you, further increasing the shared connection.
What Should I Consider When Buying a Harness for My Cat?
There are many attributes to keep in mind when trying to decide on the best cat harness for your furry friend.
Before you know what features to look for, it is best to consider what may limit your decision.
Age: When choosing whether or not to get a harness in the first place, take into account the age of the cat you would like to walk. Older cats, for example, should never be forced to go on a walk as they can tire easily.
Health: The overall physique of your cat should make walking them either easier or far more difficult. For a cat that is slightly fuller, they may take a while to warm up to the idea of a cat harness. But when they do, daily walks can
Likes and dislikes: You won’t know what your cat is willing to like when it comes to the purchase of a new cat harness. The overall preferences of your animal should be a large part of this testing. Cats have different opinions, just as we do. They will let you know if their harness isn’t the most comfortable activity.
What is a Cat Harness and How Does it Work?
The Merrian-Webster Dictionary describes a harness as being a piece of equipment that is held in place by some straps.
With a pet harness, or one designed for cats, have the straps hook around the middle region on the animal. This is because they walk on all fours.
If the harness were made in a different way, such as only wrapping around the stomach, then it would simply slide off.
Harnesses are a way to ensure that our pets be able to walk safely and in our control.
Can a Cat Be Walked While Leashed?
Many people doubt whether walking a cat is possible. The matter of the fact is that far weirder animals have been taken to the streets.
For instance, some people have been brave enough to walk their pet snake. If a reptile can walk the streets, then so should a cat.
The Cat Behavior Association stresses the importance of letting your cat decide if it would want to experience this activity. If your cat deals with anxiety, perhaps walking outdoors is not all that enjoyable.
Cats can be walked on a leash, but this does not mean that they should. Take your cat’s personality and physical capabilities into account before forcing them to take a walk out on the streets. A stroll with your pet should be fun for all included parties.
How Tight Should the Harness Be on My Cat?
Another way in which you can have a great outing is to make sure that your cat’s harness fits correctly and is not too tight. Harnesses that hug the torso too tight will rub with motion, causing discomfort and possibly even sores.
To ensure that your cat’s harness is the correct size, take the time to measure their neck and the area behind the front legs.
The measuring tape should be snug, but not too tight. When a harness if put on your cat, there should be two fingers width distance between the fabric and your cat.
If you need instructions then be sure to check out the one provided by Petoodles who will give you the best tips to achieve a properly fitted harness for your feline.
Do Leash Laws Apply to Cats?
A leash law is defined as an act that states a pet, namely dog, should be leashed while outside of the safety of their owner’s property.
These rules change depending on the state in which you live. Staying up to date on these regulations can save you a lot of trouble.
When talking about leash laws, it is clear that they are applied to dog owners, but what about people who want to walk their cats?
These rules set in place for dogs are equally important to felids. Alley Cat informs cat owners that these animals are targeted by animal control if found without a leash or collar, resulting in euthanasia for some. This makes a properly fitted harness all that more important.
How to Go About Finding Your First Cat Harness
You may want to go to the store and simply buy a cat harness that you think would suit Sylvester, but there are a few steps involved before that happens. Listed below are some of the tips to guide you to your first harness.
- Determine if your pet would be happy on a walk.
- Decide on the kind of harness.
- Compare the different features of products.
- Buy a properly fitted harness.
Choosing the Best Harness for Yourself
First and foremost, your cat should be comfortable and fitted with the appropriate harness. But what about you? Some harnesses are easier for their owners to use as well.
Some harnesses come with a bungee leash, which a lot of owners tend to prefer. They are designed to take the stress of a tugging animal off of our hands. This can lessen the burden that a walk might have, at least until your cat becomes used to these strolls.
What to Look for and What to Avoid?
Vet Info pinpoints the features that you should look for in a cat harness, also letting you know what to avoid. Both are essential in finding the best harness for you and your cat.
Let’s start with the attributes that you should stay away from, most of which are for the safety and well-being of your feline friend.
Heavy: Harnesses that are made with heavier fabrics may look appealing, but can be stressful for your cat on a long walk.
One-size: It is always best to look for a harness that can be adjusted so that your cat can grow without having to buy a new harness.
Uncomfortable: Be sure that this tool is either too large or too tight, leaving your cat wanting to stay indoors.
Features which should be included in your new purchase include:
Adjustable: Investing in a harness that can be fitted to the exact measurements of your cat is essential. An animal that does not have a properly fitted harness can develop scrapes or sores.
Durable fabric: Although your harness might not be worn for that long, it might go through a bit of rain or be attacked by your cat. Products that are easy to clean should be the top of your list as fur can transfer grease into the fabric.
How to Introduce Your Cat to the Harness
One of the very last steps that you must take before letting your cat out on the streets is to properly introduce them to this new item.
Cats typically aren’t used to having something on their torso. Nor are they all that familiar with having someone control where they walk with a leash.
The first step in getting them used to the harness is to have your feline wear it for a few minutes at a time, preferably when they are distracted. Hoemward Pet suggests using treats to make the experience all that more enjoyable.
Once your cat is comfortable wearing their harness for a longer period, you can clip on a leash. Always start to walk them indoors where it is safe.
With the leash attached, allow your pet to move in the direction that you want. If they stop, simply wait for the right steps and reward them with treats.
You must use a harness and leash respectfully, giving them patience as they are not dogs. Walking a cat on a leash can take a lot longer. Keeping your walks short with lots of treats is the best way to make it an enjoyable experience for everyone.
Now that you are aware of the benefits that walking a cat can provide, you can begin to find the best leash and harness. Be sure to find one that is properly fitted and comfortable.
If your cat does not enjoy walks, that is acceptable as not every cat will enjoy this activity. No matter what, load your pockets with treats for a walk, either indoors or outdoors.