As a loving cat parent, you probably already know that cats need physical activity and mental stimulation daily to stay healthy. And like us, they’re probably also happiest when they’re not stuck inside the house all day. Fresh air, the great outdoors, a nice walk together – more and more pet parents are getting out and about with their cats, not just their dogs. From traveling to hiking with cats – the sky is the limit, and your cat might just be your new favorite adventure companion.
But cats have a mind of their own, so training them to do anything can be no easy task. However with the right knowledge, a little patience and lots of praise, many cats can get used to wearing a harness. Read on to learn how to harness train a cat in 7 easy steps. Plus, we’ll answer your other questions about cat harness training.
To get your cat used to wearing a collar, check out our guide to cat collar training.
Table of contents
- Are harnesses safe for cats?
- Pros and cons of cat harnesses
- Choosing the right cat harness
- Types of cat harnesses
- Cat harness sizes
- Best cat harness material
- How to harness train a cat in 7 simple steps
- How to put on a cat harness the right way
- What to do if your cat does not respond well to the harness
- More tips for cat harness training
- Conclusion on cat harnesses
- More tips for training your cat to walk on a leash
Are harnesses safe for cats?
Before you put a harness on your cat, you probably want to know – are harnesses really safe for cats? Or could they pose some threat to your feline friend?
It’s a perfectly understandable concern – since some cat collars (especially those without a safety breakaway or release mechanism) have been associated with cats getting seriously hurt. In the worst case scenario, an ill-fitting or inappropriately used collar or harness could cause strangulation or even death. So it’s important to make safety a number one priority when using a harness or collar on your cat.
Harnesses are generally safe for cats, as long as you follow the safety tips below:
- Choose a harness that is the appropriate size for your cat.
- Adjust the straps so that the harness fits comfortably snug on your cat (with space for 1-2 fingers between the harness and cat).
- Always attach the leash to the harness, not a cat collar.
- Be sure to supervise your cat when they’re wearing the harness.
- Only use the harness on walks with your cat; it should never be left on your cat 24/7.
Pros and cons of cat harnesses
When it comes to cats wearing harnesses, there are several pros and cons.
The biggest advantage of training your cat to wear a harness is that they can enjoy safe access to the outdoors without all the risks associated with free-roaming. Cats on a leash and harness will be less likely to face accidents and injury from other cats, wildlife, or cars. Plus, they’re less likely to get lost.