Here Are Our Top Choices for the Best Cat Harnesses

Written by Kellianne Matthews
Updated: November 15, 2022
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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall cat harness is the rabbitgoo Escape Proof Harness and Leash Set.
  • By nature, cats like exploring the outdoors. However, this can be dangerous for them, especially if your cat primarily lives indoors. Using a standard leash and collar like a dog is hazardous to cats, as their necks are softer and much more fragile than that of a dog. A cat harness, however, is a great way to take your cat outside while simultaneously keeping them safe.
  • The most important thing to remember when selecting a cat harness is to choose one that fits your cat’s size and shape perfectly.
  • There are many types of cat harnesses out there, from vest harnesses to jacket harnesses and H-harnesses. We’ve created a list of the best cat harnesses today to help you in finding the best harness for your cat, based on materials used, size and fit, and your cat’s personality.

There’s no question that cats love outdoor adventures. While a few definitely prefer staying indoors, many kitties, like Siamese cats, can feel cooped up in the house and long for adventure. More importantly, they need exercise to stay healthy — and so do you. Of course, letting them run around outside on their own isn’t a great solution as they risk animal attacks and car accidents, and it can also be detrimental to local bird populations.

Walking your cat using a leash and a collar may seem like the solution — if dogs can do it so can cats, right? However, this isn’t ideal as it can strain your cat’s neck, which is much softer than a dog’s neck. Cats are also pretty experienced escape artists. The best solution for outdoor adventures (a.k.a. walking) is to use a leash with a harness. You can even use it in lieu of a carrier whenever you want to travel in the car without risking your cat’s safety.

Of course, you need to find the right cat harness first before you can get your cat used to wearing one. Based on the options available, finding one may take some trial and error. To help speed up the process, we have listed what we think are the best cat harnesses on the market today.

  1. rabbitgoo Cat Harness and Leash

    •Adjustable based on cat size

    •Breathable material

    •Affordable

    Check Amazon
  2. PetSafe Nylon Cat Harness & Bungee Leash

    •Easy use cat harness

    •Adjustable and sturdy

    •Bungee leash for better control with freedom

    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Best Pet Supplies Voyager Step-in Air Harness

    •Made for dogs but great for large cats

    •Flexible but durable material

    •Step-in harness

    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  4. PUPTECK Adjustable Cat Harness and Leash Set

    •H-harness made of durable nylon

    •Reflective sidings for night use

    •Adjustable

    Check Amazon

Top Picks: The Best Cat Harnesses Today

#1 Best Overall: rabbitgoo Escape Proof Harness and Leash Set

Our top choice for overall best cat harness is the rabbitgoo Escape Proof Harness and Leash Set.

As science and medicine improve, so does our understanding of feline health. They need their exercise just like dogs and what better way to take them outdoors than with the best overall cat harness on the market? The all-mesh fabric feels comfortable and light enough that a cat wouldn’t feel burdened while wearing it. The material is also quite breathable.

The nylon of this harness is sturdy and not easily chewed through. The harness features bright reflective strips that are perfect for walking at night. Adjustable straps with four buckles allow a perfect fit for a feline. The quick-release buckles make it easy to snap the harness on.

The only thing that may be tricky is getting the harness on over the head. However, the hole is adjustable using the straps, making it a lot easier than trying to fit your cat’s head through a tiny hole.

The cost of this harness is also relatively low, even if you have a limited budget. Overall, the rabbitgoo Cat Harness has everything needed for mainstream, everyday use.

Pros and Cons of the rabbitgoo Escape Proof Harness and Leash Set

ProsCons
This harness is inexpensive yet effective.The harness goes on over your cat’s head, which can make some kitties nervous.
The harness is made of air mesh fabric that is breathable, soft, and lightweight. It also has a skin-friendly padded lining and an anti-rub edge.Some customers have reported that the sizing of this harness runs small, so depending on the size of your cat, you may want to go up a size as well.
The buckle on the harness is durable and strong to keep your cat safely secured.
There are bright reflective strips along the harness, so you can take your kitty walking at night safely.
There are straps that can be easily adjusted to better fit your cat’s body.
Best Overall
rabbitgoo Cat Harness and Leash

•Adjustable based on cat size

•Breathable material

•Affordable

Check Amazon

2. Best H-Harness: PetSafe Come With Me Kitty Harness and Bungee Leash

If a vest-style cat harness isn’t to your pet’s liking, then the PetSafe Come With Me Kitty Harness and Bungee Leash is our recommendation.

Similar to our number one pick, this harness is made of nylon but with double-stitching for extra durability. 

What really stands out about this type of harness is how easy it is to put on. It is an H-harness that comes in three sizes — small, medium, and large — and you only need to measure your cat’s girth to get the fit right. The adjustable sternum slide adds to the easy use of this harness compared to our first choice. 

The two D-rings on the back help spread pressure if the cat pulls on the leash suddenly. The leash is also “stretchy” to prevent any sharp pulling, which can happen often when in a new, exciting environment. However, the leash does reach around six feet, allowing some independence on your cat’s end.  

One downside is the thickness of the straps, which are thin at about 3/8 of an inch. The cost of the PetSafe bundle is also a little higher than our other choices.

That being said, it’s a lightweight harness that’s perfect for cats who need a little bit of gentle leading while out for short walks in the park.

Pros and Cons of the PetSafe Come With Me Kitty Harness and Bungee Leash

ProsCons
The harness is made of nylon with double stitching for extra durability. It is also soft and lightweight so as not to make your cat feel uncomfortable.The straps are rather thin, only around 3/8 of an inch.
There are three different sizes to choose from (small, medium, and large).The bundle (harness and leash) is pricier than many other options.
There is also an adjustable sternum slide to ensure proper fit.Some customers reported that the rubber slider sometimes slipped and had to frequently be adjusted. Many tied a knot where the rubber stopper is, to ensure it didn’t get too loose.
Two D-rings on the back of the harness help to spread pressure if your cat pulls on their leash suddenly. The leash also stretches for more flexibility.
Best H-Harness
PetSafe Nylon Cat Harness & Bungee Leash

•Easy use cat harness

•Adjustable and sturdy

•Bungee leash for better control with freedom

Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best for Large Cats: Best Pet Supplies, Inc. Voyager Step-In Air Dog Harness

For those with large cats that can’t seem to get the proper fit with our first two picks, the Best Pet Supplies, Inc. Voyager Step-In Air Dog Harness is a great option. The Voyager from Pet Supplies, Inc. is actually a dog harness, but it offers really small sizes that can fit larger cats like Maine coons. Moreover, the design is highly favorable. It’s a step-in harness!

Step-in harnesses will probably be the easiest choice for most cat owners. Cats just need to step their forelimbs into the holes and be strapped in, which can usually be done with just one person. Plus, there’s only one Velcro strap and a single buckle.

Another high point about this harness is its security. The Velcro is on top, which is great because it doesn’t get caught on carpet or even in long hair. The buckle overlays the Velcro, adding extra security and a snug fit. On top of both are the double rings for leash attachment.

The material is flexible and comfortable but also durable. Plus, you can get it in a variety of colors, including hot pink.

It is important to precisely measure your cat before purchasing this harness as the fit may be tricky if not.

Pros and Cons of the Best Pet Supplies, Inc. Voyager Step-In Air Dog Harness

ProsCons
This harness is a great choice for larger cats like Maine coons.The fit of this harness can be a bit tricky, so be sure to measure your cat and use the sizing chart accordingly.
It can be easier for many cats since they just have to step into the harness rather than have you trying to put it over their heads.Some customers have reported the harness running a bit small.
There is just one Velcro strap and one buckle, making it simple and easy to secure the harness.
The Velcro is on top of the harness underneath the buckle, adding extra security and keeping it from getting caught on carpet or hair.
The material is both flexible and durable.
The harness comes in a variety of different colors.

Best for Large Cats
Best Pet Supplies Voyager Step-in Air Harness

•Made for dogs but great for large cats

•Flexible but durable material

•Step-in harness

Check Chewy Check Amazon

4. Most Affordable: PUPTECK Adjustable Cat Harness with Leash

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly cat harness, we chose the PUPTECK Adjustable Cat Harness with Leash for you.

Let’s be honest — owning a pet can be expensive. But for less than $10, you can get a nylon H-style harness with all the essential features. There are two individually adjustable straps that create that snug fit. Big or small, you’ll find that you can easily adjust the straps around your cat’s body. The straps even have some reflective strips, so you can keep an eye on your kitty when walking in the early morning or at night.

Quiet clips allow for a stress-free, secure fit. The entire harness (straps and all) make for a comfortable choice. The PUPTEK Cat Harness is the perfect choice for a cat that goes out every now and then. However, it is not as well-suited for long adventures or everyday use, as it is not as secure as the other options and may be somewhat flimsy.

Pros and Cons of the PUPTECK Adjustable Cat Harness with Leash

ProsCons
This harness is inexpensive and affordable but has many of the essential features needed for your cat.It is not as comfortable as many of the other harness options.
It is an H-style harness made of nylon, with individually adjustable straps, helping you to create a tight fit.Some customers had trouble getting the harness adjusted for a good fit.
There are reflective strips on the straps, so you can walk your kitty at night or in the early morning when it’s still dark out.
Since it is constructed with an H-style design, the harness is lightweight.
Most Affordable
PUPTECK Adjustable Cat Harness and Leash Set

•H-harness made of durable nylon

•Reflective sidings for night use

•Adjustable

Check Amazon

What to Look For in a Cat Harness

Before you can choose the right harness for your cat, it’s important to know what features to look for. First of all, the best cat harness for your precious pet is the one they will actually wear. This means that the one you end up buying should be comfortable, durable, and fit properly. You’ll also want to consider the following features:

  • Materials used
  • Size and fit
  • Your cat’s personality

Let’s look at each of these in more detail.

Materials Used

You’ll want to choose harnesses that are made with non-toxic materials and are safe to be used on cats. If you have a short-haired cat, a hairless cat, or a cat with sensitive skin, choose a harness made with soft materials like cotton or mesh. If your cat has long hair that tangles or mats easily, you may want to avoid harnesses with lots of Velcro.

Size and Fit

When choosing a cat harness, it is important to consider the size of your cat. Your cat’s harness should be a perfect fit for their body, fitting snugly without being too tight. If the harness is too tight or too small, it can hurt or injure your cat. In addition, it will be uncomfortable, and your cat will resist wanting to wear it. However, if it is too big it can harm your cat as well, and they will be able to escape easily. Many cat harnesses can be adjusted, allowing you to comfortably fit them securely and safely on your cat’s body.

Your Cat’s Personality

Not all cats enjoy going outside, and it may take some time for your cat to get comfortable with wearing a harness. An H-harness may be suitable for cats who are easy-going and not likely to try to escape, while a vest harness would be a better choice for a wiggly and energetic cat. Cats that suffer from asthma or breathing problems will need a harness that does not fasten around the neck since this could restrict their breathing and trigger an attack.

The Three Different Types of Cat Harnesses

1. H-Harness

When you lay it out on the floor, this harness looks like the letter H. H-harnesses are strappy for light coverage. Some cats prefer H-harnesses because they are not as restrictive as other options. These harnesses are often a good option for getting your cat used to wearing a harness, especially for older cats who have never worn a harness. However, they can be easier for your cat to wriggle out of, especially if the harness does not fit appropriately.

2. Vest Harness

Unlike the H-harness, a vest harness is a great choice if your cat is energetic and moves around suddenly. Vest harnesses cover much more of your cat’s body, helping to keep them secure. These harnesses are designed like a sleeveless sweater or vest and are usually made from a breathable mesh material. They are easier to fit on your cat, but you will have to slip the harness over your cat’s head, which some cats may not be so happy about.

3. Jacket Harness

A jacket or butterfly harness may be a great option if your cat is a particularly excellent escape artist or tends to startle easily. These harnesses have a tighter fit that fastens around your cat’s neck and chest for greater security.

Getting Your Cat to Safely Wear a Harness

Getting your kitty comfortable with wearing a harness for the first time isn’t the easiest feat. Cats are not naturally adapted to situations like these, so walking your cat on a leash will require a lot of time and patience. 

Slowly introduce the concept of the harness by leaving it on the floor by the cat’s bed along with a couple of treats. Let them check it out on their own and get comfortable with being around it. Then, put the harness on them for a minute or two, unbuckled. Repeat this process over the next few days (or weeks) until your cat is used to the idea. Gradually buckle the harness and let your cat hang out around the house in their new attire.

Once your cat is accustomed to wearing a harness, you can practice walking around with the leash attached inside your home before venturing outside. Make sure to always monitor your cat for signs of stress. If they are feeling overwhelmed, remove the harness and try again another day. Never try to force your cat if they are stressed out. Start with short trips outside, exploring the perimeter of your yard, and then gradually move out of the safety of the yard and around the neighborhood.

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About the Author

Kellianne Matthews is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on anthrozoology, conservation, human-animal relationships, and animal behavior. Kellianne has been writing and researching animals for over ten years and has decades of hands-on experience working with a variety of different animals. She holds a Master’s Degree from Brigham Young University, which she earned in 2017. A resident of Utah, Kellianne enjoys creating, exploring and learning new things, analyzing movies, caring for animals, and playing with her cats.

Here Are Our Top Choices for the Best Cat Harnesses FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What kind of harness is best for a cat?

As we’ve mentioned before, the best kind of harness for a cat is one that they will actually wear. You will want one that also ensures your cat’s safety while outdoors and that they won’t be able to wiggle out from. Remember, cats are quick and nimble. They can be quite tricky too.

The style that works best for keeping a cat secure is the vest or jacket. Both styles are a lot more comfortable than an H-harness because they cover more of the cat’s body. This means that pressure is more spread out should your cat make any sudden movements.

That being said, there’s really no one-size-fits-all cat harness. What one cat loves, another may dislike. The best choice of harness is one that fits your cat’s size, level of activity, and comfort.

What is the most secure cat harness?

The most secure cat harness is one that fits your cat properly. It should be a snug fit whether your cat is large or small so that your cat does not have enough room to wiggle out of it. You should only be able to fit one finger between your cat’s body and their harness. Any more than that will be too loose. And to get that proper fit, you’ll need a cat harness that has adjustable straps. Moreover, it should have a sturdy safety buckle.

Overall, if you want your cat’s harness to remain securely in place, you need one that fits right and features a secure buckle.

Is there a cat harness that works?

Yes! There are plenty of cat harnesses that work. Many owners have been reaping the benefits of these devices over the years. The only difference between today’s options and those of the past is that there are more choices to choose from.

Are cat harnesses cruel?

Absolutely not. The purpose of a cat harness is to enable your cat to explore the great outdoors (or at least, the exterior of your house) without compromising their safety. However, you still need to take care when choosing from any of the cat harnesses on the market.

Appropriate use of the harness is also important. Don’t let your cat wear the harness all the time, only when you plan on walking with them outside and you can supervise.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.