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Best Comfortable & Secure Cat Harnesses 2022

cat with harness on mountain

Using a cat harness is the perfect way to let your cat explore and enjoy nature in a safe, risk-free manner. If you do want to use a leash to take your cat outdoors, make sure that you clip the leash to a harness that’s designed specially for cats, instead of a cat collar. Cat collars aren’t safe or suitable for leash adventures.

There are a few different styles of cat harness to choose from. Vests look like (you guessed it!) a vest and typically fasten on your cat’s back. Jackets are similar to vests but have more material in them so provide more coverage. Vest and jacket style cat harnesses are typically the most secure.

H style harnesses have two loops, one for the neck and one for your cat’s body, with a bar that runs between them along your cat’s back. Figure-eight harnesses are similar but the connecting bar is very short so the front loop sits at an angle across your cat’s chest. H-style and figure-eight harnesses have more minimal loops and straps so some cats prefer the free feeling they provide.


Want to skip to our top harnesses? Click here.

How to prepare your cat for a harness

There are several steps that you need to take if you want to introduce your cat to harness and leash use.

The first thing you’ll need to do is to ensure your cat’s vaccinations are up to date so they’re ready to explore outdoors. Then you’ll want to begin introducing them to their harness gradually, in a series of short training sessions (e.g. 5 minutes a day). We have an overview of the process in our in depth harness training article. Or, if you’d like to be led through the process by our resident feline behaviourist, you can check out our ‘how to harness train your cat’ online course.

The key thing is to take things slowly, and proceed at your cat’s pace. If your cat is a very young kitten or very bold, you may find that they can learn the basics of using their harness in a few weeks. However, for most cats you should expect harness training to take a few months. Of course, even once you venture outside, they’ll never really stop learning – there are always new sights and sounds and experiences to learn about!

Make sure that you train your cat with their harness and leash indoors first, to get them used to using them. If you go outdoors immediately, your cat could become distressed and attempt to escape.

When you do go outside with your cat in their harness and leash for the first time, start in a peaceful, secure environment. For example, your back garden or yard. Look closely at your cat’s behaviour whilst you are exploring to see how happy and comfortable they are, and make sure that you end every session while your cat is still relaxed and having fun. That way they’ll be excited for next time and left wanting more.

Related: How To Measure Your Cat For a Harness

Which is the best type of harness for my cat?

There are three main styles of cat harness – vest harness, jacket harness and H-style harness.

Which option is best for your cat depends on whether your live in a hot or cool climate, what sort of exploring you’ll be doing, and their personal preferences when it comes to things like having loops put over their head.

Vest harnesses:

Pros – Provide good chest support, can be secure if they have enough adjustability to ensure a good fit.

Cons – May involve putting head through head loop, which your cat might not enjoy.

Jacket harnesses:

Pros – Provide good support and spread forces as your cat explores. Greater coverage usually translates into being more resistant to escapes too.

Cons – Can involve Velcro fastenings which cats can find scary. Can be too warm in hot climates.

H-style harnesses:

Pros ­– Fitting doesn’t usually involve your cat putting their head through head loops. The minimal straps can be a cooler option in hot climates. In colder months of the year, H-style harnesses can be paired with sweaters and jackets.

Cons – Can put pressure on your cat’s neck, especially if they make a sudden leap forward. Can be less escape-proof than other styles.

In case you were wondering, Supakit harnesses don’t actually fit neatly into any of these categories! We’ve combined elements of each to develop a model that avoids many of the common pitfalls. Supakit harnesses are most similar to the vest style – but they have a single buckle so there are no head loops to push your cat’s head through. Instead, your cat simply steps into the harness, then you fasten the single buckle and go!

You should also consider the material, with choices such as leather being very popular, as well as eco-friendly options such as vegan cork ‘leather’.

Best Cat Harnesses

Here we go over the best cat harnesses for 2022 by type and style:

Best Escape-Proof Cat Harness

Leather Cat Harness - Burgundy

Winner: Leather Cat Harness - Burgundy 

Pros:

  • Secure fit without being restrictive
  • Fully escape-proof
  • Soft leather - really comfortable for your cat
  • Natural scent puts your at ease
  • 3 sizes available

Click here to check the price

Best Cat Harness for Travel

black leather cat harness

Winner: Leather Cat Harness - Black & Retractable Cat Leash - Black 

Pros:

  • Retractable leash provides unlimited control - important when travelling
  • Secure fit without being restrictive
  • Soft leather - really comfortable for your cat
  • Natural scent puts your at ease
  • 3 sizes available

Click here to check the price

Best Cat Harness for Hiking

black leather cat harness

Winner: Leather Cat Harness - Black & Retractable Cat Leash - Black 

Pros:

  • Retractable leash provides unlimited control - important when hiking
  • Secure fit without being restrictive
  • Soft leather - really comfortable for your cat
  • Natural scent puts your at ease
  • 3 sizes available

Click here to check the price

Best Kitten Harness

Leather Cat Harness - Mint Green

Winner: Leather Cat Harness - Mint Green 

Pros:

  • Available in a small size, perfect for kittens
  • Secure fit without being restrictive
  • Soft leather - really comfortable for your cat
  • Natural scent puts your at ease
  • 4 colours available

Click here to check the price

Best Large Cat Harness

black leather cat harness

Winner: Leather Cat Harness - Black & Retractable Cat Leash - Black 

Pros:

  • Large size designed to fit larger cats
  • Retractable leash provides more control over a larger cat
  • Secure fit without being restrictive
  • Soft leather - really comfortable for your cat
  • Natural scent puts your at ease

Click here to check the price


Best Step-in Cat Harness

Leather Cat Harness - Burgundy

Winner: Leather Cat Harness - Burgundy 

Pros:

  • Secure fit without being restrictive
  • Cat can step right into harness
  • Fully escape-proof
  • Soft leather - really comfortable for your cat
  • Natural scent puts your at ease
  • 3 sizes available

Click here to check the price


Best Eco-Friendly Cat Harness

Vegan Cork Cat Harness - Natural

Winner: Vegan Cork Cat Harness - Natural 

Pros:

  • Vegan cork leather - low carbon footprint and sustainable
  • Strong and supple material
  • Waterproof
  • 3 sizes available
  • 3 colours available

Click here to check the price

Why might a cat fall over when I put a harness on them?

If your cat hasn’t worn a harness before, they may fall over or fail to move the first time you introduce a harness to them. This is usually a sign that you may have progressed a little too quickly in their training. Did you know that there are training activities that you can complete with your cat before even putting their harness on, which will make them much less likely to flop or fall over when it comes to harness fitting time? You can learn more about these steps in our harness training guide, or in our instructor-led harness training online course.

Is it cruel to apply a harness to my cat?

No. Using a harness can be very positive for your cat. Coupled with patient, gradual harness training, a harness allows your cat to explore more of the outdoors, gives them extra stimulation and keeps them active. If your cat remains indoors most of the time, they are more likely to become bored and anxious. It can also help your cat maintain a healthy weight. Nonetheless, not all cats are equally enthusiastic about exploring. A particularly anxious cat may not be a good match for a harness. Even so, even highly anxious cats can get used to wearing a harness and exploring the outdoors over time.

What is the best kind of leash to use alongside a cat harness?

We advise starting out with a short, fixed length leash, so that you and your cat can establish good habits around leash control. As you and your cat gain confidence outdoors, you may want to add a longer retractable leash. Retractable leashes can give your cat more freedom, but they do take more skill to operate and you need to be able to scan your cat’s environment at a greater range for any hazards that may arise.

Should I carry a cat backpack?

It is very wise to carry a cat backpack or carrier around with you on adventures. Packs give your cat somewhere safe to escape to when they are anxious or when met with danger. They can also use the time spent in the carrier to relax.

How can I introduce my cat to a harness?

The first time your cat sees a harness, it's likely that they won’t understand what it is. You should introduce your cat to the concept of a harness safely, comfortably and in a positive manner.

Related: Cat Leashes

Expose them to the outdoors slowly

You can start introducing your cat to the outdoors once they’ve concluded their training inside. That means they are happy and comfortable wearing their harness inside the house, with a leash attached, and they are confident walking and doing normal things (jumping, playing) whilst wearing their harness indoors. You will also want to make sure that your cat has been trained to enjoy spending time in the carrier, backpack or stroller that you’ll be using to bring them outside.

If your cat has little or no experience outdoors, the first step will be to put them in their carrier and spend time with them outside. If they experience something they might find unpleasant like a loud noise or if they see a dog, you can provide them with a reward (e.g. a food-based treat). Over time they will be able to associate these events with positive outcomes, and their anxiety should lessen as a result.

Once your cat has started to relax outdoors, you can try opening the carrier door and let them explore with their harness and leash. If your cat shows signs of feeling unsure, simply let them retreat to their carrier until they’re ready to come out again. If they show signs of fear, wrap up the training session for the day and start again the next day. You might also want to go one step back in the training process to help them build confidence before venturing outside again.

Start the adventuring process

It’s best to begin adventuring in an enclosed space rather than at the park or on a beach. Make sure your cat's safe space (carrier, stroller or backpack) is with you at all times so they can quickly retreat to it if they need to. Let them build confidence with their leash and harness at their own pace.

Have patience with new locations

Once your cat has become comfortable with outdoor exploration, you can slowly start to take them to new locations. Just avoid anywhere that they’re likely to feel overwhelmed. It can be useful to conduct a recce beforehand to check out whether a location will be suitable for your cat. It’s essential to take their safe space (carrier, stroller or backpack) with you, but this is particularly important if you’re out on a longer adventure and your cat is likely to become tired.

Related: Handmade Cat Harnesses

Fit your cat for a harness

If the harness is too loose, your cat could wriggle free. If it’s too tight, they may start to feel uncomfortable and unable to move. Before you go ahead and buy a harness, it’s best to measure your cat. Most harnesses come with measurements so you can find the right fit.

To find out what your cat’s measurements are, wrap a flexible measuring tape around the points of their body indicated on the manufacturer’s measuring chart. Then you can compare your cat’s figures to the measurements of each harness size.

Once you have found a suitable harness, you’ll need to adjust it so it’s the best fit for your cat possible. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for harness fitting. For a Supakit harness we advise that you fit the harness so that you can fit one fingertip only, between your cat’s harness and their body (with fur compressed), when it is on. A good snug fit is important for escape-proofing. It can also be comfier for your cat too, as it prevents the harness from rubbing or twisting as they walk (cats are very attuned to the feeling of anything moving across their fur).

Related: Large Cat Harnesses

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed our article on the best cat harnesses for 2022.

Scroll back up to choose the harness that's right for your cat, or alternatively read some of our related articles below: