7 Best Cat Harnesses | March 2017
- friction-free comfortable design
- highly visible colors and reflector
- designed to be choke-free
|Brand||Best Pet Supplies|
- durable tear-resistant material
- available in blue or pink
- includes a convenient hanging tag
- airline/airport approved
- minimizes strain from tugging
- great reviews from humans
- d-ring leash attachment point
- available in many colors, patterns
- 10% profits go to animal rescue
Meow, That's Right
Jealous that the dogs have all the fun? As a cat owner, don't you wish you could show off the well-trained feline in your home? Your dream is now a reality thanks to the cat harness. The cat harness is designed to allow your cat to enjoy a walk outdoors like their canine counterparts. They are built to factor in the elusive cat and a harness offers more protection and support than a simple collar leash. The harness distributes the force, prevents choking, and slippage from the collar.
The harness works, if your cat cooperates of course, by covering a larger surface area of the cat. It includes a band of support around the neck and torso to fully support the cat. The harness is complimentary to a collar, though does not replace it. The H-model is the most popular, and it will easily fit most cats. The harness should fit snugly, but not so tight as to restrict airflow. You should be able to easily fit a finger or two between the harness and the body of the cat.
The leash may be included or not, but most models can connect to any leash if it is not included. A bungee leash is also beneficial to prevent a choking scenario and it relieves some pressure from the walker's wrist. Never attach a leash to a neck collar. This is dangerous and a cats' sudden movement could result in a neck injury.
What You Can Expect
Largely dependent on the nature of your cat, one harness might work wonders, while the other is incapable of securing the cat and places a large amount of strain on the animal's neck and chest.
The largest caveat is the cat slipping out of the harness. By nature, cats are not as outgoing as dogs when it comes to being walked and their cooperation might leave a bit to be desired. The agile cat can easily slip out of a simple collar, so a harness should be secured to prevent such mishaps. Both the neck collar and torso band should be adjustable. Cats come in a variety of sizes and ages. If possible, allow your cat to try on the harness before purchasing.
If you are not using the harness to walk your cat, it can also be used for travel or trips to the vet. By keeping the harness on, it's easier to handle the cat without subjecting it to the dreaded cat box, which can seem like a kitty coffin for some terrified felines.
If you want to walk your cat at night, which makes sense as cats are nocturnal animals and they are most active then, you might want to consider a reflective harness. Since walking a cat is an uncommon sight, you want to make sure the small animal is seen at night for safety.
The material used for a harness is also a factor. A mesh material will regulate the body temperature of the cat and ensure that they are not overheated or too cold. This is particularly true of domesticated cats that do not experience the outdoors often. Many include soft material with padding to prevent injury to the cat.
The leash can be a standard leash, a dog leash, or a bungee leash; which some argue is the most humane and it minimizes choking when the animal pulls too hard.
Harnessing the Kitty
Cats, as we know, are not the first option of a domesticated animal to be walked. Hope is not lost, however, there are a number of ways on how to coax the cat.
First, determine that the harness is right for you and your cat. Wait until they have had full vaccinations to protect your cat from outside dangers. Older cats are more reluctant to leashes; particularly if they have developed a fear of the outdoors over the years. You know your pet better than anyone else. While they can be trained to walk outdoors, you might experience a large learning curve and you need incredible patience with your pet.
Start slow with positive reinforcement. If your cat comes consistently when you call it, that is a good sign. If you haven't developed this yet with your pet, you need to start here before you attempt to walk it outdoors. Next, using treats as rewards, place the harness near the cat's favorite area; allowing her to smell it, see it, and play with it even!
After a few days, slowly begin to place the harness on the cat, once again, enforcing rewards such as treats. Let the cat feel the harness and then take it off after several minutes. Repeat for several days until the cat no longer struggles. If the cat is struggling with the harness, do not force her. Let her be and try again later.
If the harness is a success, allow her to wear it indoors for an extended period of time. Next, attach the leash and let the cat explore indoors with the added weight on the leash. Make sure the leash doesn't get tangled up and restrict the cat's movements. Gradually allow her to visit outside and let your cat take the lead; all the while rewarding her for good behavior. Be vigilant for dogs that might spook your cat. I recommend bringing a cat box with you as an insurance policy in case your cat panics.
This training is valuable in the age of service animals. Cats be registered as service animals and are required to wear a harness of some kind.