Three Things to Know About Cat Leashes and Harnesses

They’re not just for dogs!

Cat wearing harness on walk
Give your indoor cat an outdoor adventure!Unsplash/Perry Kibler

You might think leashes—and the walking and hiking that go with them—are the sole purview of dogs. But cats can be leash-trained too! This can allow them to explore a yard safely, or even accompany you on short walks. However, leashing a cat isn’t quite as easy as clipping a leash to a dog’s collar. Here are some tips and models to consider when looking into a leash for your kitty.

Voyager Step-in Air Harness - All Weather Mesh, Step in Vest Harness for Small Dogs and Cats by Best Pet Supplies

Comfort Matters

Measure your kitty with a flexible measuring tape to find the best fit.Best Pet Supplies, Inc.

Before you even think about leash-training a cat, make sure to get the right leash—which is to say, a full harness. Unlike dogs, cats do not have muscular necks; if you try to simply attach a leash to a collar, that puts the cat at a severe risk of neck injury. Instead opt for a snug, padded harness, so there’s no undue pressure on your feline friend’s neck.

rabbitgoo Cat Harness and Leash for Walking, Escape Proof Soft Adjustable Vest Harnesses for Medium Large Cats, Easy Control Breathable Pet Safety Jacket with Reflective Strips & 1 Metal Leash Ring

Take It Slow

Mesh helps to avoid overheating.rabbitgoo

Most cats don’t naturally enjoy being leash-trained. They’re mid-level predators, which means bigger animals will prey on them. In turn, that means they can be easily frightened when in a new environment, or when they’re physically restrained in some way. To get your cat more comfortable, have him practice wearing the harness indoors, keep treats on hand and pay attention to fear signals—like pressing to the ground or keeping a tail between the legs.

INVENHO Mesh Harness with Padded Vest for Puppy and Cats No Choke Design Ventilation Gift with Leash
Pro tip: measure the diameter of your kitty’s head, instead of their neck, to find the right neck size.INVENHO

Not all cats will take to leash-training, especially older or skittish cats. If your kitty is incredibly averse to being on a leash outdoors, well, that may just be the end. But for some cats, walking around on a leash is an amazing taste of the outside, a way to explore and smell and exercise without the risk that the outdoors naturally comes with.