Choosing a harness for your cat
If you’re planning on taking your cat out in the yard or for a walk, we really can’t emphasize the importance of keeping them secured. Cats can disappear in a single second, so in our opinion, a walking vest is a “must have” item for any cats heading outdoors. (That doesn’t mean you can get away with no collar or no microchip – both are just as important, if not more so, than a walking vest!)
A walking vest allows superior control for cats during visits to the vet, walks through the neighborhood, or even just a morning on the catio. Collars are very easy for cats to slip out of, and the days of the “single strand” harnesses fashioned for dogs are over. A cat’s anatomy allows them to easily slip out of the nylon rope-type harness, so make sure you select the proper equipment when taking your cat for a walk.
Cats can be particularly difficult to fit in a harness. When selecting a walking vest, the most important consideration should be selecting a harness that fits properly. There is no feeling more horrifying than watching a cat bolting away from you while you stand helplessly holding a leash attached to an empty harness.
Since their anatomy naturally allows for easy escape from predators, it can be difficult to secure your feline friend in a way that is comfortable. Walking vests make that possible (just see how comfortable Cassie is in modeling these beautiful vests!). So, be certain that your cat cannot escape their harness, never rely on a collar, and always consider safety before style. Here are a few hints on how to choose a harness for your cat and our two favorite types of harnesses for our cats.
Velcro harnesses from Kitty Holster
These are the safest harnesses we have found. We have found these to be the great options for our cats. They are safe as they include a long wrap of Velcro and generally they are made from a mesh material that will help your cat avoid overheating.
Our favorite Velcro harness is Kitty Holster Cat Harness . They have made these harnesses extra long to fit the sleek length of your cat without allowing them to slip away. Even cats who hate to wear harnesses love wearing these walking vests.
The strong material is also lightweight, adding an additional level of comfort to cats. It’s a breathable cotton material that works in many different climates (but be cautious of walking cats during the heat of summer in the Southwest). The harnesses come in four sizes and therefore fit just about any type of cat. Pricing begins at $24.95 and you can order here: http://www.kittyholster.com/
Drawbacks to Velcro
Noise. You’ll want to be cautious about the noise the Velcro makes when putting on or taking off. If your cats are skittish, you’ll want to explore other options. If you have a long-haired cat, this may not be the best solution as it can often catch pieces of hair in the Velcro and make kitty very uncomfortable.
Snap Harnesses from SturdiPet
Our favorite snap-closed walking vest is from Sturdi Products. The SturdiPet™ Walking Vest fits medium size cat breeds and larger toy to small dog breeds. It’s easy, secure, snag free, multi-size snap adjustable and available in small or medium in persimmon or animal rivers LE (limited edition) print. The double line of snaps makes it easy to adjust into two sizes and they hold steady through tough play.
The vests start at $16.95, which also includes a 5 ft. leash for cats or dogs. Made of 100% polyester sanded and sueded microfiber, the vests are machine washable and dryable. Be sure to snap close before washing and use a non-bleach detergent.
These vests are not quite as large as the KittyHolster, so make sure you size them properly. They still fit a good sized cat (Cassie, our model, is a small Maine Coon mix)
Drawbacks to snap walking vests
You’ll need to make sure your snaps are completely secure each time you put it on your act. Also, for long-haired cats, be sure that none of the hair is caught up in the snaps.
No matter which style of walking vest you choose, it’s important to have a good fit. There are no standard sizes for pet accessories so it is recommended to measure your pets’ chest and neck girth carefully to ensure proper fit. Make sure your cat is completely comfortable and this will ensure an easy transition into a walk. We know you’ll love either of the brands we recommended above and hope you’ll give it a try.