The best cat harnesses

Lauren Corona

Always introduce your cat to their harness gradually — if it distresses them even with careful acclimation, don't force them to wear it.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends that owners of cats in urban and suburban areas keep their kitties indoors, but this does mean they miss out on outdoor time. A cat harness allows your feline friend to explore outdoors without the danger of injury or going missing.

When choosing a harness, you need to choose between vest harnesses or strap harnesses, as well as other factors like color, material, and closure type. Our top cat harness is made by Kitty Holster, an excellent brand that specializes in high-end cat harnesses. We chose it for its comfort and durability, but we love how stylish it is, too.

Considerations when choosing cat harnesses

Harness style

Cat harnesses fit into one of two main types. First, you have vest harnesses. These are jacket-like harnesses with extended coverage for extra comfort and security. Although they're generally comfortable and more difficult for cats to escape from, some cats don't like the feeling of having something covering a large area of their body. Strap style harnesses consist of straps around the neck or chest and just behind the legs, much like a standard dog harness. These harnesses are less obtrusive but easier for cats to escape from. 


Strap harnesses should be made from a soft material that won't rub, such as nylon webbing. Vest harnesses should be lightweight and breathable with some stretch to them. Cotton jersey is a great choice, but you can also find some made from synthetic materials.


Some cat harnesses are adjustable so that one size fits almost all cats. Ideally, you should be able to adjust the harness while it's on your cat, otherwise it can take a long time to get the fit just right.


Color or pattern

Cat harnesses can be found in various solid colors as well as some fun patterns. The color or pattern isn't the most important feature of a cat harness, but it's okay to be swayed by a cool-looking harness.

Closure type

Velcro is a popular closure type on vest cat harnesses, as it's quick and easy to fasten and it stays fastened. The downside is that some cats get spooked by the sound of velcro. Clips and buckles are suitable alternatives, but quick-release buckles are best, just in case your cat becomes frightened and you need to undo their harness quickly. 


Cat harnesses generally range in price from around $10 to $15 for basic strap harnesses to $25 to $30 for high-end vest harnesses.


Q. What are the benefits of using a cat harness?

A. At first, it might seem odd to put your cat on a harness, but there are a range of benefits. If you're using a harness to take your kitty for a walk, it helps give them more exercise. This is particularly beneficial to indoor cats, particularly if they're overweight. A harness can make travel less stressful for your cat, as you may be able to do without a carrier if you have one person to drive and one person to securely hold them. It can give you more control over them during vet checkups, too.

Q. How do I find the right size harness for my cat?

A. Adjustable cat harnesses are generally one-size-fits-all, but some have small, medium, and large sizes. To find the correct size, you may need to measure your cat with a cloth measuring tape, but some brands give a suggested weight for each size.

Q. Are cat harnesses machine washable?

A. Yes, the vast majority of cat harnesses are machine washable.

Cat harnesses we recommend

Best of the best: Kitty Holster Cat Harness

Our take: A soft and comfortable vest style harness made from a lightweight, breathable material.

What we like: We love that there are four sizes to choose from to suit cats large and small. Available in a range of colors and patterns. Sturdy D-ring to connect to leash.

What we dislike: It is possible for cats to wiggle out of it if it's not tight enough.

Best bang for your buck: Best Pet Supplies Voyager Soft Harness for Pets

Our take: With its plush lining, it won't rub your cat's fur, but it might make them too warm in hot weather.

What we like: The thick, soft material is comfortable and great for cold weather use. Velcro closure makes it easy to put on your cat. Offers excellent value for money.

What we dislike: It's not specifically made for cats so larger sizes may be too big.

Choice 3: PUPTECK Adjustable Cat Harness

Our take: This basic strap harness is an inexpensive choice and great for cats who find vest harnesses too restrictive.

What we like: It's highly adjustable, so one size fits the majority of cats. Available in a wide variety of colors. Stays put well once you've fitted it correctly.

What we dislike: Can take time to properly adjust.

Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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