Dec 03, 2020 May 13, 2022

Anyone who has ever tried transporting a cat knows that they are great escape artists and can wiggle and squirm their way out of almost any situation they don't want to be in.

While this may make you hesitant about taking your cat into the great outdoors, it's actually easier than ever to find a top-rated cat harness that provides a high-quality, secure, and comfortable fit to keep your feline friend safe outside.

Cats are natural prowlers who love a good walk, just like dogs. The key to making the experience of taking a jaunt with them enjoyable is finding a cat harness that securely fits their body shape and size. That's why we recommend taking your cat's neck and chest measurements before deciding on the perfect harness.

5 Best 'No Escape' Cat Harnesses

When choosing a cat harness, first focus on features that reduce and eliminate your cat's desire and ability to escape. For example, some cats whose weight tends to fluctuate might do better with a highly adjustable harness that stays secure no matter their size.

Also consider how the harness affects the senses, especially touch and hearing. For instance, your cat might prefer the feel of breathable mesh. For some cats, however, this fabric makes too much noise, causing them to bolt.

While there are cats who aren't thrilled with the idea of a cat harness no matter its size, form, or fit, practicing indoors before going outside can help put them at ease. This also gives you the chance to test out the harness so you can make any needed adjustments. 

We've put together this list of the five best cat harnesses for all sizes and preferences that help to eliminate escapes while keeping your cat safe, secure, snug, and stylish all at the same time.

Best Overall
Our Score 9.6 Out of 10
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Best Mid Range
Our Score 9.2 Out of 10
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Cheaper Choice
Our Score 9.0 Out of 10
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Our Score 8.8 Out of 10
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Our Score 8.6 Out of 10
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The rabbitgoo Breathable Cat Harness + Leash

Our Score 9.6 out of 10
rabbitgoo Cat Harness and Leash for Walking, Escape Proof Soft Adjustable Vest Harnesses for Cats, Easy Control Breathable Reflective Strips Jacket, Black, XS (Chest: Chest: 13.5"-16")
rabbitgoo Cat Harness and Leash for Walking, Escape Proof Soft Adjustable Vest Harnesses for Cats, Easy Control Breathable Reflective Strips Jacket, Black, XS (Chest: Chest: 13.5"-16") Check price

【Cat Harness with Leash, Fits Average Adult Cats】: Size measuring [Neck Girth: 8.5 -11 Inches], [Chest Girth: 13.5 - 16 Inches]. Please measure your cat carefully and refer to the size chart before...

The rabbitgoo Cat Harness and Leash set is a true fan favorite for people with small to average-sized cats. It's ideal for warm weather due to its breathable mesh fabric. The four adjustable straps provide one of the best fits on the market. They're also complemented by a safety buckle on each side for a truly escape-free experience. The soft, lightweight material is designed to evenly distribute pressure from the leash, and you can take your pick of eight bright and stylish colors.

Niteangel 2-Pack Adjustable Cat Harness + Leash

Our Score 9.2 out of 10
Niteangel 2-Pack of Adjustable Cat Harness & Leash (Reflective Blue & Orange)
Niteangel 2-Pack of Adjustable Cat Harness & Leash (Reflective Blue & Orange) Check price

Safe and simple way for your cat to explore the sights, sounds, and smells and have a safe outdoor experience.
Adjustable “H” style harness with durable snap-lock buckles, easy to put on and take o...

Cats are notoriously nocturnal creatures. That's why the budget-friendly, flexible Niteangel harness and leash set made our top five list. Is your cat is more comfortable walking by moonlight? If so, this is the perfect pick because the adjustable H style straps have reflective tape that catches the light. It's also easy to take on and off thanks to the sturdy snap buckles. The dual adjustment points also provide an extra secure fit. Plus, it comes in a two-pack with matching nylon leads, making it a great option for households with multiple cats.

PetSafe Come With Me Kitty Harness + Bungee Leash

Our Score 9.0 out of 10
PetSafe Come With Me Kitty Nylon Cat Harness & Bungee Leash
PetSafe Come With Me Kitty Nylon Cat Harness & Bungee Leash Check price

The Come With Me Kitty Harness & Bungee Leash allows you to share enjoyable walks, exercise and playtime outside your home. The patented design allows for pressure on the leash to gentl...

This is a great option if your cat is sensitive to anything touching their neck. It's created to set gently around the shoulders, with dual adjustment points for a close fit and safety buckles that snap securely into place. In addition, tugging is reduced because the flexible bungee leash allows for some give while you stroll around the yard, neighborhood, pet store, or hiking trail. The bonus is that the PetSafe Come With Me Kitty Harness is available in six colors, each with a different shade on the belly strap. You can quickly differentiate it from the shoulder straps when putting it on your cat.  

PUPTECK Adjustable Cat Harness + Leash  

Our Score 8.8 out of 10
Adjustable Cat Harness Nylon Strap Collar with Leash Blue PUPTECK
Adjustable Cat Harness Nylon Strap Collar with Leash Blue PUPTECK Check price

Nylon lead and harness for your small cat or puppies under 12 pounds. This standard lead fits around the cat’s neck and back to evenly distribute pressure, size adjustable for both young kitty to a...

The hardiness of the PUPTECK harness is what makes it such a hit with cat lovers. Its thick and comfy nylon H straps buckle in two places — at the neck and chest. The fully adjustable straps provide twice as much secure material as many leading brands. The lead is also made of multiple layers of nylon that connects to the harness via a metal D-ring along the back. This is an excellent 'no escape' option for cats under 12 pounds, especially if you're looking for a long-lasting harness and leash combo that can take a lot of wear and tear.

Dexil Posh Padded Waterproof Cat Harness

Our Score 8.6 out of 10
Dexil Luxury Cat Harness Padded and Water Resistant (Blue S-M)
Dexil Luxury Cat Harness Padded and Water Resistant (Blue S-M) Check price

Small-Medium Vest harness adjustable fits chest size 13-18inch (33-45cm)
Comfortable for your loyal cat with padding and warm for winter
Water resistant for all weather use
Now with extra front D r...

Cats have a reputation for hating water. But the Dexil Padded Waterproof Cat Vest with streamlined padding is perfect for those rebels who enjoy a jaunt in the (light) rain. It's also great for cooler weather because its deluxe padding helps keep the kitty warm. The adjustable clips ensure a solid fit, and there's even a second D-ring on the front for a no-pull experience. The Dexil is available in two sizes and four fun colors.

Buyers Guide: Your First Cat Harness Purchase

According to the most recent APPA Pet Owner's Survey, nearly 43 million U.S. households now own at least one cat. About 60 years ago, these house cats actually wandered inside and outside at will! Nowadays, taking your indoor cat outside is making a comeback thanks to the high-quality safety features available with the latest line of cat harnesses.

Outdoor Safety Considerations

Veterinarians recommend cat harnesses for outdoor activities due to a variety of safety concerns. These include attacks by other cats, dogs, or even natural predators. This is especially important if you live in the country or near wooded areas. Cats can also become infected with parasites or ingest toxins if left to wander freely throughout your neighborhood.

Cat harnesses help keep your pet safe from oncoming traffic. They also help prevent them from being picked up by animal control or wandering too far from home and becoming lost. They're a great way to give your cat the best of both worlds without worrying about what they're up to!

Feline Fun in the Great Outdoors

Domesticated cats never seemed to have forgotten that they descended from prowling wildcats. A recent study shows that they had a mutually beneficial relationship with humans for thousands of years — on their own terms, of course.

This biology is why cats today still love to bird watch, "stalk" through the grass, scratch branches (or sofas), and climb anything that catches their eye.

Cats may even become lethargic and out of sorts if they don't get enough fresh air. Well-planned outdoor activities can help relieve your cat's restlessness, reduce their stress levels, and keep their weight under control.   

Best Practices to Introduce Your Cat to a Harness

Always start slow by setting your new cat harness down on the ground, several feet away from your cat. Let them explore it at their convenience and get used to it so that it's non-threatening. Some people even rub the harness in catnip or give their cats treats after they smell it to associate with something pleasant.

Next, put your cat's harness on them at a time when they're feeling relaxed and happy. Let them wear it around the house on a few occasions to get used to it. You can even provide more positive reinforcement like treats or face rubs.

After they're used to the gear touching their body, secure the leash to the harness and practice walking indoors. This gives you the opportunity to make sure that all closures are secure. Also check that the straps or vest snugly fit so your cat won't escape.

Finally, take the "leap" to the great outdoors when you're sure your cat is ready.

How Do You Choose the Perfect Cat Harness?

Luckily there are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to purchasing a cat harness. This allows you to pick the features that best fit your cat's unique taste and personality.

Focus on the Key Features

Think about the fit, feel, form, and type of closures you'd prefer to use.

To measure your cat for sizing, take two measurements: one at the neck where a collar would go, and the other around the chest just behind the front legs. Make sure to pull the measuring tape snug around their body for this second measurement, even if you have to fight through some fur to do so!

Consider the Comfort Factor

For cats who are skittish around up-close noises, it's best to avoid closures like Velcro or materials that make noise when your cat walks, such as mesh.

Is your cat is an up-close cuddler who enjoys being wrapped in your arms or a blanket? If so, then consider a vest that covers more of their body. For cats sensitive to touch, a harness with more lightweight straps is ideal. Each cat is different, and some may prefer nylon or polyester, while others enjoy cotton or mesh material.

Capture Your Cat's Unique Style

When buying a cat harness, there are three main styles to choose from. Each one has its own stand-out features and benefits.

  • H-Style. Popular with cats who love less bulk on their body, the H-style cat harness is placed around each side of your cat's front legs and secured with closures along their back. One thing to keep in mind is that the small straps may press against the skin and irritate some cats.
  • Step-in Style. This is a stress-free style because it's the easiest to put on and remove. Your cat simply steps into it with its front paws, you secure it, and you're done. The main drawback to this style is it's the least secure of the three.
  • Vest Style. Great for cats who like a little extra material around their body to help them feel safe and snug during their outdoor adventures. The vest style is also the most secure for preventing escapes. With this vest, you and your cat can relish your time together out in nature.
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