Why Cat Harness Training?
Here at KittyCatGO, we believe that enriching your cat’s life with adventure, big or small, will help to give your cat a more fulfilled life. Cat harness training allows your cat to experience the sights, smells, and sounds of the outside world in a safe way and brings joy and excitement to their life they can’t otherwise experience.
Training together will also grow trust, and trust breeds a stronger bond. And don’t we all want a stronger bond with our kitties?
Misconception #1: Harness training is only for adventurous cats who go hiking, kayaking, camping, etc.
This is NOT true. Even if you don’t have grand plans to hike or camp with your cat, harness training your cat has many practical applications.
- Going to the vet
- Emergency situations (for example, having to evacuate your home in a situation where having your cat in a carrier isn’t practical)
- Traveling in the car (you can let your cat out to stretch their legs)
- Just hanging out in the back yard
Misconception #2: If your cat doesn’t like wearing the harness the first time you put it on them, they won’t ever tolerate it.
One of the biggest mistakes someone can make in their cat harness training journey is to give up after one try. While there are always exceptions, most cats will NOT like wearing a harness the first time you put it on them. They will probably flop over, act like they can’t move, walk strangely, or even freak out.
Imagine what it might feel like for you if you’d never worn clothes before and then put a shirt on for the first time. It would feel weird, and you probably wouldn’t like it at first.
Harness training takes time and patience. Putting the harness on your cat isn’t even the first step, so if that’s where you started, you’ve already skipped a step or two.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best age to start harness training?
You can start harness training at ANY AGE! It is never too late, and it’s never too soon. Many think that it’s best to start training as a kitten, but I have trained multiple adult cats and know of a good many of senior cats (10+ years old) who did well with their harness and leash training.
Is there such a thing as an escape-proof cat harness?
No. Though there are definitely harnesses that are more secure than others, there is no harness that is 100% escape-proof. For every style of harness, there is a cat somewhere that has slipped out of it. If any cat harness claims to be 100% escape-proof, I wouldn’t recommend it.
The best way to prevent your cat from slipping out of their harness is through proper training and preventing any tension on the leash.
Which cat harness should I get?
There are many styles of cat harnesses, all with varying pros and cons.
My top recommendations include the Mynwood Cat Jacket and the RC Pets Adventure Kitty Harness.
Check out this cat harness style guide for more information on the various styles of cat harnesses, along with their pros and cons.
What kind of leash should I get?
I recommend our biothane cat leashes. They are lightweight yet durable, designed with cats in mind. You can get them in various lengths and colors, and they come with a lifetime guarantee.
Can I use a collar instead of a harness?
No. While I definitely recommend that your cat wear a collar with identification and even a tracking device attached, you should not attach a leash to your cat’s collar.
Cats have soft throats, and the strain put on their necks by pulling on a leash and collar can choke and cause injury. Collars are also easy to slip out of. Harnesses are all-around a much safer and better option than collars for walking your cat.
The Kylo Leash
The Kylo Collar
The KittyCatGO Adventure Podcast
KittyCatGO Trailblazers Community
The Cat Backpack Carrier Ultimate Guide
KittyCatGO Adventure Team Facebook Group
About Me – Emily Hall
Cat harness training enthusiast and expert
I am “mom” to 7 cats, all of which I have harness trained. I have trained them at various ages (kittens and adults), and though they aren’t all hikers or kayakers, they all at least enjoy going out in the back yard.
My goal is to educate, help, and encourage others to get out there and do more with their cats. Whether you’re aiming for big or small adventures, it all begins with harness training.