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Ultimate Guide To The Best Adventure Cat Harness: 10 Top Picks

Our cat G in her simple adventure cat harness.

Dogs have long been considered ‘man’s best friend’ and the perfect hiking partner. But cat owners are also starting to realize the benefits of taking their purring pals on outdoor adventures.

An adventure cat harness is the best way to keep your kitty safe on outdoor escapades. Whether you’re trekking through the forest or walking around the block, a harness and leash will keep your cat under control in case distractions arise or your cat gets a little too excited about a squirrel.

There are many options out there, and we’re here to help you narrow down the search for the best adventure cat harness for your specific kitty! One thing to note is that no cat harness is fully escape-proof, so a vigilant owner is the best defense against unwanted breakouts.

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Do You Really Need An Adventure Cat Harness?

Luna sleeping in her adventure cat harness.

Have you ever watched your fluffy friend gaze longingly out the window, tail twitching with curiosity? It’s clear they’re itching to explore the great outdoors. 

That’s where an adventure cat harness comes in handy. It’s not just about safety; it’s about opening up a world of adventure for our feline friends. Let your cat explore things in the great outdoors with an adventure cat harness!

An article from the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery tells us that environmental enrichment is essential to the health of indoor cats and can even prevent stress-related diseases such as lower urinary tract infections. 

Environmental enrichment comes in many forms, but allowing your cat to go outside in a controlled manner is one way to improve your cat’s welfare and health.

The Benefits of a Cat Harness

A travel cat harness isn’t just a fancy accessory. It serves several vital purposes, making it a must-have for any cat owner who wants their pet to explore things safely.

  1. Safety First: As much as we love our cats’ independent spirit, it can sometimes get them into trouble. A harness provides a safe way to control your cat’s movements without restricting their freedom too much.
  2. Comfort and Security: Unlike a collar, which can put pressure on a cat’s delicate throat, a harness distributes pressure more evenly across the body. This makes it more comfortable and safer for your kitty.
  3. Adventure Ready: Whether you’re going for a walk around the block or embarking on a hiking trip, a cat harness allows your cat to join in on the fun. Just remember, not all cats are natural explorers, so take it slow and let them set the pace.

By the way, if you and your cat are adventure-ready, check out our tips on hiking and rock climbing with your fur babies!

Why Not Just a Collar?

G posing on the front porch in just her collar.

You might wonder, “Why can’t I just use a collar?” While collars are fine for tags and identification, they’re not ideal for walking. 

Cats have a flexible and agile skeletal structure, so they can easily slip out of a collar. Plus, a sudden pull on a collar could hurt your cat’s neck.

I use a collar when my cat is just exploring in the yard. She’s been walking with me around the yard for years, and I feel comfortable with just her collar. But her harness goes on whenever we go outside the yard, such as on a hike.

And Walking with Nothing?

As for walking cats with nothing – well, we know how curious kittens are. Letting them roam free might seem fun, but there are better options. They could run off, get lost, or get into a dangerous situation. 

A harness gives you peace of mind, knowing your cat is safe and secure while they explore things around them. Remember, every cat is unique. Take your time in finding a harness that fits well and suits your cat’s personality.

Different Types of Cat Harnesses

There are three main types of cat harnesses:

  • H-style
  • Vest (sometimes called jacket-style)
  • Figure 8

Each style has pros and cons, but a cat harness ultimately depends on your cat’s personality, agility, and size. Here’s a breakdown of the three major types of cat harnesses, along with some pros and cons of each:

Cat HarnessDescriptionProsCons
H-StyleThe H-style harness has two loops: one for the neck and one for the chest, connected by a strap down the back. Fastens with buckles or clips.Easy to adjust. Fits well on most cats. Even distribution of pressure.Some cats find it too restrictive. Not secure enough for very active cats.
Vest (Jacket)This type of harness looks like a little vest or jacket for your cat. It usually fastens with Velcro or clips.Comfortable and secure. Good for cats who are new to harnesses. Distributes pressure evenly.This style can be a bit warm in hot weather. It may also be harder to fit correctly on very small or large cats.
Figure-8The figure-8 harness wraps around the cat’s neck and torso, crossing over at the back.This design is simple and easy to put on. It’s usually adjustable for a custom fit.May put pressure on the throat if cat pulls against the leash. Not as secure as other styles.

Understanding Harness Closure Systems

Most cat harnesses are adjustable to give your kitty the purrfect fit. After all the adjustments, there’s one last step – securing the harness closed.

The closure system on your adventure cat harness can have a more significant impact than you think. It can make all the difference to your cat’s acceptance or rejection of the harness.

Buckles

Buckle closure systems are exactly like a belt. Depending on the size, the closure system fits into a hole and buckles together.

  • Pros: Strong, adjustable closure that will hold up to even the largest and strongest cats. Doesn’t make a loud noise that will scare cats
  • Cons: Difficult to use, especially with cats. Not easy to release in emergencies.

Buckle systems are pretty rare on cat harnesses, typically only found on harnesses that are more fashionable than practical.

Clips

Clips, sometimes called ‘snap on,’ are a standard closure system on H-style and vest adventure cat harnesses. Like a chest strap on a backpack, you insert one end of the plastic adjustable clip into the other, snapping them together.

To release, you pinch the sides and pull the ends apart. Clips are less robust than buckles but have a few distinct advantages.

  • Pros: Easy to take off in emergencies, such as a cat stuck on a fence or branch.
  • Cons: Less durable. It can be warped and weakened with exposure to weather. The snapping sound may startle cats that are new to the harness.

Clips are more popular than buckles and are about as popular as Velcro, which we’ll discuss next.

Velcro

The last type of closure system commonly found on an adventure cat harness is Velcro. This is common with vest and jacket harnesses but not typically found on H-style or figure-8-style harnesses.

  • Pros: Strong and durable fastener that will not come undone under the pressure of a cat pulling. Faster than buckles.
  • Cons: It may be difficult to remove in emergencies. The loud noise of the Velcro can scare the cats initially.

Velcro is a popular closure type for adventure cat harnesses. It’s quick, easy, and strong. Some cats may be startled by the noise at first, but proper training and desensitization can cure this in a few short sessions.

Top 10 Picks for Best Adventure Cat Harnesses

Embarking on outdoor adventures with your feline friend can be a rewarding experience. But, to ensure your cat’s safety and comfort, you need the right equipment. 

Below, we’ve rounded up some of our top picks for adventure cat harnesses, each offering unique features to suit different types of cats and adventures.

1. The True Adventurer from Travel Cat

A cat in an adventure harness relaxing under a vehicle.

Travel Cat is the leader in cat traveling gear. This small business is based out of New York and run by a lovely couple who rescued an abandoned cat and immediately became cat people despite never growing up with cats.

They put much thought, care, and love into their products to bring your kitty the best possible adventure gear.

I bought this harness for my cat, G, but she felt too restricted and would walk a few steps and then lie down. That said, the True Adventurer cat harness is very popular, and many cats do well in it!

A cat walking in the grass with a harness on
  • Style: Vest Harness
  • Closure System: Clips & Velcro
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L
  • Best For: Older kittens to adult cats up to 19-inch girth.
  • Material: Durable Nylon
  • Distinguishing Features:
    • Reflective strip enables high visibility.
    • Adjustable for a comfortable fit
    • Comes with a strong nylon leash
    • Comes in 13 different colors, including purrfectly pink, 90s cat, pawsitively plaid, camo cat, cheeky cheetah, emerald explorer, Hawaiian shirt, groovy cat, and more.

Travel Cat has a few other notable cat harnesses, including the Day Tripper H-Style harness and the Pathfinder vest with a Tractive GPS collar. They also sell The Navigator cat backpack, which is excellent for hiking.

A side view of the cat in a harness.

2. Rcpets Adventure Kitty Harness

Owner Rory Carr made a life-changing mistake when ordering 10,000 yards of nylon webbing instead of 100 for the ski straps he made as a young entrepreneur in the skiing and snowboarding business.

Not wanting the product to go to waste, he put all his knowledge and love for the outdoors into making pet products. Thus, RCpets was created! It is based in Vancouver and made with quality material.

  • Style: Vest Harness
  • Closure System: Clips
  • Sizes: S, M, L
  • Best For: Active cats who love to explore. Larger cats (up to 22″ circumference).
  • Material: Air-mesh fabric
  • Distinguishing Features:
    • Breathable material for comfort
    • Reflective binding for safety in low light
    • Adjustable neck and waist webbing

Like Travel Cat, RCPets also has other cat harnesses worth looking at. Their vest-style Moto Control Harness keeps your cat safe in the car. The Primary Kitty Harness is their signature H-style adventure cat harness.

3. Voyager Step-In Lock Pet Harness

The Voyager cat harness is made by Best Pet Supplies, Inc., which makes everything from cat harnesses to plush toys and stairs for arthritic pups.

  • Style: Vest Harness
  • Closure System: Clips
  • Sizes: XXXS, XXS, XS
  • Best For: Smaller cats up to 15 pounds.
  • Material: Soft, breathable mesh
  • Distinguishing Features:
    • Easy step-in design
    • Secure locking feature
    • Comes in a variety of colors

4. Pidan Cat Harness and Leash Set

Pidan is the leading cat product brand in China. They are well known for their tofu cat litter made from food-grade raw materials, but they also make a remarkable adventure cat harness.

  • Style: H-style
  • Closure System: Clips at neck and chest
  • Sizes: Regular, XL
  • Best For: Cats who value comfort and style. Those who prefer less restrictive harnesses.
  • Material: Cotton and Polyester
  • Distinguishing Features:
    • Stylish design with a bowtie detail
    • Soft, breathable material
    • Comes with a matching leash

5. Houdini Escape-Resistant Cat Harness

The Houdini is made by Outdoor Bengel. This small business was created during the pandemic when the owner of a rascally Bengal cat wanted to take her on outdoor adventures to burn off some of her energy.

The unique design makes it difficult for the cat to slip out of the harness when they back up, which is the most common way our kitties break loose from their harness.

  • Style: Augmented H-Style Harness
  • Closure System: Clips
  • Sizes: Kitten, Medium cat, Large cat
  • Best For: Agile cats that are known escape artists. Extra large cats (up to 27″ girth).
  • Material: Durable Nylon and Mesh
  • Distinguishing Features:
    • Escape-resistant design
    • Adjustable for a secure fit
    • Reflective strips for visibility
    • Kitten harness available

6. Django Adventure Cat Harness

Django is run by a couple based in New York. The company is named after their long-haired Dachshund that accompanies them on their adventures. 

Despite being centered around a dog, Django is committed to making gear for small and medium dogs and cats!

  • Style: Vest Harness
  • Closure System: Clips
  • Sizes: S, M, L
  • Best For: Adult cats and large cats
  • Material: Neoprene outside, polyester sport mesh interior
  • Distinguishing Features:
    • Padded for extra comfort
    • Weather-resistant material
    • Adjustable straps

7. Kitty Holster

Cat walking up the stairs in her purple cat adventure cat harness.

The Kitty Holster is manufactured by Crazy K Farm Pet And Poultry Products, LLC. It is a USA-based company that donates a portion of its proceeds to the non-profit Crazy K Farm (along with breast cancer awareness and the Alex Foundation), which rescues and rehomes livestock that has been abused, abandoned, or neglected.

While their primary focus is on poultry and livestock, they also specialize in one of the most comfortable cat harnesses on the market. 

  • Style: Vest Harness
  • Closure System: Velcro
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L
  • Best For: Cats who prefer a soft, comfortable harness.
  • Material: 100% Cotton
  • Distinguishing Features:
    • Ultra-comfortable and soft
    • Easy to put on and take off
    • Available in various patterns and colors

I tried this harness on my cat, G, who was around 12 pounds then. Like the True Adventurer, she felt it was too restrictive and did not like it very much. She also escaped it once when she was spooked by a random person walking close to her.

8. Petsafe Come With Me Kitty Nylon Cat Harness

Luna walking with her harness and leash.

Petsafe is a company based in Knoxville, Tennesee. They’ve been in the innovative pet business for over 20 years. They make everything from cat harnesses and self-cleaning litter boxes to dog harnesses and training collars.

Petsafe works with their local soccer club to promote the adoption of cats and dogs. They also work hard to create and upgrade dog-friendly spaces in communities across the United States.

My cat, G, uses the Petsafe Come With Me Kitty Harness when we go on hikes. I found this one was the best for her specific temperament and shape. She doesn’t like the vest-style harnesses, so an H-style was the best fit, and she has yet to escape from it!

It doesn’t mean it’s the best, but it worked for her!

  • Style: H-Style Harness
  • Closure System: Clips
  • Sizes: S, M, L
  • Best For: medium-sized cats who don’t mind an over-the-head harness. Cats who prefer less restrictive harnesses.
  • Material: Nylon
  • Distinguishing Features:
    • Adjustable for Growth
    • Dual-adjustment points for a snug fit
    • Comes with a bungee leash

I also got this harness for my smaller cat, Luna, who weighs about 7 pounds and is on the tiny side. She found this harness too heavy for her liking, and I had to buy her a lighter one. Luckily, most companies offer returns or exchanges to make buying easier.

9. Comfort Soft Mesh Cat Harness

Luna stretching in her harness.

Comfort Soft is a Coastal Pet Products brand based in Alliance, Ohio. They’ve been around since 1968 and have led the way in innovative pet gear for decades.

Their Comfort Soft Mesh Cat Harness is perfect for more petite kitties. My cat, Luna, who weighs about 7 pounds on average (even as an adult!), loves this harness! She tried the Come With Me Kitty harness and found it too heavy, but this super-light mesh harness is perfect for her.

One thing I will note about this harness is that Luna has escaped from it multiple times when spooked by a loud noise. This harness isn’t very escape-proof but works great for casual walks in familiar territory.

  • Style: Vest
  • Closure System: Clips
  • Sizes: One size (11″ – 14″ circumference)
  • Best For: Smaller kitties who are fussy with harnesses. Cats who don’t mind over-the-head harnesses.
  • Material: Nylon mesh
  • Distinguishing Features:
    • Great for smaller cats and kittens
    • Lightweight
    • Adjustable straps for a tight fit

10. Size Right Snag-Proof Adjustable Cat Harness

Size Right is another brand from Coastal Pet Products. It features a figure-8-style harness that makes it difficult for cats to back out of. One downside is that the harness only comes in one size, which makes it specific to cats that can fit 12 – 18 inches.

  • Style: Figure-8-style
  • Closure System: Clips
  • Sizes: One size (Fits neck sizes 12 – 18 inches)
  • Best For: Medium-sized cats. Cats that prefer less restrictive harnesses.
  • Material: Durable nylon
  • Distinguishing Features:
    • Simple design
    • Lightweight
    • Swivel O-ring prevents leash tangles.

Choosing the right harness is key for a stress-free adventure with your cat, so take your time finding the one that suits your furry sidekick’s wild heart. With the right gear, you and your cat are on the right track to some pawsome adventures!

Which One Is The Best?

No ‘best’ cat harness exists because every cat is different. All cats are unique in shape, size, agility, and temperament. 

Some cats get upset at having a harness put over their heads, so you might opt for one with clips at the neck and chest so the harness doesn’t have to go over their head. Or, your cat may like to feel more snug and secure in their harness, so a vest or jacket-style harness may work better than an H-style. 

You know your cat better than anyone. Choose a harness you believe will work with them, and if it doesn’t, try again! There are so many options that you’re bound to find the purrfect harness. In the meantime, here are a few top choices in specific categories to help you decide.

Best escape-proof harnesses:

Most comfortable:

Least restrictive:

Most stylish:

Most affordable (hey, price is important too!):

Best adventure cat harness for large cats:

What Else To Look For In An Adventure Cat Harness

We’ve talked about harness style and closure type, but what else should you look for in an adventure cat harness to ensure your kitty is comfortable, safe, and purring?

  • Material: Check out the material that the harness is made out of. Mesh and cotton are common materials that are comfortable and easy on your pet’s fur and skin.
  • Leash attachment point: There’s no actual escape-proof cat harness, but having a leash attachment toward the back of the harness makes it less likely for your feline friend to break free.
  • Size: Get the correct size that will fit your cat snugly. Harnesses typically have a sizing chart that has a range for each size. Measure your cat using sewing tape to get the correct size.
  • Perks: It’s not the most important thing to consider, but some adventure cat harnesses come with a leash, a money-back guarantee, free shipping, or free returns and exchanges. Keep this in mind when purchasing.

Is My Cat Too Old To Be Harness Trained?

No! Your cat is definitely not too old to be harness-trained. Older cats may take a little more time and patience, but cats of any age can be harness-trained.

I started harness-training my cats when they were eight years old, and they both adjusted very well over time despite having completely different temperaments and personalities. It has made adventuring with them so much easier and safer!

Tips For Harness-Training Older Cats

Here are a few tips for training older cats to wear a harness and go on walks:

  • Patience: Most cats won’t like a harness at first. They might barely move, lie down, or stumble when they walk. Be patient with your kitty and let them adjust to this new restriction.
  • Persistence: Don’t expect your cat to go on walks in the first week, or even the first month, for that matter. Keep putting the harness on them for more extended periods to get them used to it. 
  • Positive Association: Try associating the harness with something positive, like a treat or a trip outdoors. I added a bell to my cat’s harness so she knows when she hears the bell, she gets to go outside. She comes running from wherever she is when she hears it!
  • Start Small: Start by putting the harness on inside the house where your cat feels safe. Put it on for 5 minutes to start, then 10 minutes, then 15…etc. Your first trip outdoors with the harness on should only last a few minutes and be limited to the driveway or somewhere close to the front door.

For more guidance on harness training, check out our article with 7 simple steps to harness train your cat!

Conclusion To A Purr-Filled Adventure

Choosing a cat harness can be tricky. There are many different styles and brands, and cats are much more fussy about wearing harnesses than dogs.

This guide gives you some direction in choosing the best adventure cat harness for your purring pal. Remember, every cat is unique, so select a harness that you believe will fit your cat’s shape, agility, temperament, and personality.

Do you have a favorite cat harness? Call it out in the comments below, and tell us why it’s awesome! We love hearing from adventurous cat parents.

If you plan to adventure with your cat, check out our guide on cat hiking gear essentials to keep your feline friend safe, happy, and looking good on your outdoor escapades. Happy adventuring!

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