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11 Best Cat Harnesses of 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks

Hepper harness cat persian himalayan

There is a common misperception among some cat owners that cats don’t enjoy going for a walk with their owners. But the truth is that many cats will enjoy a walk just as much as dogs do, especially neighborhood cats. Cats may not need the regular vigorous exercise that dogs require, but a regular ramble around their local surrounds will do them a great deal of good, especially with the protection of their owner by their side.

A cat harness is a great way to keep your cat safe from bolting and keep them under your control. While it may take your feline friend a few tries to get used to it, walking with a harness is an ideal form of both mental and physical stimulation and a great bonding exercise for you and your kitty.

There are a ton of different cat harnesses on the market, and it can be confusing to find the right one. We looked at different models and put together this list of in-depth reviews to help you find the best harness to safely secure your feline friend, and discuss the 4 main types of cat harnesses in our buyer’s guide.

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A Quick Comparison of the Winners (updated in 2023)

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Hepper Harness and Leash Set Hepper Harness and Leash Set
  • Feature icon Five sizes to choose from
  • Feature icon Premium quality materials and construction
  • Feature icon Quick-release buckles for convenience
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Comfort Soft Mesh Cat Harness Comfort Soft Mesh Cat Harness
  • Feature icon Inexpensive
  • Feature icon Sturdy nylon mesh
  • Feature icon Equal pulling-pressure
  • Third place
    Red Dingo Classic Cat Harness Red Dingo Classic Cat Harness
  • Feature icon Padded handle
  • Feature icon Reliable side clips
  • Feature icon Abrasion-resistant nylon webbing
  • Paws & Pals Control Cat Harness Paws & Pals Control Cat Harness
  • Feature icon Padded
  • Feature icon Lightweight
  • Feature icon Machine washable
  • Rabbitgoo Cat Harness Rabbitgoo Cat Harness
  • Feature icon Constructed from breathable mesh
  • Feature icon Four different adjustments
  • Feature icon Includes nylon leash
  • The 11 Best Cat Harnesses

    1. Hepper Harness and Leash Set — Best Overall

    Hepper harness white conish rex in grass outside - snugs 2

    It’s a special cat that likes to go for walks with its owner, and our #1 best overall cat harness and lead set from Hepper is the ideal combo to use. The Hepper Cat Harness & Leash set will empower you and your cat to walk all over your city or town. The harness is perfect for walking and comes in five sizes that should fit any cat, large or small. It’s made of a high-quality velvet fabric woven together with a breathable air mesh. The soft edging around the harness keeps your cat comfy and prevents it from rubbing its delicate skin.

    However, there’s more to this cat harness, including multiple points where it can be adjusted to fit your cat perfectly. For example, Velcro is used throughout the harness, and in the back, there’s a double D-ring made from durable aluminum. The buckles have quick-release tabs for convenience, and the stitching is reinforced for strength and durability. Lastly, the Hepper Cat Harness & Leash set has reflective stripes so that cars will see you and your feline if you’re walking at dawn, dusk, or nighttime.

    Hepper’s nylon leash is 5 feet long, has a 360° rotating clamp, and the handle features padded neoprene for comfort. Thanks to its excellent features and many benefits, the Hepper Cat Harness & Leash set is perfect for your favorite feline.

    All in all, we think this is the best cat harness of this year.

    At Excited Cats, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

    • Five sizes to choose from
    • Premium quality materials and construction
    • Reflective stripes for safety
    • High-quality nylon leash with neoprene handle
    • Quick-release buckles for convenience
    • Leash isn’t adjustable
    • Some cats don’t like harnesses
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    2. Comfort Soft Adjustable Mesh Cat Harness — Budget Buy

    Comfort Soft Adjustable Mesh Cat Harness

    Our budget buy choice is the adjustable mesh harness from Comfort Soft. For those who are on a budget but still want a quality product, this is the best value choice. It is made from durable, breathable mesh and sturdy nylon for a safe and comfortable walk. The harness is designed to distribute leash-pull pressure evenly over your cat’s chest to prevent strain and choking, and it clips easily onto the side of your cat’s belly. The harness is also fully adjustable and goes on easily over your cat’s head.

    Customers report that their cats easily slipped out of this harness and that it can be difficult to put on for cats that squirm or if it is their first time using a harness. The large webbed design may also make some cats uncomfortable. These factors keep this harness from the top position.

    • Inexpensive
    • Made from sturdy, breathable nylon mesh
    • Equal pulling-pressure design
    • Fully adjustable
    • Some cats may slip out easily
    • The design may be uncomfortable for some cats
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    3. Red Dingo Classic Cat Harness

    Red Dingo Classic Cat Harness

    The Classic Cat harness from Red Dingo is fully adjustable and is designed to fit cats of any size and age. The harness comes equipped with an improved strength size adjuster and side buckle clips that are for easy fitting and removal and that will not release when tugged. Included with the harness is a 4-foot high-quality leash made from soft but durable nylon webbing, with a padded handle for extra comfort. The harness and leash are abrasion resistant and splice cut at an angle to reduce irritation. The harness and lead come in a wide variety of colors and patterns to suit your cat’s unique personality.

    Many customers report that it took only a few minutes for their cats to wriggle free from this harness unless it was adjusted perfectly to fit, which is no easy task. Both the adjustment slides and clasps are tricky and finicky to use, especially if you have a wriggly feline, and this keeps this harness from the top two spots.

    • Fully adjustable
    • Strong and reliable side clips
    • Included 4-foot lead with padded handle
    • Made from abrasion-resistant nylon webbing
    • Comes in a variety of colors and patterns
    • Some cats may wriggle free
    • Clasps and size adjusters are difficult to use
    • Comparatively expensive
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    4. Paws & Pals Control Cat Harness

    Paws & Pals Control Cat Harness

    This harness from Paws & Pals comes in four different sizes and a variety of different colors to suit your cat’s unique personality. It is made from a lightweight, durable, breathable, and comfortably padded material to ensure optimum comfort and safety. The harness has adjustable straps for a custom fit, and both the material and colors are weatherproof. It is designed to direct the pulling weight to your cat’s shoulders, so it won’t cause any harm to their neck or cause difficulty breathing should they tug hard. If your cat does manage to get covered in mud, the harness is machine washable!

    Cats are clever and will quickly figure out a way to get out of a situation that they are not happy in, and this harness is no exception! Several customers report their cats nimbly slipping out within minutes of being in the harness. There is no adjustability on the neck and shoulder areas, which is a problem for smaller felines. The leash strap is slightly off-center, which can be uncomfortable.

    • Comes in a variety of colors
    • Padded and lightweight material
    • Weatherproof with adjustable straps
    • Machine washable
    • Most cats will wriggle out easily
    • No neck and shoulder adjustability
    • Poorly constructed
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    5. rabbitgoo Cat Harness

    rabbitgoo Cat Harness

    This “escape-proof” cat harness from rabbitgoo is made from a breathable air mesh and is soft and lightweight for optimum comfort. It features four different adjustments to get the perfect fit, and both sides have a sturdy safety buckle to prevent your cat from slipping out. The harness also comes with a nylon leash that easily attaches to the harness via a metal loop, which is located in the center of the harness to equally distribute pulling weight. The harness is easy to put on and take off with the side snap buckles, and it also has reflective strips if you want to take your cat out for a night walk!

    While the harness is easy to adjust on the waist, the neck section needs to be adjusted before putting the harness on or your cat’s head may not fit through. Trying to adjust the finicky straps while on your cat will be a challenge for all but the most docile of felines. The “escape-proof” claim is true only for large cats, as small felines will easily slip through. Several customers report the clips breaking easily too.

    • Constructed from breathable mesh
    • Four different adjustments
    • Includes nylon leash
    • Easy to put on and remove via snap buckles
    • Neck section is difficult to adjust
    • Small cats may slip through easily
    • Clips break easily
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    6. PetSafe Come with Me Kitty Harness

    PetSafe Come with Me Kitty Harness

    The PetSafe Come with Me Kitty Harness has all the key features that you’d expect from a cat harness. Not only is the harness quick and simple to get on and off your cat with the two simple, quick-snap buckles, but the patented design allows for any pressure put on the leash to be directed to your cat’s shoulders as opposed to their neck. The included 4-foot leash is a great addition, as it has a bungee-style stretch that has some give and will not stop your cat suddenly should they get alarmed. The kitty harness comes in three different, fully adjustable sizes to fit any size and age of cat and is made with 3/8-inch-wide comfortable nylon. The harness fits snugly around your cat’s shoulders, neck, and stomach.

    While this harness is fairly escape-proof without the leash, cats will always try and find a way. When the leash is taught and attached, your cats may be able to wriggle free from the harness backward with relative ease. Many customers also report that this leash is tricky to adjust correctly.

    • Simple to put on and remove
    • 4-foot leash stretches to 6 feet
    • Allows for tension and restraint without choking
    • 3/8-inch-wide comfortable nylon construction
    • Fully adjustable and comes in three different sizes
    • Not 100% escape-proof
    • Difficult to adjust
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    7. Voyager Step-In Air Pet Harness

    Voyager Step-In Air Pet Harness

    The Step-in Pet Harness from Voyager is made from all-weather, breathable air mesh that is lightweight yet durable. The step-in design makes getting it on your cat a breeze, and so does the buckle and safety ring mechanism. It features a hook and loop fastener, a sturdy buckle, and double D-rings that work together to give your cat three layers of escape-proof security. The soft mesh design ensures chafe-free walking, even with pulling, and the harness has two reflective bands for added visibility. The harness also comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

    The stitching on the harness is prone to come undone after a couple of months of use, as several users report. While the breathable mesh is soft, the texture may cause chafing and even hair loss on your cats with regular use. There is also a small design flaw, where the D-rings rattle against the plastic clips, making for an annoyingly noisy walk.

    • Made from breathable air mesh
    • Step-in design
    • Three layers of protection
    • Two reflective bands
    • Available in a wide variety of colors and patterns
    • Weak stitching
    • Abrasive mesh texture
    • Noisy design flaw
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    8. Eagloo Cat Harness

    Eagloo Cat Harness

    The Eagloo cat harness is designed to be not only comfortable with its lightweight, soft, and breathable air mesh fabric but also durable. It is made with reinforced double-stitched edges that have soft cushioning, and the mesh is made for any type of weather to keep your cat cool and dry. The harness is a cinch to fit with two quick-snap buckles and four fully adjustable straps to perfectly fit your cat. The reflective strip can reflect ambient light in even the most low-light conditions to ensure optimum visibility. Your cat will be safe from chocking with the metal lead attachment loop that distributes weight evenly across their chest and away from their throat.

    While the manufacturer claims that this harness is escape-proof, it is definitely not, and several customers have reported their cats slipping out backward within minutes of getting it on. The buckle will easily slip along the straps as soon as your cat starts tugging, which loosens it and allows them to escape. Even the extra-small size harness may be too big for most cats.

    • Lightweight, breathable mesh construction
    • Reinforced double-edge stitching
    • Four fully adjustable straps
    • Reflective strips for optimum visibility
    • Even pull weight distribution
    • Not fully escape-proof as claimed
    • Buckle strap adjustment slips easily
    • May not fit smaller cats
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    9. BINGPET Cat Harness

    BINGPET Cat Harness

    This cat harness from BINGPET is fully adjustable on both the neck and chest for optimum safety and comfort and has durable plastic buckles for added security. It has soft padding and is made from a breathable mesh, with two heavy-duty D-rings for leash attachment. The rings are comfortably placed to ensure even pull-weight distribution. The classic plaid design is also machine washable, and the vest includes a sturdy 59-inch-long leash. The Velcro adjustments make for quick and easy fitting and removal, and the vest comes in two different sizes.

    The neck section is too big for some cats, as the straps run too small and may allow your cat to slip out. The construction material and Velcro straps will also attract hair, which can be difficult to remove from the mesh.

    • Fully adjustable neck and chest straps
    • Made from soft, breathable mesh
    • Two heavy-duty D-ring attachments
    • Includes a 59-foot lead
    • Runs small around the neck
    • Velcro sound may frighten your cat
    • Attracts hair
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    10. Kitty Holster Cat Harness

    Kitty Holster Cat Harness

    The Kitty Holster Cat Harness is ultra-lightweight, soft, and non-abrasive, with an undyed 100% cotton lining. It features a metal D-ring loop attachment for the leash, which is both sturdy and will equally distribute your cat’s weight if they should pull or tug. This vest-style harness offers a high degree of both comfort and security, with wide straps to prevent pinching. It comes in four sizes for an optimal fit. The Velcro straps make fitting a breeze, and the vest comes in a few different colors and patterns.

    The Velcro straps are loud and may frighten some cats, so they’ll need time to get used to it. While the harness comes in several different sizes, the adjustability of the vest is comparatively limited. Velcro is also a magnet for cat hair, as is the cotton material, although the vest is machine washable. The vest also has a high price, considering the limitations.

    • Lightweight and non-abrasive
    • Wide straps to prevent pinching and chaffing
    • Comes in several colors and patterns
    • Metal D-ring leash attachment
    • Velcro sound may frighten your cat
    • Limited adjustability
    • Attracts cat hair
    • Expensive
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    11. PUPTECK Cat Harness

    PUPTECK Cat Harness

    This cat harness from PUPTECK includes a 59-inch lead and comes in three different sizes. It has Velcro adjustment straps on both the neck and chest area, as well as an extra plastic buckle for safety should your cat manage to detach the Velcro straps. It is made from a breathable mesh that will prevent overheating and has two heavy-duty D-rings to clip the lead onto and equally distribute the pulling weight.

    Most cats will easily escape this harness, even with the extra buckle, as the Velcro straps may run too small. The harness is fairly bulky and heavy, especially for small cats, and the included leash is heavy and wide too. Velcro makes a loud noise that may startle your cat when fitting and removing, and it attracts hair.

    • Includes a 59-foot lead
    • Fully adjustable
    • Made from breathable mesh
    • Easy to escape
    • Bulky and heavy
    • Neck area may be too small for some cats
    • Velcro may frighten your cat
    • Attracts hair

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    Buyer’s Guide

    Cats are independent creatures that don’t take well to restraints, and it may take a while for your feline to get adequately used to a harness.  Cat harnesses should be comfortable, safe, and as secure as possible. As most cat lovers can attest, cats are highly agile and slippery when they need to be, and there are few harnesses that they can not escape from. The most important aspect of a good cat harness is that it is as escape-proof as possible.

    The 4 Types of Cat Harnesses

    1. H-Harnesses

    H Cat Harness

    Reflective Adjustable Cat Harness Nylon Strap...
    • Reflective nylon lead and harness for your small cat or puppies under 15 pounds....
    • Neck size: 18cm- 26cm/7inch - 10 inch Chest size: 26cm -44cm/10inch -...

    The H-Harness is made of thin strips of fabric that run down your cat’s side, with a band near the neck and another near the belly. This makes them look like the letter “H” from above.

    Pros of H-Harnesses

    There’s very little fabric on these, so there aren’t many points of contact on the cat’s body. This makes them a smart choice for kittens, as they won’t weigh them down or overwhelm them.

    Usually, you put on an H-Harness by clasping it around the neck and body like a collar, so there’s no need to wrestle with your cat to get it over his head.

    While it’s unlikely that your cat will enjoy having a harness on the first time he tries it, he’s much more likely to tolerate an H-Harness, making them a good starting option.

    Cons of H-Harnesses

    Since they don’t cover much surface area, there’s plenty of room for crafty felines to wriggle out of these, making them much less secure than other models.

    As a result, you should use them primarily for training purposes, and limit their wear to inside your house or other areas where your cat can be easily contained.

    They also tighten up if the cat pulls, which can pinch them. You’ll want to limit how often this happens, because if it happens too much, your cat may develop an aversion to wearing a harness. He may also get his revenge by knocking your prized bowling trophy off the mantle (who are we kidding, he’ll do this anyway).

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    2. Vests

    Vest Cat Harness

    rabbitgoo Cat Harness and Leash for Walking,...
    • Cat Harness with Leash, Fits Average Cats: Size measuring:Neck Girth: 8.5 -11...
    • Comfortable Outdoor Harness: This real comfy cat harness will snugly fit your...

    Vest harnesses cover a large portion of your cat’s chest and back — you know, like a vest (huh, imagine that).

    They’re often one-piece, so you have to slide them over your kitty’s head and then maneuver his front paws through the armholes. The leash then attaches to a D-ring or buckle on the back.

    Pros of Vests

    Because they cover so much of your pet’s body, they disperse pressure widely rather than focusing it on one specific point. This reduces the risk of injury if your tabby freaks out and tries to run, or if you have to pull it out of harm’s way suddenly. It also makes them virtually impossible to escape from.

    They’re also less likely to pinch your pet while walking, and some cats find the gentle pressure they apply to be calming. Most importantly, though, they’re absolutely adorable.

    Cons of Vests

    Most vests have to be put on by slipping them over the cat’s head. If you’ve ever actually owned a cat, you can see how this might be a problem. Many people try to avoid this by only doing it once and then leaving the harness on permanently, but we don’t recommend this.

    All that fabric can be heavy, so these might not be ideal for older pets with mobility issues. Also, they get extremely hot during the summer months.

    Vests can be more expensive than other options, but again, let us remind you of what really matters: the fact that they’re really, really adorable.

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    3. Figure 8s

    Figure 8 Cat Harness

    Close cousins to H-Harnesses, the S harness is made of thin strips of fabric or webbing that run in a figure-8 shape around the neck and belly.

    Pros of Figure 8s

    They’re designed to gently squeeze the cat every time he lunges forward, so theoretically they should help with leash training. Notice we said “theoretically” — more on that in a second.

    These are ideal for docile cats in low-risk situations. They’re extremely lightweight, and many pets will quickly forget they’re even wearing it.

    Cons of Figure 8s

    Don’t let the squeezing mechanism fool you into thinking these are secure harnesses, because they’re absolutely not. In addition to being easy to wriggle out of, if your cat gets spooked, a “gentle squeeze” is the absolute last thing he’ll want to feel.

    The narrow straps can potentially dig into the skin, causing discomfort, so be sure yours is sized correctly.

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    4. Step-Ins

    Reflective Universal Cat Harness

    These are currently the least common harnesses, but that may change, as they’re designed with ease-of-use in mind.

    The idea is that you set the harness on the floor, and then the cat steps into the arm holes, which you then pull up over their shoulders and across their chests.

    Pros of Step-Ins

    These are much easier to put on than vests, yet they’re almost as secure. They have wider necks and arm holes, so your kitty will have more range-of-motion, making the walk more fun for him.

    They tend to be lightweight as well, making them an excellent option in the summer.

    Cons of Step-Ins

    While they’re more secure than anything other than vests, there’s still ample room for your cat to escape, so it’s best to use them in low-risk situations. They’re especially vulnerable to being backed out of, so be ready to scoop your cat up if you see him putting it in reverse.

    Also, while having your cat step into the harness is easier than pulling it over his head, you’re still likely to have a bit of a rodeo on your hands when putting it on.

    cat paw divider Which Harness Type is Best?

    Unless you’re walking your cat in an extremely safe, controlled environment, we generally recommend a vest-style harness, as they offer the most security by far. They’re fairly comfortable, too (once you get them on, anyway).

    That being said, the other types have their place, but they’re best suited for specific situations rather than all-purpose use.

    Of course, once you commit to walking your cat, you’ll likely find an excuse to buy one in each style. Your little furbaby needs them, after all.

    Here are a few other important factors to consider too:
    • While looking good is important, the style of the harness you buy refers more to its construction method. A step-in harness requires you to put your cat’s front legs into two openings, slip their head into the loop, and then secure it into place. This can be stressful for your cat, especially if they are new to harnesses. An H-style harness is the simplest design, with an H-shape design that wraps around your cat’s chest and their front legs and then clips in securely. A vest harness is known to be the most escape-proof design but is fairly bulky and may cause your cat to overheat.
    • The harness should be as padded and comfortable as possible, no matter the style you decide on. It should have thick straps to avoid pinching, be made from breathable mesh to avoid overheating, and the stitching should be padded or folded in to prevent chaffing. Most harnesses have plastic buckles of some kind to secure it, but some have Velcro straps. Velcro may frighten some cats and will attract hair, but they are easy to use.
    • It is important to measure your cat’s chest and neck area before purchasing in order to make sure the harness will fit comfortably. While all harnesses have some form of adjustability, most come in a few different sizes for adolescents, adults, or large-breed cats. Buying the correct size harness will go a long way in preventing your cat from slipping through.

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    The best cat harness according to our tests is the Hepper Harness and Leash Set. It is quick and simple to get on and off your cat with the two quick-snap buckles, the pulling pressure is directed to your cat’s shoulders as opposed to their neck, and it has a bungee-style 4-foot leash. The harness also comes in three different sizes to fit any size and age of cat.

    The best budget buy cat harness is the adjustable mesh harness from Comfort Soft. For cat lovers who want a quality product without breaking the bank, this is the best value choice. It is made from durable, breathable mesh and sturdy nylon, will distribute leash-pull pressure evenly over your cat’s chest, and clips easily for simple fitting and removal.

    Cats are clever, independent, and determined, so it can be stressful to find a safe and reliable harness for your kitty. Hopefully, our in-depth reviews have helped you narrow down the options so you can find the best harness to fit your beloved feline friend.

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    Featured Image Credit: Hepper.com