Leash training your cat is a great way to let her explore the great outdoors, help reduce her stress and let her connect with the earth. We started leash training our young adventure cat – and he loved it – until he learned how to escape from his harness. What we learned through this is that choosing the right harness for your cat is important.
I’m not a fan of a simple collar and leash because it can harm our kitties’ neck if they take off running or we tug on it. Therefore, when we purchased our cat’s first harness, we made sure it was soft and covered both his neck and abdomen. Of course, it also had to be cute. I mean, that’s not actually important, but it was to us at the time.
As it turns out, Velcro isn’t always the most secure option for fastening a harness. Sure, it’s easy, but there are downfalls to this option. Zorro (our adventure cat) likes to roll in the dirt like a dog as soon as he gets outside. Over time, this made the Velcro less ‘sticky’, if you will, and that made it easier for him to escape.
Tips for picking the right harness for your cat
- Make sure that the harness fastens in a way that is impossible for your cat to squirm out of. You’d be surprised how one scary noise can make a cat Houdini out of their harness.
- Be mindful of the comfort level for your cat. This is why we won’t use a collar and leash, but the harness itself should also be comfortable. Many cats won’t think any harness is comfortable at first, but be sure it also gives them room to breathe and swallow.
- Let your kitty get used to the harness. This involves training your cat to know that every time they have the harness on they’ll get a reward. For Zorro this was the treat of going outside, but some cats learn to love their harness with special treats. It doesn’t take long until they realize that wearing the harness is a positive thing.