Does cat need a harness?

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Does cat need a harness?

Post by Arleneliu » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:47 am

I have seen many kinds of harness online. I notice that there are some for cats, like chewy, petco or rabbitgoo . I think the cat's body is fragile。 Will the harness do harm to cats? i see that many dogs could be rubbed, I want to know will you prepare a harness for your cat? and why. I have no idea if this is good for my kitten.

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Re: Does cat need a harness?

Post by fjm » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:04 am

Most cats don't need a harness, but I have occasionally used one in the past - when introducing a cat or kitten to a new garden, for example. Cat harnesses are usually very soft and elasticated, like cat collars, so that the cat can escape from the harness if necessary - they are therefore not very secure. Used properly one is very unlikely to harm your cat by rubbing or squeezing, but never leave the harness on when you are not there to supervise, and don't rely on it to control your cat, especially in an emergency.

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Re: Does cat need a harness?

Post by Ruth B » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:35 am

Most of the time a cat doesn't need a harness, however if you want to take them out and not have them in a cat carrier the whole time then it is worth investing the money and time in training a cat to accept one.

When my Mother had to go into a nursing home, not being able to take her cat with her was the hardest thing for her. I adopted her cat and used to take her in every couple of weekends for a visit. As her cat was old and the fastest she could manage was a limping walk I had no fear of her rushing out the door. However as I knew my Mum could outlive her cat (it actually ended up the other way, the cat outlived Mum) I decided to start trying to train one of my youngsters to take a harness so I could take him in if need be and know he couldn't run off and get lost. As he was already 3 years old it was a bit late to start training him but we were getting there when my Mum died. At that point I saw no reason to continue his training and gave the harnesses away. That is just one case when harness training would have been useful. People who live in flats with no garden or a communal garden often find their cats benefit from time outside in a harness, I've also know someone use a harness on a deaf cat so it could enjoy some time outside and still be safe. Another one is when going to a vet or a cattery, having the cat wearing a harness and lead in the carrier can give an extra level of security in case the cat manages to escape.

As you can see there are plenty of times when a harness can help but as fjm has said you never leave a cat in a harness unattended. As with anything you need to make sure the harness fits properly and the cat can't get a paw where it isn't meant to go. Correctly fitted it won't rub. I would suggest starting as young as possible if you want to train a cat to wear a harness, starting late doesn't mean it's impossible, but it will take longer (and possibly a lot more treats). Over the months and years you will need to buy several harnesses for each time the cat grows out of the current one.

A cat's body isn't particularly fragile, no more so than any other animal. As with anything worn by animals or humans, the danger is when it isn't fitted properly or when it is left on with out regular checks. In a way they are safer than collars as they aren't left on all the time.

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