You might have noticed that I now have two different style harnesses available for you to choose from; our standard harness and our new jacket harnesses.
In this article I’m going to answer some frequently asked questions I get about both harnesses by explaining the differences in detail, discussing which harness is safer, and making recommendations about which harness is best for which type of kitty. There is a quick summary down the bottom if you want your answer short, sharp and RIGHT MEOW!
Okay enough fluffing around, let’s get into it!
What is the difference?
The standard harness is the harness you see most dogs sporting. It is put over your cat’s head and secured with a strap around the chest. It is not adjustable around the neck and is overall a little heavier than the jacket harness.
Our jacket harness, on the other hand, velcros around the neck and chest and therefore, is fully adjustable around both the neck and chest. The jacket harness will allow you to get a better fit on your cat overall as you can tighten the velcro so that it is fitted nicely to your cat's size.
In terms of aesthetics, the pattern and design of the standard harness is more visible when viewing your cat from the front, however the jacket harness is more visible to you from the top down such as when you are walking your cat.
Which style is safer or more escape proof?
I want to start this section off by saying that I do not believe that there is any harness on the market, be it cat or dog, that is escape proof. I have purchased “escape proof” harnesses before I started this business and I can assure you, my cats have found ways out of them. If the harness can go on, it can come off.
However, the jacket harness is probably the most secure cat harness style that is available to our felines. That is because the neck and chest straps adjust neatly to the size of your cat’s body, making it extremely difficult for a cat to get their head out from under the harness.
Finally, to conclude this section, I often get asked “will my cat get out of their harness from freaking out if they see a dog or hear a loud noise?”. My answer to that is 99.99% of the time, no they will not and that goes for the standard or jacket harness. This is because cats get out of their harnesses for two main reasons: they are actively trying to get out of it or, the lead has become stuck around something making them immobile causing them to struggle in the harness to find release. When a cat sees a dog or gets a fright, the last thing they are thinking about is their harness. They are going to run, jump and leap to safety and unless you have purchased a harness that doesn’t fit properly, then the harness should not come off.
Which type should I pick for my cat?
The answer is that is really depends.
If your kitty is a kitten you can choose either design. I only make kitten harnesses with plastic buckles as the metal buckles are too heavy for kittens.
If your kitty is a younger cat with limited outdoor experience, then you may be able to choose either harness. The answer comes down to if your cat freaks out in the great outdoors, has been known to slip out of standard harnesses, get themselves wound into a mess or hasn’t had great experience with a harness before. If this sounds like your floof, I recommend the jacket harness. However, if your cat has been calm outside in the past and hasn’t actively tried to struggle out of a standard harness before, then you can also choose a standard harness – it will depend on which you like the look of more.
If your kitty is an older cat that is just starting out with a harness I would recommend the jacket harness. This is because it does not need to be put over your cat’s head and will feel less restrictive on your cat’s body overall. The velcro design also means it is adjustable so you can get the right fit for your cat, making it is safe and secure. If your cat is particularly small, i.e., 3.5kgs or less, I recommend switching the metal buckles for plastic ones if you choose the standard harness.
If your kitty is a seasoned professional walker or has worn a standard style harness before then you can choose either style for your cat. If your cat is used to the standard harness, then they will take to the jacket style like a piece of catnip! Once again, if your cat is particularly small then I would suggest switching the metal buckles for plastic ones so as to not weight your kitty down.
The difference: The standard harness goes over your cat’s head and is not adjustable around the neck. The jacket harness has a Velcro strap around the neck and chest and is fully adjustable around the neck and chest.
Which style is more escape proof: No harness on the market is escape proof, but because our jacket harness conforms to the correct size of your cat’s neck, it will be difficult for your cat to get its head out of the hole making it more secure. That doesn’t mean our standard harness isn’t secure as I have modified the design specifically for cats, however the jacket harness wins this round purely because of the neck strap.
Which type should I pick for my cat?
- Either one is suitable if your cat is a kitten.
- If your cat is known to get out of standard harnesses or has limited outdoor experience: the jacket style harness is more suitable.
- If your kitty is an older cat that hasn’t walked before: the jacket harness will be more suitable as it is less likely to make your kitty feel restricted.
- If your kitty is a seasoned professional walker: you can choose either style. If your cat is less than 3.5kg, I recommend switching the metal buckles for a plastic one on the standard harness.
- If your cat is an experienced walker then you might want to consider aesthetics if you plan to take photos. The standard harness is more visible front on when your cat is sitting, the jacket harness is more visible in action shorts and from top down when you are walking your kitty.
To conclude, although this was a long-winded article, I hope this shines some light onto my recommendations and experience with which harness style is most suitable to your kitty’s age, weight, and walking experience. As always, if you have any questions, feedback, or anything else you’d like to tell me – contact me here 😊