Dog harness on a cat? 7 Facts You Must Know!


We have often seen dog owners taking their canines out for walks on a harness and leash. A gear with straps that go around a dog’s torso is called a harness.

A dog harness gives control to the handler in terms of controlling the dog’s movement. However, it is not just used for dogs but also for cats. Sometimes, cat owners use harnesses of small dogs on their cats. If it fits properly, it serves the same purpose for walking felines. 

However, the question here is whether using a dog harness on a cat is a good idea. It is easier to find a cat harness made specifically for cats. So, why use a dog harness on them? And if used, is it going to work aptly?

Let’s find the answer to these and other related questions in this post. By the end of this article, we will conclude the major question: Is it ok for a dog’s harness to be used on a cat

Dog harness on a cat
Image Credit: Domestic cat with a harness by Birhanb (CC BY-SA 3.0) from Wikimedia

Is a cat harness the same as a dog harness?

The cat harness is not an oxymoron, however uncommon it might sound. Although not a common sight, walking a cat on a harness and leash is not strange.

A cat harness is different from a dog harness. Why? Because a cat harness is smaller and is made according to a cat’s body. A harness should fit snuggly with a cat’s body. However, a much bigger dog leash may not serve the purpose. 

It is wise to remember that cats are escape artists. They will not miss any chance to escape when taken in the open. Hence, choosing the rightly fitted harness is important if you plan to take your cat on walks. 

Why a cat harness?

Your cat appears to fit in a dog harness that you have. Thus, why spend money on a cat harness? This question may prompt your mind. Hence, here is the right answer.

A harness is a must if you want to take your cat outside. These harnesses are created with the distinctive body type of cats in mind. Therefore, the proper cat harness will offer your cat the best fit possible and give you better control while handling the cat.

The advantages of taking cats on strolls, treks, and camping trips cannot be disputed. And you can only perform all of these tasks if you attach your cat to a reliable harness and leash.

Cats do not follow their handler’s wishes when walking, unlike dogs. Instead, cats favor choosing their own route and walking direction. Therefore, a cat harness with a reliable leash would enable you to direct its gait and tug it as needed.

Can a dog harness be used on a cat?

This is a common question cat parents have while shopping for harnesses for their cats. So, we have done some studies and unearthed the right answer for you. 

Both yes and no are the responses. You can use the dog’s harness on the cat if the dog is little, about the size of your cat. However, we don’t actually advise doing this. Why? Because your cat has a very high likelihood of wriggling out of a dog harness.

Another factor makes it impossible to use a dog harness on a cat. A dog’s harness would prevent your cat from rotating its body in case it falls while in the harness. Cats are particularly good at balancing, which lets them land on their feet every time they fall. However, if they rotate their body when falling, the outcome could be harmful or even fatal.

Hence, it is worth investing in a harness designed specifically for cats. 

Can you use a small dog harness on a cat?

Image Credit: Cat harness and leash by K B (CC BY 2.0) from Wikimedia

The urge to use your dog’s harness on your cat could be strong. But is doing so actually a good idea? Can it technically be done?

Use of a small dog harness on a cat is not advised even if technically possible. So, although a small dog harness may occasionally fit your cat snugly, we do not advise it. The fact that cats can readily escape the harness is one of the main objections against using a small dog harness on them.

The physical structure of dogs and cats varies. Therefore, each of them needs to be walked using a harness made just for them.

Differences between cat and dog harnesses

One should not use a dog harness for a cat. There are differences between these harnesses. But what are those differences? Follow the section below to get the answer.

The main distinctions between a dog or puppy harness and a cat harness are listed below.

Toughness

The foremost thing to remember is that a dog harness is tougher than a cat harness. In addition, since dogs are larger and more active, their harnesses are made of materials that can match their energy level. Hence, the harness material may not be suitable for the soft skin of cats.

Size

The fact that a dog harness should not be used on a cat is probably due to the size difference. A dog’s size and body type differ from a cat’s. As a result, both animals should have harnesses made just for them. In addition, a dog leash’s greater size makes it simple for your cat to escape from it.

Comfort

As we previously mentioned, a dog harness’s material is typically tougher than a cat harness. As a result, the cat might not feel at ease wearing a dog harness. Additionally, cats tend to rotate their bodies. Hence, a tougher dog harness might limit their movement.

These are the three most important things that every cat owner should consider while selecting the best harness for their cats. Unless your cat finds its harness comfortable, it may not prefer to wear or walk in it. 

What type of harness is apt for cats?

When shopping for a cat harness, you can be spoiled with choices. Yes, there are different types of harnesses available for cats. But choosing the right one is important depending on your cat and its needs.

Cat harnesses are available in 3 basic types- H-harnesses, Vests, and Jackets. Below we have defined each type of harness so you can decide which one to choose for your furbaby.

H-harnesses

For your cat, choose an H-harness if you enjoy strappy harnesses. This kind of harness sometimes referred to as a lead, fastens at the cat’s neck and back to disperse pressure evenly. These harnesses come in many sizes and colors. Therefore, you can select a size based on the age and size of your cat.

A cat wearing an H-harness has a lot of freedom to move and rotate inside the harness. However, the negative of an H-harness is that since it simply employs straps to hug the cat’s body, cats can easily escape from one. As a result, try using this harness on your cats inside before using it outside.

Vests

Vest harnesses provide more protection than H-harnesses. These harnesses, typically made of mesh and soft clothing, provide the cat with the most comfort. They are gentle on the skin and evenly distribute pressure. These harnesses are also excellent for cats that pull a lot while walking. Additionally, vests keep cats from escaping their harnesses while allowing them to move freely.

Jackets

This is another popular type of harness meant for cats. Jackets cover most parts of a cat’s body. Hence, these are the safest to restrict the cat from escaping the harness. However, since jacket harnesses cover most parts of a cat’s body, they may be bulky. So, depending on your cat’s preference, which can be difficult, you can make your purchase decision toward a jacket-style harness. 

Apart from these three types of harness, you can choose a kitten harness if you have a growing kitten at home. These harnesses are specifically designed for kittens and come with unique designs and adjustabilities. Although not the safest option, kitties can use these harnesses during their initial days of outdoor adventures. 

Is it easy to walk a cat on a dog harness?

Image Credit: Cat in a harness being held by a pink human by Trougnouf (CC BY 4.0) from Wikimedia

Cat walking is not a common activity. It is not, however, something unexpected. But the question is whether walking a cat on a dog harness is easy.

A dog harness may frequently fit your cat almost perfectly. However, it is not recommended to walk your cat while wearing one. Likewise, it isn’t advised to put a dog harness on a cat, much less allow the cat to wander about in it. The differences between a dog and cat harness are in size, material, and covering. Therefore, it is a bad idea.

Usually, a cat needs to practice wearing and walking comfortably while wearing a harness. And a cat harness is the best for cats. However, pushing your cat to practice wearing a dog harness and walking in it could have negative effects, such as the cat attempting to escape the harness.

Summary

The key takeaway of the post is that a dog harness should not be used for a cat. It is never recommended. There is no reason that felines should be made to wear harnesses meant for canines. Both these are different animals. Their movement, body structure, shape, size, and texture differ. Hence, buying a harness made specifically for cats is always recommended. Additionally, you should also choose a product that matches your cat’s size and personality.

Atrayee

I am Atrayee, I have extreme passion for the Animal Kingdom and I have written a large number of articles for animal behaviors. I am an Animal Lover by nature and own two Cats.
Exploring new things through learning and unlearning is something that intrigues me a lot. I spend my free time with my husband and two cats. I must say I get to learn a lot of wise things from them! You can catch me on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/atrayee-samaddar-06886567/

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