How to Put a Cat Into a Harness

By Mary Lougee

Teaching your cat to walk on a leash with a harness can open up a new world of possibilities outdoors for both of you while keeping your kitty safe according to Dr. Karen Becker, DVM on Healthy Pets. Harness training is the initial part of putting a cat into a harness for the first time. Several types of cat harnesses exist; each have a distinct method for putting them on your feline friend.

Harness Training

Place your cat's harness near your cat's food dish for a few days. He will associate it with good things that he likes.

Unhook the hook and loop closures or snap buckles on your cat's harness. Hold the neck portion of the harness out to your cat; place one hand with a cat treat through the neck and praise him when he takes the treat. Practice this part of the harness training until your cat willingly inserts his head into the neck portion.

Set the rear portion of the unbuckled or open hook and loop closures on your cat's back to acclimate him to the feel of the harness on his body. Give your cat treats and praise him when he stands still with the open harness on his back.

Putting on a Cat Harness

Stand your cat in front of you facing away from you as you sit on the floor or on a sturdy surface while you are standing.

Place the smaller front loop of a figure 8 or H type harness around your cat's neck. The front loop is not adjustable on the figure 8 harness. Lift your cat's left front leg and insert it into the opening in the harness's stomach strap just below that leg. Pull the stomach strap's loose end behind the right front leg and insert the two pointed ends of a snap clip into the square closure. Adjust harness buckles so the areas touch your cat's neck and stomach without binding.

Open a cat harness vest's hook and loop closures. Center it on your cat's back and fasten the neck and stomach hook and loop tape. Adjust the closures so it is snug without squeezing your cat.