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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Caturday: An Escape-Proof Cat Harness?

It's Caturday, and I'm taking James out for a little stroll in his Ruffwear Webmaster harness. It was designed for dogs, but this is the closest thing I've found to to an escape-proof cat harness. It definitely feels more secure than PetSafe's Come With Me Kitty harness. Plus it has a handle, and cats should have handles.
Cat wearing secure Ruffwear harness

Cat Physics

Cats are basically slow-moving liquids. They flow to fit the shape of any container, they spread out when left on a flat surface, and you can pour them. Keeping one in a harness can be a challenge. Most dog harnesses are not designed to be escape-proof. They fit comfortably around the chest and shoulders, and a determined dog can usually slither out of them. Cats are experts at oozing out of regular dog harnesses.

The Web Master harness is designed to be supportive, so it has an extra strap that fits further back on the dog's undercarriage. When fitted well, this strap sits behind the ribcage, around the abdomen. This prevents most dogs from backing out of the harness, because the belly strap is cinched down tighter than the ribcage.

Escape-Resistant

Cats are pretty amazing at getting out of harnesses, so I'm not going to declare this one to be escape-proof. However, the Webmaster does feel secure to me. I can pick up James by the handle, and he feels comfortably supported, not like he's about to slide out of the thing. Sometimes I hoist him up and stick him in trees just for kicks. I do put the harness on very snug, as tight as I can get it, for my own piece of mind.

Solstice is, unfortunately, too fat for the XXS web master harness. I can barely get the back strap buckle snapped, and she complains a whole lot about it. I'm currently looking for an inexpensive XS size to try on her, hopefully the rest of the straps won't be too big. She's basically got a normal-sized ribcage and then a giant expanse of catflab.

Other Options

I've heard good things about the Kitty Holster and Lupine's cat harness. Both of these prevent escape by adjusting snug around the neck, with no strap running up the chest between the belly and neck straps. I have not tried this style of harness on The Hellions yet, but they aren't particularly interested in escaping so they don't make very good product testers.

Do you have a harness for your cat?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, we've got some for our cats, but they were cheap off brand dog ones. And yes, they do escape pretty easily. Our pup has the very harness you have for James and it's great for her, so I wondered. Wanted to see if anyone had tried them on a cat. Good to hear it's working so far. Think I'll get some for the cats too! And yes, they SHOULD have handles!

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