Can You Harness Train a Cat?

Siamese cat male Mekong Bobtail breed outdoors

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Harnessing a cat is a great way to allow your cat to explore the outdoors as you take them for a walk. Harness training a cat is possible if you do it with patience and love.

Every cat has a different personality, reacting differently to harness training. Some respond positively and quickly, while others don’t warm up to the idea. Fortunately, harness training your cat is possible and easy.

We’ll take you through all you need to know on harness training your cat.

Let’s get started.

Is it cruel to harness a cat?


Cat Feline Whiskers Pet Domestic Harness Paws


Cats tend to guard where they consider belonging. They are territorial. If you harness your cat and take them to an unfamiliar place, they may feel restrained, look stressed, and feel vulnerable.


Before harnessing your cat, pay attention to their behavior for any signs of discomfort or excitement. If your cat is not comfortable, take time to understand. You can start by walking them around the backyard or places they’re familiar with before going out on outdoor adventures.


Harnessing your cat isn’t cruel. A harness is a tool that helps you to keep your cat nearby and safe during trips to a vet or outings. If you leave the harness on your act all the time unsupervised, now that’s wrong.


Only use a harness on your cat when necessary.

How long does it take to harness train a cat?

Depending on your cat’s personality, it’ll take several weeks or months to harness-train a cat. You’ll need to be patient and consistent with the training.


It’s possible to harness train your cat, but it gets easier if you start while your cat is a kitten. Your cat starts getting used to strange noises and different places early enough. 


Is It Possible to Leash Train a Cat?

Short-fur White Cat Walking With Person on Road


If your cat is confident and outgoing, it’s easy for her to take the harness easily. If so, leash training can take a week or two.


Follow the following simple steps to leash train your cat.

Steps to Harness Training a Cat

1. Familiarization with Harness

Before harnessing your cat, introduce the harness as one of your cat’s toys. It will help the cat know it as an object, nothing to be afraid of.


2. Put the Harness on the Cat

Once your cat has familiarized herself with the harness, put it on her for a minute or two as you observe, then remove it. Repeat as many times as possible in a day. Always reward your cat with love and treats.

Each consecutive day, keep the harness longer than take it off. You’re ready to move if you keep the harness on her for longer, and she doesn’t react to having it.

Ensure the harness doesn’t cause friction on your cat’s neck or body. You can always know the right size if it fits two of your fingers between the neck and harness.

3. Attach the Leash to Harness

When you attach the leash on the harness the first few times, allow your cat to drag it, so she gets used to the tug.

Always give your cat a treat every time and repeat the process until she’s not bothered having the harness and leash on.

4. Hold the Leash and Take the First Trip Outside

Gently hold the leash and guide your cat in the direction you want her to take. Avoid pulling the leash; instead, stop and tug slightly if you want your cat to move in a different direction. You can also use a treat as a lead.

After guiding your cat several times, you’ll be surprised how fast you’ve perfected the art.

5. Take the First Trip Outside

People Female Ladies The Cat Leash Going Alley

On the first trip, take your cat outside your house or to a nearby safe place where she’ll not be scared.

Spend as much time as your cat is comfortable. Be observant for signs of discomfort or fear of not wanting to move. Take a few hours weekly, and you’ll be good to go.

6. Let Your Cat Enjoy

After several outings, your cat will be comfortable guiding you. Allow your cat to go as far and long as they want as you enjoy together.

Why do cats act weird when you put a harness on them?

It’s simple. Cats naturally do not wear a harness. They feel weird in harness, but you can make them feel comfortable if you introduce it the right way and patiently.


Sum Up

Though cats are stubborn, it’s possible and easy to harness them. 

First, understand your cat’s personality to be able to take the journey with her. Be patient and loving during harness and leash training, and ensure your cat is always comfortable with the environment.


You can harness and leash your cat within a few weeks with proper guidance.

Do it!

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James Ruby

James Ruby

Most cats are either indoor or outdoor, but if you want your indoor cat to be able to enjoy the outside world - the best way I discovered is to use a body cat harness, that feels like a tucked hug for your pet.

About Me

Most cats are either indoor or outdoor, but if you want your indoor cat to be able to enjoy the outside world – the best way I discovered is to use a body cat harness, that feels like a tucked hug for your pet.

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