So you’re thinking of buying a Bengal cat harness.
With many Bengals raised as house cats due to safety reasons, they may miss out on experiencing the outside world.
As youngsters especially, they are bundles of energy as a few harassed house plants and my slippers can testify to.
In smaller lodgings this may prove additionally troublesome.
But there is a potential solution.
You can harness train Bengal cats (along with other non-lazy breeds I expect), attach them to a leash and take them for a walk- even if it’s merely in one’s garden.
This article looks at the best Bengal cat harness(es) for sale (at the time of writing) to fit cats of different sizes and personalities, both of which need to be taken into consideration…
Types of Cat Harness
Essentially, they fall into two main ‘cat-egories’- straps and vests/jackets.
Naturally there are pros and cons to each, with some cat owners even using both types.
Although there are differences, most come with at least one ‘D ring’ allowing you to attach a leash.
These offer the most comfort as although they fit around the cat in roughly the same place as strap cat harnesses, their increased surface area distributes pressure more evenly.
They are also easier to put on and adjust than the strap types and are considered ‘escape proof.’
Vests or jackets are suited to older, calmer cats and those more likely to escape from other varieties.
The down-side is that many are secured using Velcro, which although is easy to adjust, is noisy and may scare your Bengal.
It may just be a case of allowing your cat to get used to the sound first before attempting to fit.
These can be ‘H’ or ‘Figure of 8’ shaped.
With the ‘H’ style, one loop wraps around the base of the neck and the other around the upper back behind the cat’s front legs.
The horizontal bar of the ‘H’ connects the 2 loops, as show below:
Loops are typically adjustable and fastened with plastic snap-together clips.
This style of harness applies pressure to the chest (as opposed to the more sensitive neck) and is considered better for calmer cats that are less likely to bolt.
The Figure of 8 cat harnesses are essentially two connected loops in the shape of an 8.
They look and fit similar to the H shaped varieties although appear tighter and are supposed to be harder for a cat to escape from.
Indeed, even though they can be adjusted, the straps are said to press into the body more, especially if your animal starts to pull on the leash.
Therefore these are best avoided if kitty is startled easily or again, likely to pull on the leash more often. As with the H-style harness, Figure of 8s are fastened with plastic clips.
Factors that determine which Cat Harness to buy
All cats are different, even those within the same breed.
Therefore no particular style of harness can be recommended- it may be actually be a case of trial and error based on what you know about your own cat.
The main things to remember are:
Age: kittens and adult cats will require harnesses of different sizes. Indeed, if intending to train a Bengal kitten it may be the case you’ll have to change harness once your cat has grown.
Size: Bengals tend to be one of the larger breeds therefore ensure you purchase something large enough for your cat to be comfortable in.
Although if training a kitten, you may well be looking for a small Bengal cat harness.
One site suggests you leave enough room to fit two fingers in between the harness and your cat’s body.
It goes without saying (but I will nonetheless), measure your kitty and check sizes before ordering.
Behaviour: This could be somewhat trickier to ascertain as you’re unlikely to know how your Bengal will react to a harness until you’ve tried it.
For example, if your cat is an expert of wriggling out of (or into) things, then a ‘vest’ style or Figure of 8 harness is recommended.
However, anxious or older Bengals are probably best suited to vests or jackets.
What makes a good cat harness?
Essentially you should strive for a harness that’s safe (in that it doesn’t harm your animal) and secure (in that it can’t escape from it).
A harness should be adjustable, fit snugly and obviously it should allow your cat to breathe easily (remembering the two finger rule from the above section).
Can cats wear dog harnesses?
In short yes.
A collar and leash are a bad idea due to the sensitive nature of a cat’s throat, but there are many harnesses that will fit both.
Most harnesses come with some kind of size chart (or you can view one before ordering), but in general, those aimed at smaller dogs also fit cats.
Before we take a look at the market, a little about how I selected which harnesses were best…
How I did My Research or ‘Method’
Those who have read my previous ‘Best [NAME OF EQUIPMENT]’ article (see Best Cat Litter Mats ) may recall how I go about selecting the products.
Honesty is important.
I haven’t tried or tested any of those I’ve selected (although I do disclose at the end the item I did buy, if any)..
Yes, this site (in time) is here to make money, but none of the links on this page are currently affiliates.
I’ve used Amazon as the standard as this usually provides the most reviews and greater range of products, however if the same item is available from other well-known retailers, I’ve linked to these too.
There will be some that are cheaper within each category- but may have had slightly lower review rating ratings. It may be you’d prefer to save some money for the sake of 0.2 of a rating, but I had to find some way of discriminating.
I’ve only looked at products rated 4 stars and above, and any that had the same rating I opted for the one with the most reviews (the ‘wisdom of the crowd‘ theory).
The best of both main harness types have been reviewed, and included are a few notable inclusions.
I’ve summarised key features listed by the seller or manufacturer- but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re entirely accurate of course.
Obviously, determining ‘the best’ Bengal cat harness or best anything, is somewhat subjective (a number of harnesses were basically the same with just a different brand name), and there are many permutations (you may be after a particular size or colour) but this guide should provide a good starting point.
Now let’s get going…
The Best Bengal Cat Harness- Vest/Jackets
Voyager Step-In Air Harness
Size: See chart above
Colour: Pink, Blue, Baby Blue, Red, Black, Purple
- Soft, lightweight, breathable air mesh
- Reflective bands increase visibility in low light
- Hook and loop fastener, buckle and double D-rings offer 3 layers of security
- ‘Easy to wear’
- For animals of all ages
This is essentially the range of Voyager vest harnesses of this type as opposed to simply one item (you’ll see what I mean on Amazon). They are for both dogs and cats, with the smaller sizes being aimed at cats (or small dogs). There is a similar brand here, which comes with a leash.
Aooa Cat Vest Harness and Leash
Size: See chart above
Colour: Black and White with Red bow, Red and White with Black bow
- Velcro and safety buckle
- Soft, breathable material
- Bell attached to bow tie
- Quick release leash buckle
- Sturdy nylon leash
Not sure about the bow tie, but it makes this best cat harness list. And it does come with a leash.
FENRIR Cat Leash and Harness Set
Size: See chart above
Colour: Light Blue
- Durable Velcro
- Double D-ring
- Soft, lightweight, breathable foam
- Escape proof
- Nylon leash
Most reviews do seem to be for small dogs, although the product advertisement is aimed at cats. There are other brands on Amazon that look identical, for example here, and these have more cat based reviews.
The Best Bengal Cat Harness- Straps
PAWCHIE Cat Harness with Leash and Collar Set
Size: See chart above
Colour: Blue (Strawberry), Green (Avocado), Pink (Flower)
- Double adjustable buckle
- Double safety buckle
- Adjustable leash
- Hand washable
- Collar with bell
This is an ‘H’ style harness. The bell and collar may come in handy if you allow your Bengal cat to roam about the garden or outside freely. Or if you just want to know where in your home it is.
SCIROKKO Cat Harness and Lead Set
Size: See chart above
Colour: Black, Purple
- Glow in the dark
- Polyester leash
- Plastic clips/buckle
Another H-shaped design. The glow in the dark feature may be beneficial for those walking Bengal cats on the street at dawn or dusk. Or if you have a power cut at home.
Red Dingo Fully Adjustable Cat Harness and Lead
Size: XS (48.26 x 8.26 x 127cm)
Colour: Plain Purple, Plain Pink
- Made from strong, durable nylon
- Easy to clean
- Easy adjustment
- Unique fish clip to quickly fit and release harness
The third H-shaped design. The lack of a size guide makes this perhaps a little trickier to establish whether it’ll fit your cat (there is some kind of fitting guide on the advert but it doesn’t mention sizes. And it’s in French).
Notable inclusion due to the high number of positive reviews and low price:
Trixie 41960 Cat Set of Harness and Lead
Size: Harness: 34-57 cm/13 mm; Leash: 1.20 m
Colour: Various (the one shown is black, clearly)
- Fully adjustable with snap buckles
- Lead included
All the best reviews strap harness are H shaped and this is no different. It’s aimed at large cats so might be more suitable for Bengals (even those not made from thin card). View the full Trixie range of harnesses here.
What we bought and why:
Although I did some basic research on cat harnesses, most was done retrospectively whilst putting together this article.
We looked in stores for something small and reasonably priced.
The concern was that many harnesses would be too big for our (at the time) 14 week old Bengal kitten.
The Bengal cat harness we chose was essentially an H-shaped strap harness very similar to those listed above.
We’re aware we may have to upgrade when she gets bigger or try something else if she doesn’t like it.
If you’re interested, it was one we bought locally, similar to this.
At the time of writing, we’ve just started getting her used to wearing it.
She’s doing ‘that thing’ where she goes all floppy and acts as if she’s had a few drinks she can no longer handle (apparently the going floppy is an instinctive response based on what would happen if they’d been caught by a predator- although I’m not sure what type of predator also feeds their prey treats…)
Bengal cat harness and leash training will feature in future articles and blog posts, so I’ll let you know how we get on…
Interestingly a book I’m reading written by a cat expert suggests it’s a bad idea to take your cat out as it’ll crave going outside- and will let you know about it.
The book is below:
We discussed this and felt it was still something we wanted to do.
Our Bengal cat is showing interest in the outside world anyway (she’s made it to the front step) and we feel a regular taste of it in a controlled manner (the garden to start with then maybe for a walk when she’s comfortable) is better than none at all despite the consequences.
We’re hoping that she’ll only start verbalising/meowing her wish to go out every time she sees her Bengal cat leash- a bit like how she meows when she knows we’re preparing her food.