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.
What You Will Learn:
- Which are 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…
- What makes a good cat harness
- Some tips on how to get your Bengal cat to use one successfully
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.
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’
In short, in order to determine the best Bengal cat harness, I’ve looked at products rated 4 stars and above on Amazon and ranked them in order of highest reviews at the time of writing (the ‘wisdom of the crowd‘ theory).
If you can find the same locally however, then do support your local business.
Please read this page for more detail on how I choose products.
Now enough of that. Let’s get going…
The Best Bengal Cat Harness- Vest/Jackets
Voyager Step-In Air Harness
4.6/5 from 43,744 ratings
Size: See chart above
- Made from soft, breathable lightweight air mesh
- Reflective bands on the sides of the harness enhance pet visibility in low light
- Hook and loop fastener, buckle and double D-rings offer three layers of security
- Harness shape distributes pulling pressure across the chest to reduce stress and strain across the neck
- Available in a wide range of sizes and colours
Notes: This is essentially a 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). Some come with a leash, like the one here*.
Rabbitgoo Cat Harness and Leash
4.3/5 from 34,169 ratings
Size: See chart above
- Package includes: 1x Small Cat Walking Vest and 1x Walking Nylon Leash (59 inches, 150cms)
- Soft, lightweight (approx. 100g) and breathable
- ‘Escape proof’ cat harness with 4 adjustable straps (2 neck and 2 chest)
- Safety buckles on both side for a more secure fit
- Vest-style design evenly distributes leash pressure across the chest and shoulders to prevent choking or neck strain
- Reflective strips for visibility in the dark
- Metal leash attachment ring
- Made from polyester and nylon
Notes: The ‘Escape Proof’ claim may not apply to all cats so it goes without saying really- measure and try out in a safe environment first. Newer version of the item here*.
Cat Harness with Leash Set by GAUTERF
4.1/5 from 12,223 ratings
Size: See chart above
- Made with soft, breathable, lightweight air mesh
- Heavy duty D-rings for leash attachment and plastic clip closure and two heavy duty D-rings for added security
- Vest-style design distributes leash pressure across the chest and shoulder to prevent choking or neck strain
- Easy to adjust
- Reflective strips for enhanced visibility in low light
- Machine or hand wash in cold water and air dry
Notes: A kind of hybrid of the first two on the list as it comes in a range of sizes similar to the Voyager, but you also get a leash like the Rabbitgoo set.
The Best Bengal Cat Harness- Straps
PetSafe Come With Me Kitty Harness and Bungee Leash
4.3/5 from 8,519 ratings
Size: See chart above
Colours: Black/Silver, Dusty Rose/Burgundy, Electric Lime/Green, Lilac/Bright Purple, Red/Cranberry, Royal Blue/Navy
- Designed specifically for cats, the harness applies gentle pressure to the shoulders
- Adjustable fit with two adjustment points
- Nylon harness and ‘stretchy’ leash
- 4-foot bungee leash stretches to 6-feet
- Limited lifetime warranty against defects
Notes: A figure of 8 style harness which comes in a range of colours.
PUPTECK Adjustable Cat Harness with Leash
4.4/5 from 2,928 ratings
Size: See chart above
Colours: Black, Orange, Rose, Pink, Multicoloured
- Nylon lead and harness for your small cat weighing under 12 lbs (5.4 kgs)
- Adjustable “H”-shaped harness equipped with durable snap buckles
- Size range from 18-26cms/7-10 inches, Chest size: adjustable from 26-44cms/10-17 inches
- Lead length: 120cm/47.2inch
Notes: The best of those with an H-shape design. Price varies according to which colour you select.
Pidan Cat Harness and Leash Set
4.5/5 from 1,949 ratings
Size: See above chart
Colours: Dark Grey, Multicoloured
- Made with lightweight materials- silk polyester straps and quick release buckles
- Adjustable harness to fit small kittens and larger cats
- ‘Escape proof’ and features the ‘unbreakable’ infinity ring
- Leash Length 48 inches/128 cms
Notes: The second with an H-shaped design. Quite snazzy looking.
Notable inclusion due to the high number of positive reviews and low price:
Trixie Cat Harness Large
4.4/5 from 1,469 ratings
Size: Harness: 13.4- 22.4 inches/34-57 cms long and 0.5 inches/13 mm wide; Leash: 47 inches/1.20 m long
Colours: Black, Pink, Blue
- Fully adjustable with snap buckles
- Lead included
- Aimed at large(r) cats
Notes: 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.
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.
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.
To read how we subsequently got on with leash training, see ‘A Bengal Cat (Un)Leashed.’
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 showed interest in the outside world anyway (she made it to the front step) and we felt 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.
So you’ve bought a harness- but how do you get your cat to wear it?
How can I get my cat to wear a harness?
The simple answer is you can’t.
Well not definitely anyway.
Some cats may take to a harness straight away, whilst others may not at all.
Fortunately, Bengals are more likely to accept wearing a harness than other cats.
Additionally, there are tips to try and methods to employ to increase your chances of success…
What are some tips for successfully using a cat harness?
Having gone through this process myself (again, which you can read about here), I will say it did take time before our Bengal kitten was happy in a harness.
The process however, was by no means stressful or difficult- it just required patience and understanding.
And a few treats of course.
A brief summary of what we did is below:
- We allowed Hazel to build familiarity over a few days with the harness by placing it in/near her bed and in areas she usually frequented.
- Put her harness on whilst distracting her with treats. This was/will be easier with two people. Expect a lot of wriggling and ‘flopping’ once the harness is on.
- At this stage the harness was left on for only a few minutes as to not stress her too much
- Over the next few days/weeks we extended the time period she was in the harness and continued to distract with play and treats
- When she was acting ‘normally’ for long(er) periods when in the harness we attached the leash.
- This should be done indoors and in a safe environment for the reason below…
- Your cat may bolt, as Hazel did, but will/should calm down.
- We allowed her to pull her leash along the floor, again to build familiarity
- Took her for short ‘walks’ indoors, then in the garden (which she had previously been in)
- After a few sessions, we took her for a walk in the street, but she really wasn’t happy so we kept to the garden.
I’m sure if we’d allowed her more time to build confidence, and that word, familiarity, with a street environment she would have been eventually ok with going for walks.
The take home message then with regards to getting your Bengal to successfully use a harness is to be patient, go slowly, reward, and above all, be safe.
Please note, Amazon links on this page are affiliate links from which I’ll receive a small percentage if you purchase at no extra cost to you. It all helps. Thanks.