The Best Escape Proof Cat Harness — A Safe Way To Get Out & About With Kitty

The best escape proof cat harness is not only secure, it’s comfortable for the cat. These are the two I like best. When fitted and used properly, they’re virtually escape proof. And they’re so light and comfortable, the cat barely knows the harness is there.

Lupine H-Style Cat Harness

Lupine makes a virtually escape proof cat harness.H-style harnesses work best for cats because they buckle around the cat’s neck and middle, rather than slipping over his head. Although there are many H-style harnesses in pretty patterns and colors these days, my favorite escape proof cat harness is the one made by LupineThe harness and matching leash are made in the US of high-tensile webbing and have custom, extra-strength buckles. The buckles do not break or come apart, even if the cat is pulling on the leash, making this a virtually escape proof cat harness.

Kitty Holster

The Kitty Holster is a comfortable and escape proof cat harness The cats I know love the Kitty Holster because it’s so soft and comfortable. This 100 percent cotton escape proof cat harness has wide Velcro closures that go around the cat’s neck and middle. There’s a metal D-ring so you can attach a leash. Unlike some other walking harnesses for cats, the Kitty Holster fits securely and never slips out of placeIt comes in a variety of sizes, patterns and colors. Matching leashes are available.

How To Keep Kitty From Getting Out Of Her Harness

Enjoying the outdoors in an escape proof cat harness

Taking a cat outside on a harness and leash may sound scary at first. But if the harness is fitted correctly and you remember a few simple tips, you’ll never have to worry about kitty escaping and venturing off on her own.

Measure First: Put a tape measure around your cat’s neck, making it tight enough that no fingers fit between her fur and the tape measure. With the cat standing up, also measure her girth right behind the front legs. Add about five percent to each measurement.

Check the measurements of the harness before you buy to make sure it’s the right size. If it’s too small, the cat will be uncomfortable. If it’s too large, she’ll be able to squirm out of it.

The ‘Purrfect’ Fit: If you can slide just one finger between the harness and the cat, it’s just right.

Check The Buckles: Most cat harnesses have plastic buckles that snap together. Make sure to snap the buckles correctly. If just one prong is sticking out or missing, the buckle will come apart.

Hold the leash behind the cat and keep it slack. Backing out of a harness is almost impossible if the leash is behind the cat. If the leash is too taut, the harness can pull open if the cat lunges or starts to run. Remember, the buckles are designed to open under pressure.

Never tug on the leash. This, too could cause enough pressure for the buckles to come undone. If your cat goes under the deck or car, be patient and wait for her to come out, or try to gently push her out with your hands. You might be able to lure her out with treats, too. I always have a bag of treats in my pocket when I’m outside with a cat in a harness and leash.

Don’t panic if your cat gets out of the harness. She’ll probably be so surprised she’ll just sit down. Sit on the ground and encourage her to come to you. When she does, reach out slowly and pet her. When she’s very close to you, calmly pick her up.

If she starts to wander off, don’t run after her. A cat can outrun a human any day, and the sound of you running behind her will make her go faster. Walk calmly and slowly. Say her name in a friendly voice. When she stops, bend over or sit on the ground and encourage her to come to you.

Always supervise your cat when she’s outside on a tie-out. She could be injured by an animal or human passing through your yard, and the tie-out can get tangled in bushes or wrapped around trees.

Read More About Getting Cats Outside

How To Walk Your Cat With a harness and leash.

Six Reasons For Getting Your Cat Outside

Keeping Cats Safe Outside

The Best Cat Collar


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  • Renee
    Really?!? You think that first H-harness is inescapable? The author apparently is just writing an article, but actually has no inkling of what they are talking about. Try owning a cat first before you give advice.thumbsdown
    Renee 6 months ago  Reply
    • Missy Zane
      Thank you for your comment. I’m just seeing it now. worried I love that Lupine harness and have walked with many cats with it. I’ve never had a cat get out of it. If it’s fitted correctly, it really is virtually escape-proof. I imagine that’s true of any H-style harness, but I happen to like Lupine harnesses because the buckles are strong and sturdy and don’t break.
      Missy Zane an hour ago
  • melissa
    same here with Houdini kitty. I rescued Deuce (my kitty) and he has FIV and can not be an indoor outdoor kitty. But HE WANTS OUT. when he is on harness and sitting with me hes fine…then I blink. POOF!! GONE. I want to keep deuce happy and safe. he likes to sit with me outside while I’m gardening but he has backed out of EVERY harness I have put on him. ive even put 3 on at once. any suggestions plz?
    melissa 8 months ago  Reply
    • Missy Zane

      FIV cats can be indoor/outdoor if that’s what he really wants. FIV is transmitted by deep bite wounds. So unless he fights with other cats, he’s not going to infect anybody. If you’re behind him, or hold the leash behind him, it will be difficult for him to back out.

      Missy Zane 12 minutes ago
  • Kat
    Have you tried a Buddy Belt? Looks like it might be more secure than anything, doesn’t go around the neck & still has a separate loop for tags.
    Kat 10 months ago  Reply
    • Missy Zane
      I haven’t seen that one.
      Missy Zane 11 minutes ago
  • Johnny Sebring

    With most any harnesses a cat can put its front legs together, narrow it’s shoulders and slip out of it backwards.  All you can do about it is keep the leash line angled as straight up as possible and tension on the band behind the front legs when an escape is likely. A harness that will cinch up a bit tighter behind the front legs helps too.  Until someone puts a tail loop on the harness to prevent backing out of it, they can escape.

    If you venture out in public where you may encounter dogs off leash things can get bad quickly. You should be able to lift your cat up with the harness to help it out of harms way. You are likely to get scratched and bitten in any case.  An electric stun cane is effective to deter dogs if they get in close, I’ve done this.  Otherwise a Mace pistol will stop them at long range but is hard on them as would be on you, not done this yet but carry it in case of attack.

    Johnny Sebring 10 months ago  Reply
    • Missy Zane
      Holding the leash straight up is a good idea, or make sure the leash is always behind the cat.
      Missy Zane 8 minutes ago
  • Mr. Hugh Mungus Johnson
    Sorry but whoever wrote this does not know very much about cat harnesses, first the H-style harness is  very easy for a cat to get out of, seen more then one wrap the length of rope around whatever they could find and then walk backwards and literally step out of the harness.
    Second not all but some cats that do get out are not surprised and do run immediately no matter if you give them all the cat nip and treats in the world.
    Mr. Hugh Mungus Johnson a year ago  Reply
    • kate

      yep- I have a kitten Houdini!!! I need a more secure harness- she has escaped three different styles already! Thanks, Taking any suggestions for the most proper safe secure item. thank you all.

      kate a year ago
    • Amber
      Hello,  we are looking for escape proof cat harnesses. Our cat is lie on the ground and remove any harness by pulling it trough the head by his back paw.
      Could you please recommend a harness?
      Amber a year ago
    • Erin
      Have you found a harness that works!! Please help! Just got a new cat and she loves to go outside but she escapes from everything and there are very large dogs in every back yard on our block so I’m too afraid to take her out worried makes me feel so bad because she wants to be outside so bad!

      Erin a year ago