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Why Does My Cat Walk Funny In a Harness? (Is It Safe?)

If your cat is walking funny when you have it on the harness you may be wondering if you need a new harness (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad), or if there is another reason…

Why does my cat walk funny in a harness?

Your cat may walk funny in a harness because it is not fitted correctly, not comfortable, triggered a survival response, or has not fully adjusted to it. All of these issues can be fixed once you identify which issue it is. The most common one is not being fully adjusted yet.

Quick Cat Harness Comparison

Name Image My Rating
01. Gauterf (Best Overall)
Universal Cat Harness with Leash
Click here for the price on Amazon #Ad
5 stars
02. Pupteck (Best for Small cats)
Adjustable Cat Harness
Click here for the price on Amazon #Ad
03. Yizhi
Miaow Cat Harness with Leash
Click here for the price on Amazon #Ad
4 stars

So, now you know. But, how can you prevent this from happening? Are these harnesses even comfortable? do you even need a harness for your cat? Keep reading to get these answers, and so much more…

How can you prevent your cat from walking funny on a harness?

To prevent your cat from walking funny you need to identify the root cause then apply one of these solutions…

  • Not fully adjusted? Give your cat some time to get used to the harness, start without the pressure of walking. Go back to basics and just put the harness on at home.
  • Triggered a survival response? Use a toy (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad) or another distraction to break them out of it. This is a natural response that can be triggered by the harness’s grip.
  • Not comfortable? Then you need to consider getting another better-fitted harness to make sure it is happy wearing it.

Are harnesses comfortable for cats?

Harnesses can be comfortable for cats if it is fitted correctly and the right one is purchased. Also, it can become comfortable once the cat is trained and stops resisting the harness.

Why does my cat fall over when I put a harness on him?

If you notice your cat freezing or falling over when you put the harness on this is known as the survival response. This happens instinctually and is a natural response to a predator grabbing them.

Unfortunately, the harness may trigger this at the beginning because they are not used to it.

Can you walk a cat without a leash?

You can walk a cat without a leash. But, it is on the cat’s terms, not yours. Technically speaking, you are not walking the cat, the cat is merely walking alongside you at its own will.

There have been reports of this happening, in particular, one older lady walking through a park with her cat alongside her. But, if you want to dictate this on-demand it is not a viable solution for most people.

What is my best cat harness for hiking?

In my opinion, this is the best cat harness for hiking (Click here for the price on Amazon #Ad). I like this one because it’s comfortable while keeping secure. Also, it’s adjustable to fit most cats and ideal for hiking.

Why do you need a Cat Harness?

You may be thinking, what is the reason for a harness in the first place? Well, there are a few reasons. Let me explain a couple of these reasons now.

Firstly, attaching a lead directly to a cat collar (Click here to learn how to stop your cat from taking off her breakaway collar) is dangerous and arguably cruel. But, why? Simple, cats have soft throats. They are not like dogs. They are not built to take the same impact on their necks.

Therefore, a harness is a solution to use a cat lead safely. It removes the stress of dragging their neck and risk choking them.

Also, in recent years, there has been a big surge in the number of cats classed as “Indoor cats” (click here to see if indoor cats need grass). So what? Well, this means there are a lot of bored cats stuck indoors.

Some of these cat owners require a safe way to expose their indoor cat to the outside. And they see a cat harness as an important part of that reality, are you with me?

How do you measure up a cat harness?

One of the important things, before you buy a harness is getting the sizing right. Therefore, I will spend a few moments with you now to explain how you can measure up for a harness correctly.

Each harness has its own sizing guidelines because they have slightly different styling. Therefore you should follow their instructions to measure the areas required.

However, a general rule is to make sure you measure the areas but make sure you make a snug fight. The idea is it must be secure enough to reduce the chances of your cat escaping. But, not too tight, because your cat needs to feel comfortable, are you with me.

One finger rule

To help you get this right, the idea is to fit it so you can still fit one finger in between the harness itself and your cat. This is some necessary breathing room.

Be mindful that your cat will need some time to adjust to the harness. And, especially in the early days, it will try its best to escape. So a snug fit is important.

What are the styles to look out for?

Before choosing your harness it’s important to understand the different styles available. Why? Well, different styles have different advantages and disadvantages based on your cat. Let me explain…

The “H-Shape”

This style gives a good secure fit, It has special straps that wrap around the cat’s neck area as well as its waist. This helps by distributing the pressure. Which makes it more comfortable for your cat.

Vest Style

Like the name suggests this wraps around the cat’s chest, like a vest. Then the straps are located on its back. This is a great fit for your cat.

Step-In Style

This style is arguably not as secure. It avoids putting the harness over your cat’s head by allowing your cat to step its front two paws in first. The idea is to avoid the trauma of getting your cat’s head in place like conventional styles.

My Best Cat Harnesses for Hiking:

In this section, I will list my best cat harnesses. These are ideal for hiking, comfort, and keeping your beloved secure while on the move.

01. Gauterf Universal Cat Harness with Leash (Best Overall)

Click here for the price on Amazon #Ad

Pros:

  • Secure – Eliminates the chances of escape.
  • Comfortable fitting.
  • Adjustable straps – Helps to fit most cats.
  • Great for hiking – comfortable for hiking journeys.

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Cons:

  • A bit heavy for younger cats.
  • The neck opening may be a bit too big for smaller cats.

What I like about this Gauterf harness

This harness is great for security. It has solid secure straps and design to keep your cat firmly in place while you take her out for a walk. Also, while it is secure, it is still comfortable. Meaning they have not sacrificed security for comfort, are you with me?

If you are worried about this harness fitting your cat, relax! Why? Because it has some great adjustable straps to cater to most cat sizes. In a nutshell, this is a great harness for people that love hiking.

What I don’t like about this Gauterf harness

If you have a younger cat, you may find that this harness may be a bit too heavy for them. You will have to try and see, but this is my opinion. Also, the neck opening can be a bit big for some smaller cats.

02. Pupteck Adjustable Cat Harness (Best for Small cats)

Click here for the price on Amazon #Ad

Pros:

  • Easy to put on.
  • Great for hiking.
  • Good support and security.
  • Adjustable – To fit most cats.
  • Quality material (good build quality).

Cons:

  • The mid-section needs to be adjustable.

What I like about this Pupteck harness

This harness is great, it’s easy to put on and a good one for hiking. Once it’s on it provides good support and security. Also, it caters to a good range of cats with its adjustable straps. I like the fact that the build quality is good.

What I don’t like about this Pupteck harness

Although it is adjustable, the midsection does not appear to be adjustable. It’s a shame because I feel that if they added this it would greatly improve this harness.

03. Yizhi Miaow Cat Harness with Leash

Click here for the price on Amazon #Ad

Pros:

  • Adjustable (with what they call “Magic Tape” enclosure).
  • Comfortable (Padded. Chest and neck strap, have soft material).
  • Escape proof (without using plastic buckles).
  • Great ventilation (Layer of mesh underneath).

Cons:

  • Sizing tends to be smaller than expected (Size chart not quite reliable).

What I like about this PUPTECK harness

This harness is an interesting design, in fact, it is one of the things that I love about it. It is nice and adjustable, so you should not have an issue securing your kitty.

One of its biggest benefits is its comfortability, in my opinion. It has a padded design with the chest and neck strap perfectly soft for maximum comfort.

Even though it’s padded, that does not mean it is insecure, in fact, quite the opposite. The manufactures claim it’s escape-proof, and I can believe them. They use what they call “Magic Tape”, instead of conventional plastic buckles. This keeps it secure while also keeping it comfortable, are you with me?

It also has great ventilation. It achieves this by having an extra layer of mesh underneath that allows the fur and skin to breathe.

What I don’t like about this PUPTECK harness

My only criticism is the sizing. Mainly my gripe is with the sizing chart that is provided. To cut a long story short, it isn’t quite accurate in my opinion.

I Found that the harness comes in smaller than expected. Not a deal-breaker, but something to consider before you order one of these. You may just find it a bit annoying if you have to return and swap the item to get the ideal fit for your cat. You may be lucky and totally avoid this altogether.

Lindsey Browlingdon