Why should I consider a harness for my cat?
Cat harnesses are great for taking your cat out on a lead, they apply pressure more evenly around the cat rather than just pulling on their necks.
Why Do I Need To Teach My Cat To Wear a Harness?
Harnesses are not a natural product for a cat to wear. They are known to dislike feeling restricted in anyway.
A lot can depend on what type of harness it is: light ones made with little material tend to be easier. Some people swear by vest-type harnesses too. The most import part is that they're secure but don't restrict your cat's movement.
How Can I Teach My Cat to Wear a Harness?
To start you will need the harness and treats, make sure you start inside.
TOP TIP Leave the harness lying about for a day or two until it becomes "normal", with a familiar scent.
Complete the steps slowly, over days/weeks not hours. Never rush. The happier your cat is with each step the happier they will be overall.
TOP TIP Make sure the training starts at home, in a quiet and relaxed environment.
Step One: Place the cat harness onto your cat without doing it up. Give them 2-3 treats the take it off. Repeat until your cat is happy with the harness going on.
Step Two: Then do up the harness and give your cat some treats then take it off again. Repeat until your cat is accepting you putting on the harness and doing it up.
Step Three: From here you want to build up the time your cat is wearing the harness, start with 10 seconds then give them a treat and then remove the harness. Build this time up slowly and gradually.
This can be a lot to think about for your cat so make sure to give them breaks between each stage. Also make sure you only give treats when your cat is wearing the harness. This is to help build a positive association with the harness.
Once your cat is happy in the harness in the house you may look at venturing outside. Make sure you go through a similar process with lead training - just because the harness is on does not mean the cat will be happy with a lead. This requires training too.
TOP TIP If going to a public place, it's a good idea to keep an open carrier nearby to the cat can hide if spooked.
Do not be disheartened if your cat is taking a while to be comfortable. Keep calm, keep positive and most of all stay patient. It you are needing further help reach out to your local cat experts for help.