Cat Collars, Harnesses, Leashes and Tags: Keeping Your Cat Healthy And Safe Outdoors
Wanting to take your cat outdoors for activity? You can enjoy the community together and welcome the benefits of nature with your cat.
First and foremost, make sure your cat has a collar and identification! According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, fewer than 2 percent of lost cats are ever returned to their owners. Just because your pet lives inside is also no guarantee of safety.
There are several tags to choose from to satisfy your style. A tag is more than feline jewelry – it can be a vital safety net for keeping you and your pet together.
Even if your cat stays indoors, accidents can happen such as an open window or a door left open. Your cat’s tag will help strangers and staff at an animal shelter know you love your cat and want it back.
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What To Include On An ID Tag
Your cat’s tag should include your name, address and telephone number. You can also include a second number of a friend or relative which is ideal if people have a hard time getting ahold of you.
Check your cat’s ID tag regularly to ensure it is readable or your contact information is correct. Make sure you update immediately if you move because moving is a stressful time for a cat and he/she may make a dash through an open door. Traveling is another important time to have an ID tag should they get lost in the airport or roadside stop.
Even if your cat is microchipped, it is still good to have a collar with tags. When someone finds your cat, he or she can return immediately because not everyone can read the microchip.
Getting A Collar For Your Cat
There’s a wide variety of cat collars available including studded, rhinestone, faux leopard print, embroidered and more!
To get your cat to wear a collar, introduce it slowly. Start without the tags or jingling bells. Make sure the collar is properly fitted to avoid it being to loose or too tight. In general, allowing two fingers side-by-side to fit between the cat’s neck and the collar is the best fit.
Worried about your cat getting caught? A breakaway collar features a fastener that automatically releases when its pulled, so there is always an option!
It’s also a good idea to have a spare collar and tag should the regular collar get lost. You can then immediately replace and not have to rush to get a new one.
Looking to purchase a collar? Here are our recommendations.
Custom Embroidered Cat Id Collars with Breakaway Safety Release Buckle
This breakaway, adjustable collar is made from nylon material. The collar will release if your cat’s collar gets caught to ensure safety. This collar is customizable with your cat’s name and phone number.
This collar also comes with an additional ID protection, as it includes a small stainless steel pet ID tag to include additional phone numbers and home address should your cat get lost. Various colors are available.
Ordering is a bit funny, but follow these steps and this customized and affordable collar will be on its way:
- Click Customize Now (rather than the usual “Add to Cart” button)
- Enter the following:
- (1) Collar Color: Black, Blue, Red, Pink or Orange
- (2) Thread Color: White, Black, Navy Blue, Red, Neon Pink, Baby Pink, Sky Blue, Purple, Neon Yellow, Neon Green, Orange, Gold, Turquoise, Cotton Candy, Jolly Rancher;
- (3) Collar Text: Pet Name and Phone Number – 25 Characters Max
Personalized Reflective Cat Collars
These collars are breakaway and are designed to release should the cat’s collar get caught. They are adjustable from 8-12 inches. The reflective strip is highly visible from hundreds of feet away keeping your cat safe in the dark.
Your cat’s identification is laser engraved directly onto the reflective strip of the collar. Your phone number and cat’s name will stand out on the reflective collar should your pet get lost.
Same ordering instructions as above, but only 2 options this time:
- (1) Color Collar: Black, Blue, Pink, or Red
- (2) Collar Text: Pet Name and Phone Number – 25 Characters Max
Coastal Pet Products Nylon Safe Cat Adjustable Breakaway Collar with Bells
This collar is also made of no-snag nylon material. The buckle is designed to release if your cat’s collar gets caught. It is also completely adjustable from 8-inch to 12-inch to create the perfect fit.
The bell will allow you to hear your cat running through the house or should he or she break free outside.
No personalization like the previous two options, but we thought we’d give you a recommendation that was super basic if that’s all you need.
Walking Your Cat – Is It Possible?
Now that you have a collar and ID tag, you may want to consider walking your cat. Yes, that’s right – we said walking your cat!
Most cats can be trained to walk on a harness and leash. If your cat is skittish and doesn’t respond well to change, we do not recommend walking your pet.
Every cat should be given a chance if you feel you can train consistently. The exercise and smells and sight of nature are relaxing for cats.
Kittens are more accepting, but you can train your older cats with some patience. Take small steps and reward along the way with each progress. Start training indoors where your cat is more comfortable.
Purchase a harness designed for cats. The leash attachment should be located on the back of the harness.
Here are a few of our top picks to make your search faster and easier!
PetSafe Premier Pet Come with me Kitty Harness
This harness has been tested for safety, not to mention PetSafe is a very reputable company when it comes to protecting your pets.
It gives you gentle and comfortable control of your cat, allowing him/her to explore the outdoors. The design allows for gentle pressure on the leash to cradle your cat and restrain any forward motion without hurting your cat’s fragile throat area.
The cradling effect is calming to most cats and allows easy control for you. The sternum is adjustable so you can create a custom fit for your cat’s body (plus it comes in 3 sizes, so pretty much every cat can find the right size).
The shoulder straps hang through two D-rings on the back, allowing increased tension without choking. The bungee leash provides extra “give” to soften the effect when your cat reaches the end of the leash length.
Kitty Holster Cat Harness
The Kitty Holster is a soft, secure and comfortable 100 percent cotton cat harness. It has a metal D-ring for attaching a leash. The strong, lightweight harness secures with wide Velcro closures and is non-abrasive.
This soft, breathable cotton harness is also washable. The lining is not dyed and is suitable for all skin types and climates.
10 percent of all profits are donated to Crazy K Farm Poultry and Livestock animal rescue and sanctuary.
Coastal Pet Mesh Cat Harness
This is a comfortable, soft mesh harness. It is adjustable to fit all breeds of cats. The mesh material distributes leash pressure across the neck and shoulders.
It is lightweight and fashionable to take your cat out on a stroll.
After deciding on a harness, you will need a leash if your harness does not come with a leash (our top pick, the PetSafe model above, does come with a leash). Here are a few leashes we reviewed to help you decide.
Coastal Pet Products Black Nylon Collar Lead
This lead consists of nylon and is specifically meant for small animals like cats. All nylon products are carefully finished for the best look and stability. The nylon is thick and strong to prevent fraying.
Retractable Dog Leash
Although this is says dog leash – it is not exclusively a “dog” leash. It can be used for several small and standard sized pets.
The perfect size fits right into your hand. The handle also features a reflective design so you and your cat can be seen when it is dark out.
You can determine the perfect length for your cat’s freedom. The leash is super easy to use and includes a lock/unlock button. Built to last, this leash has a replacement guarantee!
After Purchasing Your Harness And Leash
Leave the harness and leash near your cat’s food and/or favorite sleeping spot for your cat to check it out. He will then get used to the sight of it and associate it with two of his favorite things. When your cat sniffs the leash and harness, give him a treat. Place around his neck, and then give him another treat before taking it off.
When your cat seems more comfortable with the leash and harness, put it on and take him for a walk around the house. Be sure to reward him for doing a good job. Keep the leash loose so your cat doesn’t feel too confined at first. Keep going with this step until you feel comfortable venturing outside.
Be sure you always use a sweet, soft voice to encourage your cat to follow you. Start in a quiet, sheltered spot when heading outdoors. Let your cat lead at first outside.
Keep walking consistently. Practice makes perfect.
Additional Things To Consider
Try setting a regular walking schedule so you don’t get pestered by your cat. Always put the harness on away from the door and carry your cat outside. Never let him walk out on his own without his harness on, so he doesn’t dash.
Do not tie your cat’s leash to anything outside and leave him alone. He could get tangled or escape.
With these tips and a lot of hard work, you can walk your cat and enjoy nature together. You will need patience, and be sure to take precautions to ensure your cat’s safety, such as proper ID, safe collars, harnesses meant for cats and keeping your cat close and on a leash when outside.