or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Harness too tight?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Harness too tight?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
We tried putting a harness on our cats today and they both were crawling around like they were walking under a table or something. I loosened it up on one of them, and she started walking more upright...but then it was very loose. How do I know if I have the harness adjusted right?
post #2 of 8
Well you don't want it so loose they can slip out of it, and they can do it! Then you obviously don't want it so tight they are restricted. It takes time for them to get use to it, the biggest obstacle is them not freaking out with it on! Maybe let them get use to it being on looser then slowly adjust it so its safe for leash control........
post #3 of 8
If you can fit a finger underneath it's tight enough. They will do the army crawl for a while as they get used to it.

Let the cats wear them inside for a while before venturing out so they can get used to the harness.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
OK, that is what we were wondering...if the "army crawl" (lol) is normal, or if the harness is just too tight.
post #5 of 8
It is normal! I'm still trying to get Seb used to his. He goes from a big, healthy boy to a sniveling, immobilized worm when I put it on him
post #6 of 8
You can make it tighter than you'd think was right - i.e. ONLY be able to slip a finger under it without any trouble - don't forget they are wearing fur coats and do have pretty skinny necks under it all. They act weird at first about wearing the collars because they're weird anyhow, cats being cats, but too loose is more dangerous in a way than too tight in this case.
post #7 of 8
I'd fit it fairly tight. My cats puff up when the harness goes on, so there's always more slack after I buckle it. As they get used to it, they'll move better. It's too tight if they can't move their legs and just topple on their sides, or if you can't get your fingers under it.
post #8 of 8
What kind of harness are you using? The answer depends a lot on that.

If you have one where there is a separate neck loop and rib loop joined by a strap, then the tummy half should be quite snug but the neck part really doesn't need to be, one of the many reasons this kind (H-style) is better than the other. The collar half of this kind of harness is really only there so they can't slip out of the other half, so it can fit quite comfortably even loosely, just not so loose they can get their head out.

If you have the kind that is called a figure-8, in which the neck and rib loops are dependent on each other, you don't want to make it too tight because invariably they wriggle the rib one looser and the neck one gets tighter-- my main concern about that kind of harness. If you make it loose enough that it doesn't strangle them, they can get out of it. Well, some cats are less active and this kind of harness is okay, but if they roll around or run or really anything but just sit around or walk slowly beside you (HA!) then it's not the greatest.

I agree, definitely boneless-kitty syndrome is from the harness. Most cats do this at first. Have them wear it for supervised periods maybe an hour or so a day until they're used to it and act normal. It's helpful to distract them with pleasant things, a meal, playtime with a favorite toy, etc.

Some recommend getting them to associate the harness with being outside, it can't hurt but it'll happen naturally as soon as you start using it normally (ie, put it on, go outside, come back, take it off). So like, you could put it on in an open window or whatever-- I don't think it's really necessary unless your cats are former ferals or something.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Harness too tight?