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Harness How-To's

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
So, I want to start taking Lt. Pants outside, as he has really taken an interest, and I think he'd love it.

However... I have no idea how to begin training him! He's skittish and has a lot of fight in him, haha, and I can't imagine he'll just let me put it on him. I can see it turning into an epic battle.. which won't be fun for either of us. But I know he'd love to go out, so I want to give him the opportunity.

How do I start training him? Any recommendations for a good brand that might be fairly easy and quick to put on, to minimize the struggle at first? How do I get him to associate it with good things/outdoors? I'm a total harness/leash virgin (gosh that sounds wrong ), so I'd appreciate any help I can get here!
post #2 of 22
I like Lupine H-harnesses.

I started my cats in harnesses in the house before we ever went outside. It takes them a little while to get used to the harness. I don't take them out anymore, it's not been possible at our last couple apartments (tenants with dogs off leash).

I can't remember where I bought ours, it's been that long. But www.drsfostersmith.com carries them.
post #3 of 22
I have my 2 bengals leash trained.

The H harness is they way to go because that have a hard time escaping out of it.

Harness first, no leash or anything until they get use to the harness.
Give it a few weeks to a month.

Need to get use to car rides, not just for vets but to have fun (cat view)

Then finally, walking on a leash takes a while for kitty and owner to master.
Take it slow, give the kitty a reason to want to walk with you.

My boy loves to go to state parks and follow the trails.
post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by laserray View Post
The H harness is they way to go because that have a hard time escaping out of it.
I have to politely disagree with that statement - only because Oliver very easily on several occasions escaped his properly fit H harness. This led me to switching him to a roman style harness and it has worked great (although for in-house training to get your kitty used to the feel, an H harness would be good because it's a little easier to get into - but IMO I wouldn't actually take him out in it). Oliver gets put in his harness and is allowed out on a tie out in the backyard for about an hour each day around dinner time (not too hot, not dark out) I do keep an eye on him though - he usually just lays in the grass, munching and watching bugs and putting the birds in a tizzy.

I believe this is the one I got Oliver from Petsmart (in the dog section) his is blue... but the roman style goes over the head and then clips around the chest (under the arm pits)
http://www.petco.com/product/7784/Pe...Harnesses.aspx
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzbyJLC10 View Post
I believe this is the one I got Oliver from Petsmart (in the dog section) his is blue... but the roman style goes over the head and then clips around the chest (under the arm pits)
http://www.petco.com/product/7784/Pe...Harnesses.aspx
I agree with the Roman harness, that's what my cats past and present have all worn.

I just put the harness on my cats and took them right out, they all loved it right from the start.

Farley went through a time of not wanting to go (he was scared by my nephew) but I still harnessed him up and he'd lay in the open doorway until he came out again on his own. Now he's the first in line when he hears me get the harness container out
post #6 of 22
I'm confused...the "roman" harness you show is exactly the same as the "H" harness I am training my cats to wear.
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
I'm confused...the "roman" harness you show is exactly the same as the "H" harness I am training my cats to wear.
i think the difference is the belly band from the front to the back in addition to the back band from front to back... at least, compared to the lupine h-harnesses linked to earlier in the thread.
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
I'm confused...the "roman" harness you show is exactly the same as the "H" harness I am training my cats to wear.
An H harness doesn't have the strap down the tummy, just goes around the neck and belly. Roman harnesses have the chest-tummy strap and sit in a V down the chest rather than around the neck (in collar position).

Not the best photo, but you can see how far down on the chest Demetri's harness is sitting.
post #9 of 22
you'll just have to see how it goes with your cat. With cello I had the harness on him and we were out the door within a day! With kismet she freaked out everytime I put it on her and would melt into the ground. I tried for MONTHS to get her used to it to no avail. However whenever I take cello out she sits in the window watching and meowing so I decided to just pick her up with the harness on and take her outside. Outside all the sudden she remembers she has the ability to walk even with the harness on!
To this day she will run to the door when I call her for a walk, I put the harness on and she won't move, so I have to carry her outside, and then she is fine.

Good luck! Also I use a figure 8 on Cello, he was SO big that the H and others didn't fit well, but he never struggles so I don't worry. I use a normal H on kismet and it's been fine and she is a bit skitish.

Most cats do love it!
post #10 of 22
I've never had problems with H-harnesses on my cats. Stimpy has slipped a Roman Harness before, but not the H-harness. I think it really depends on your cat's personality.

My sister has 1 cat that no harness will keep her in.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well, I bought a roman style harness from PetSmart last night. I let him sniff it, put it on the ground next to some treats, haha... and then I tried to get it on him. He'd have none of it.

Then I sat on the floor laid out the head-strap part on my leg in the right direction, put one of the special harness-training treats I bought right in the center, and then slipped it over his head as he was eating, haha... I felt awful and sneaky, especially since he backed away like "What the mom?!" with the darn thing hanging off him But then he let me grab him and slip his leg through and seemed actually okay with it... success!

... almost.

The darn thing didn't fit. I couldn't buckle it.

But I left it on him and let him have a couple of treats while he was wearing it, which he was very happy about, and told him what a good boy he was for letting mommy put his harness on. Then I took it off, and everything was cool.

Now I just have to go back and get a larger size, and hopefully we'll have more success. I think as soon as he figures out that he gets to have fun with it on, I won't have to trick him to get him into it
post #12 of 22
I was confused by the first mention of a roman-style harness. I think that's what I've been calling an H-style harness all along. If you think about it, the roman harness is actually two H'es -- top and bottom. That's the kind of harness I use and it is possible for cats to get out of a roman-style harness, too, because mine have done it. You have to watch out that they don't pull on the leash backwards too hard. That's how they can slip out--by pulling backwards. So if they do that, you have to quickly let up on the leash.

The harnesses I have were actually sold in the dog section at Petsmart, since the cat section didn't have any decent harness. They're petite-style dog harness for a 14-inch neck and they work perfectly. So that might be an alternative for someone who can't find good harness -- check the dog section.

On another board, some people have gotten their cats what they call "walking jackets" which are even more secure than roman-style harness. They're pretty expensive, though. Anybody here use walking jackets for walking their cats outside?
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzbyJLC10 View Post
I believe this is the one I got Oliver from Petsmart (in the dog section) his is blue... but the roman style goes over the head and then clips around the chest (under the arm pits)
http://www.petco.com/product/7784/Pe...Harnesses.aspx

This is the one I've bought for my baby but she freaks out whenever I try to put this on her

I'd like to give the "walking jackets" a try, since my baby does not seem to like any harness at all.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
On another board, some people have gotten their cats what they call "walking jackets" which are even more secure than roman-style harness. They're pretty expensive, though. Anybody here use walking jackets for walking their cats outside?
don't know if it would be considered a walking jacket... but i really like the harness Kattengek has for Itty Bitty!
Itty Bitty & his new outfit
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by missymotus View Post
An H harness doesn't have the strap down the tummy, just goes around the neck and belly. Roman harnesses have the chest-tummy strap and sit in a V down the chest rather than around the neck (in collar position).

Not the best photo, but you can see how far down on the chest Demetri's harness is sitting.
OK, thanks. I have the roman style one.

post #16 of 22
It's always been my understanding that "H style" has 2 separate clips to make 2 separate loops - one around the neck, one around the chest. Then "Roman style" you have top put their head through the head hole and one arm through an arm hole and there is 1 clip to connect around the chest. Just for clarification on my post on this topic anyhow.
post #17 of 22
Ya, definitely Roman-style harness that I've got. Learn something new every day!!

Here's a walking jacket: http://www.catwalkingjacket.com/
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
Ya, definitely Roman-style harness that I've got. Learn something new every day!!

Here's a walking jacket: http://www.catwalkingjacket.com/
those certainly look very secure!
post #19 of 22
Great to see info on various types of harnesses. We have an FIV cat so can't let him run free outside.

I got him the Come With Me Kitty harness, which is apparently a roman style, to judge from how people have described them in this thread.

However, I found out quickly that Pasha can get out of it very easily when startled. What happens is that he runs fast when startled, gets stopped when he gets to the end of the bungee-cord leash, turns around to face the "danger," then pulls backwards. With me holding the leash and him going backwards, the harness simply slips off over his head, and all he has to do is wiggle his legs out, which all happens within three seconds.

So, I need a more secure harness. Letting go of the harness when he runs isn't a good option because I still need to keep control of him.

Some of the products mentioned on online sites here look great, but I'd really like to see them before buying.

Question: does anyone know what kind of harness is totally secure against the situation I described, namely, the cat trying to back out of the harness while I'm holding the leash?

Fortunately he is very easygoing (just easily startled while outside) and I've been able to catch him with no problems when he's gotten out of his leash, but I'm afraid if another cat is involved, it won't be so easy.

He is fine with the harness--doesn't really like it, but he tolerates it, and learned quickly to stop when he reached the limit (he will turn around or just sit down!).

Thanks for any additional ideas/experience!

Nancy T.
post #20 of 22
maybe add a strap to the rear of the harness to go between the legs? creating an Roman harness w/a tail piece?
or maybe one like Kattengek has?
http://store.thenewyorkdogshop.com/pumoha.html
that store has LOADS of different ones, btw! seems like one of these might work well, too...
http://store.thenewyorkdogshop.com/pusohija.html
http://store.thenewyorkdogshop.com/pusomejaha.html
http://store.thenewyorkdogshop.com/pumoiiveha.html

post #21 of 22
Me too, been using roman-style, I thought was H style.
The male did get out of it once.

I have the jackets but I think the are more investive then the roman style harness.
post #22 of 22

Yay for some very helpful information, currently have an FIV foster kitty that really wants outside!!

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