Nightshade adores being outside, but due to his breeder’s requirements and the *extremely* dangerous road that is way too close to our house, he is destined to be an indoor cat. He has his own fenced-in area attached to the front of the house, and we also take him outside on a harness.
So far we’ve tried three different styles of commercial harnesses designed for cats.
- The standard kitten harness which consists of a belly band and a neck band connected across the shoulders.
- The figure of 8 loop-around-the-shoulders style, and
- The Puppia style of soft harness which is so popular for little snub nosed dogs.
All of which Nightshade has slipped out of, without even trying particularly hard. Slinky cats are apparently harder to keep in a harness than their plumper compatriots.
Enter the DIY harness. I first tried the Kimono Dog Harness Pattern + Tutorial by Jill Myslinski posted on Sew Mama Sew but sadly it just didn’t fit Nightshade’s body shape very well. And him being as squirmy as he is, I wasn’t about to get any accurate fitting adjustments.
So then I turned to Erin of Dog Under My Desk and her wonderful Little Dog Harness tutorial. As with all her tutorials and patterns, it was very easy to understand and packed with photos which are very helpful to a beginner like me.
I used the Sammy sized template, and it fits a skinny, slinky 4 kg Siamese very well! I may try to redraft the neck band in the future to get a better fit for a cat neck/chest, but so far it is absolutely the best fitting harness Nightshade has worn. And he tolerates it so much better than the other harnesses. Putting it on is a breeze, and once it is on, he doesn’t even seem to know it’s there.