More than likely you don't let your Bengal cat roam outside freely and this is understandable because you want to keep them safe. However, it's still important that they get plenty of exercise along with stimulation that will make them happy.
This is why you might want to consider training your Bengal to wear a harness and leash so that you can take them for walks. Because they are so intelligent, it really isn't that difficult to train them and once you do, your Bengal will thank you for it.
In this article, we’ll cover the following:
- What to Look for When Buying a Bengal Cat Harness
- How to Harness Train Your Bengal
- Our Top Five Choices for The Best Harness for Your Bengal Cat
What to Look for When Buying a Bengal Cat Harness
Picking the perfect harness is a very important part of equipping your Bengal cat for being ready to explore the great outdoors with you. It's important that the harness you get for them is one that fits well and will keep your Bengal safe. The harness also needs to be comfortable for them when they are walking and participating in any other outdoor activity with you.
It's important that you use the right harness for your cat because attaching a leash to a collar can be very unsafe. One of the main reasons it's so unsafe is that unlike a dog, your cat has a soft throat and they can get choked if you try to walk them with a leash and collar.
There are two basic types of harnesses, leads which are made up of a few straps that are attached to a leash and then there are vests, vests look more like clothing for your cat.
For some cats, leads can be easy for them to slip out of so if you are considering this type of harness you should always make sure that you test this type of harness out only in your yard so that you'll have control over your Bengal cat.
Vests or walking vests will provide your cat with more coverage and better pressure distribution than leads do and are often the best choice for cats who tend to pull a lot while they are walking. These are also the best choice for those extremely flexible little felines who can wriggle right out of a lead and run off free as a bird.
Most of these walking vests, also called holsters, are often made with Velcro which makes it really easy to put it on your cat. But, some cats can actually be sensitive to the sound that the Velcro makes and this could make them uncomfortable and not want to wear the harness. You then might want to find a vest that has snaps instead.
No matter which style of harness you decide to go with just remember that the most important thing to consider when buying one is how well the harness fits your Bengal cat because you want to prevent them from escaping while at the same time keeping them comfortable when walking.
How to Harness Train Your Bengal
When you start to train your Bengal on a harness, remember this, patience is the key to success. There are some cats that will take to their harness right away, and often, Bengals are the easiest of domestic cats to train to walk with a harness and leash. Here are a few steps for training your Bengal to wear a harness:
- Start indoors at first and put the harness on your cat and then give them a treat. Leave the harness on for just a few minutes. Repeat this a few times a day and for several more days leaving the harness on longer each day.
- Play with your Bengals favorite toy in order to help take their attention off of the harness, this will help them get used to moving around with the harness on them.
- Once you think they're comfortable with the harness and they're moving around freely with it on, you can now attach the leash to the harness and repeat what you did with the harness by starting off with just a few minutes at a time repeating it a few times each day and continue until they totally ignore the leash.
- Now it's time to take your Bengal outside with their harness and leash on them. Just start in your yard at first because the outside world can be startling at first. You want to make sure that they get use to all the different sounds. Make sure to walk around with them in your yard for several minutes and then do this on a daily basis increasing the amount of time you let them stay outside with their harness and leash.
- Once it seems they are completely use to this it's time to test them on longer journeys outside the yard. Start with just a very short walk down your street and away from any traffic and other frightening things. As your Bengal becomes more confident about walking outdoors you soon be able to take them on longer walks and eventually pretty much any place you want to take them.
Here's a video showing a Bengal cat learning to wear a harness:
Our Top Five Choices for Best Harnesses for Your Bengal
After we did our research on cat harnesses we came up with our top five personal favorites that we hope will help you narrow down your search for the cat harness for your Bengal cat.
Below you will find a list of cat harnesses that are available for your Bengal so they can enjoy a nice walk with you in comfort and safety.
BPS Voyager – All Weather No Pull Step-in Mesh Harness
ABOUT: Even though this is called a dog harness, this mesh harness is also good to use for cats because it comes in a variety of different sizes from extra small to extra-large, this means you should be able to find just the right size to fit your Bengal cat. This harness is designed to hold up in all types of weather making it quite comfortable for your cat when wearing it even in the heat.
FEATURES: This harness is made with a breathable mesh fabric and it's good for both warm weather and colder weather. The mesh is comfortable and doesn't put any strain on your cat’s neck. It's extremely easy to put on because of its step-in design that lets your cat walk right into it with no fuss or struggling. You just have your cat step into it with their front legs and then secure it with the strong Velcro closure. Leashes attach quickly and easily to the heavy-duty metal D-rings that are on the harness.
PROS: Made from soft mesh material so it's comfortable for all weather. It's easy to use and get your cat to wear it because all they do is have to step into it and then you secure it with the Velcro strap. It comes in five different sizes and a lot of colors to choose from including brown, baby blue, black, blue, orange, pink, red, and yellow.
CONS: The only concern is the size chart. It tends to be off some and harnesses often bigger than they say they are on the chart.
Kitty Holster Cat Harness
ABOUT: This is a vest or holster style harness that is made specially for walking your Bengal cat with safety in mind. It comes in sizes that range from extra small to extra-large and it comes in a good choice of colors that include black, denim, green, red bandana look, tiger print, gray, and, purple.
FEATURES: This is a harness that is made in the USA and has secure hook and loop closures with a sturdy D-ring that the leash attaches to. The harness is soft and extremely lightweight making it comfortable for Bengal cats to wear. The harness is made of breathable cotton and can be washed easily in your washer. For added security, it has a wide band with Velcro for easy closure around your cat’s body.
PROS: The material is cotton so it is going to be lightweight on your cat and has a lining that is not dyed so it should be good for any kind of climate or skin type that your Bengal might have. It seems to fit well and your cat shouldn't be able to wiggle out of it.
CONS: For some cats, it doesn't appear to fit well around the neck area. It also comes with a price tag a bit on the high side.
Adjustable Cat Harness Nylon Strap Collar w/Leash
ABOUT: This is the lead style of harness that will fit around your cat’s neck and their back and distributes the right amount of pressure without making it uncomfortable. It is adjustable so that it will work well with a kitten and then adjust as they grow. It also comes with its own leash.
FEATURES: This harness is made of a durable long-lasting nylon and is easy to put on your cat as well as to take off. It quickly and easily will adjust to the right size for the best comfort for your Bengal cat. It also has nice sturdy snap lock buckles that will keep your cat secure and safe.
PROS: Easily adjustable and fits securely on most cats from kittens to adults. Comes with its own leash so you don't have to pay extra for that. It's lightweight and cats tend not to hardly notice that they are wearing it. Should make harness training simpler.
CONS: There is no way to adjust between the neck and body strap and the concern is that it might be uncomfortable around the neck of an adult cat.
PetSafe Come With Me Kitty Harness and Bungee Leash
FEATURES: It's made from durable nylon and will withstand any kind of pulling that you Bengal might put on it. It has an adjustable sternum slide that makes it easy to adjust around their chest and there is no pressure put on their delicate throat. It also comes with a unique bungee leash that gives when your cat reaches the end of the leash so there's no strain put on your cat’s neck and shoulders.
PROS: Comes with its own special leash that gives when they reach the end of it. Does not apply any pressure around the throat and can be easily adjusted so you can customize the size to fit your cat perfectly. The harness has a cradling effect that seems to calm some cats down and gives you easy control over them.
CONS: There is concern about the loop on the harness that tightens up and loosens when it's tugged on and this could possible allow a cat to wriggle out and escape.
GAUTERF Dog and Cat Universal Harness with Leash Set
FEATURES: Made from breathable cotton and has a Velcro design on the back making it easy to adjust the size for around the chest and back. This type of design tends to be very comfortable for cats. It comes with a separate collar as well as a leash to match.
PROS: Made from cotton so it is soft and comfortable. It has good ventilation because of the material so it should keep cats nice and cool. It comes with its own leash along with a separate collar and has a cute bow tie accessory that really could look adorable on your cat. Has easy to adjust Velcro back to safely secure your cat in the harness.
CONS: Not actually made for cats and some say it doesn't seem to fit their cat correctly.
After reviewing these different cat harnesses, we feel that even though all of them have their own great features and qualities, the one that we believe fits most of the criteria for a good harness for Bengal cats would be the BPS Voyager – All Weather No Pull Step In Mesh Harness.
This particular harness seems to have the qualities that are needed for a great harness for any Bengal cat. It is easy for them to get into, it's made from material that is soft and comfortable and will give them plenty of ventilation especially in hot weather. It also is easy to adjust for fitting them into and it's lightweight so they feel like they are being weighed down. This is why the BPS Voyager harness is clearly the winner here out of the top five we reviewed.