Before You Begin
This will be a learning process for your cat, as you help her accept the harness and learn to walk with the leash. Kittens will adjust most easily to the sensation of the harness. An older cat may require more time to get used to the feeling of her “new clothes.” It may be best to divide the fitting and acclimation process into several short sessions to keep the encounter positive. Try to end each session on a pleasant note, and remove the harness when your cat is calm. If you sense your cat’s reaction is on the verge of escalating, don’t prolong the session, as it may make the next one more difficult! * If your cat is sensitive to handling or becomes anxious when encountering new things, use treats, food, petting, brushing, or a favorite toy to make the fitting experience a pleasant one. * Choose a quiet time and a quiet room indoors without distractions for either you or your cat. * Reassure him with a calm voice and gentle petting in areas that he likes. * Don’t scold or yell, don’t force, and never hit your cat. Your cat must feel safe in the situation or she will be unable to learn from the experience. * Schedule whatever kitty enjoys—mealtime, playtime, petting and brushing, or catnip fests—to happen when he is wearing the harness. This helps him associate the harness with good things! Properly fitted, the harness will be very comfortable and safe for your cat. Remember that any new clothing or equipment—shoes, bras, eyeglasses or contacts, or braces—may feel unusual at first, but we acclimate to them in a short period of time. Don’t let an initial reaction from your cat discourage you. Keep in mind the long-term goal of enriching your cat’s life by giving her broader daily experiences.
- Open each side strap quick snap and identify parts. Connect bungee leash to leash attachment.
- Move sternum slide down to make the opening large enough for your cat’s head. Slide shoulder straps on either side of your cat’s head with leash attachment over the withers/back.
- Adjust side straps for a snug girth fit.
- Chest piece goes between legs and side girth straps behind front legs. Snap in place. Note that the connector “O” ring should rest on the belly, just behind the cat’s front legs.
- You may want to release the girth strap temporarily to make the next adjustment easier.
- Re-snap the side straps into place. Move the sternum slide to sit just below the cat’s breastbone so that it will not ride up to your cat’s throat area.
- Position the black rubber stopper near the leash connector to keep the shoulder straps in place. Check to see that tightening the leash does not result in the sternum slide riding up too high, putting pressure on the trachea. If it does, adjust the sternum slide to sit lower on your cat’s chest.