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13 Free DIY Cat Harnesses You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on January 3, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

orange yellow cat wear a red harness_NINA IN SANTORINI_shutterstock

13 Free DIY Cat Harnesses You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

If you intend to walk your cat outdoors, whether in your own yard, to the park, or around the local streets, you will need to ensure that it has a secure and comfortable harness. Cats’ throats are softer than dogs, and a simple collar and leash are not enough.

It will cause damage and can have serious negative effects. At the very least it will be incredibly uncomfortable and will put your cat off ever wanting to go for a supervised walk again.

Harnesses attach around the neck and under the chest. They spread the weight and the pressure across the cat’s upper body, shoulders, and chest area. They tend to be made of a soft and sympathetic material, and can be cushioned for extra comfort. You need to ensure that the harness is the right size, is comfortable, and looks good.

Below are 7 DIY cat harnesses that you can make today. Some are listed or described as dog harnesses, but their dimensions and design mean that they would work equally as well for cats. While many of them do require some basic sewing skills, others rely on crochet, and some are described as being easy-sew or no-sew patterns so there is something for every skill face divider 2

The 13 DIY Cat Harnesses

1. Crochet Cat Harness Leash

DIY Crochet A Cat Harness Leash
Image Credit: CraftBits

Made from acrylic yarn, this crochet cat harness leash is affordable, durable, and can be made in a whole gamut of colors. Acrylic yarn is often advised for beginners, too, so if you’re considering making a harness leash for your first foray into the world of crochet, then this really is a good place to start.

2. Custom DIY Cat Harness

DIY Cat Harness K9 of Mine
Image Credit: K9 of Mine

Dog harnesses do not stop a dog from pulling. In fact, because they spread the pressure across the whole chest area, harnesses make it easier and less painful to pull. Although cats do not pull as powerfully as most dogs, it is still important that you can restrain them, direct them, and prevent them from getting away. A comfortable but well-made DIY harness will do that. This is one of the designs that is labeled as being a dog harness, but the design is the same.

3. DIY Cat Harness

DIY cat harness Ipsan
Image Credit: Ipsan

This harness is an adaptation of a Kimono dog harness and the creator claims that it can be finished in one hour. In keeping with the Japanese design, the finished item in the picture utilizes a Hello Kitty fabric, but you can change this for any design or any color. The instructions also give guidance on how best to measure your pet to ensure a good fit.

4. Crocheted Cat Harness

DIY crochet cat harness
Image Credit: Let’s Crochet

Crochet means “small hook” and relates to the implement used to pull the material, rather than the material itself. The first instance of a printed crochet pattern was seen in an early 19th century Dutch magazine named Penelope. More recent examples include this crocheted dog harness which can easily be adapted to use for your cat.

5. Fat Cat Harness

DIY Harness for Your Fat Cat
Image Credit: WikiHow

Cats of all sizes enjoy time outdoors and it could reasonably be argued that an overweight cat would benefit from the extra exercise it will enjoy while being outdoors. This fat cat harness uses Velcro fastenings, a D-ring to attach a collar, and it needs the use of a cat jacket. You will need your own instructions on how to make a coat and a collar.

6. Homemade Cat Harness

DIY Homemade Cat Harness
Image Credit: cuteness

This homemade cat harness is made according to the size and dimensions of your cat. No two cats are the exact same size, so it is important that cat harnesses are not the same either. Even if two cats weigh the same, they can have different skeletal structures, which means that a harness fits perfectly on one but will not fit on the next.

Are you looking for the perfect cat harness? We suggest Hepper's Cat Harness & Leash Set, which includes a nicely designed, machine-washable harness made from soft, sturdy velvet and mesh.

Hepper Cat Harness and Leash Escape Proof Set -...
23 Reviews
Hepper Cat Harness and Leash Escape Proof Set -...
  • Escape Proof - Cat leashes and harnesses for walking aren't all equally secure. Our double aluminium...
  • Superior Comfort - Our cat harnesses are lightweight, made with premium velvet fabric, breathable...
  • Free Extra Strength Leash - You don't need to worry about your cat escaping this harness. This cat...

This harness is easy to put on and take off and features reinforced stitching, reflective stripes, and quick-release buckles. This set also includes a great leash made from durable nylon climbing rope.

At Catster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

7. Cat and Kitten Tolerated Harness

DIY Cat-and-kitten-tolerated Harness
Image Credit: Autodesk Instructables

Harnesses are unnatural to cats: animals that will sometimes not tolerate anything being too close to them, let alone a jacket-style item of clothing sitting snugly around them. This harness is designed to be accepted by cats of all ages, including kittens. If you start your cat wearing a harness when it is young, it will quickly become accustomed to the feeling of it and will continue to allow you to put one on as it gets older.

8. Nylon Adjustable Cat Harness

DIY Nylon Adjustable Cat Harness
Image Credit: firstthecoffee

You don’t always need a ton of materials or even a ton of DIY skills to build a great DIY cat harness. That’s exactly what this outstanding choice from Family Handyman shows. The guide does a great job of breaking down everything you need to do, and whether you’re a novice DIYer or an expert, this is a phenomenal option.

9. Colorful Cat Harness

DIY Colorful Cat Harness
Image Credit: animalwellnessmagazine

Just because you’re making a DIY cat harness doesn’t mean you can’t add a splash of color to it. This guide walks you through everything you need to do to make one, and since it uses fabric, you get to customize exactly what it will look like!

Whether you want bright colors, something a bit more subdued, or a pattern, all you need to do is find the fabric and this guide will walk you through how to turn it into a soft and comfortable harness.

10. DIY Fabric Cat Harness

DIY Fabric Cat Harness
Image Credit: sosewlovely

This is another simple fabric harness you can make yourself as long as you possess some basic sewing skills. If you can sew, this guide walks you through the rest, allowing you to get the perfect harness for your cat.

This fabric design is especially great if you want a larger harness option that adds a little extra visibility to your cat. It’s perfect for little escape artists, and you can just keep in on them whenever they’re hanging out around your home.

11. DIY Harness & Leash Set

DIY Harness & Leash Set
Image Credit: mikinoos

If you need a harness for your cat, you’ll want a leash to go with it! And in a true DIYer fashion, this guide from Mikinoos walks you through everything you need to build both the harness and the leash.

It’s also highly customizable, so you can get exactly what you want when you’re making it for yourself.

12. Decorated DIY Cat Harness

DIY Decorated Cat Harness
Image Credit: glogirly

All right, so this guide doesn’t really walk you through the construction of the harness, but it does allow you to add a little pizzazz to a harness you already have. So, if you found a harness at the store that doesn’t cost much and you just don’t like the way it looks, this is the guide for you.

It opens up a ton of different customization options. Whether you need a step-by-step guide or just a little inspiration, this is exactly what you’re looking for!

13. DIY Rope, Paracord, or Ribbon Cat Harness

If you’re an avid DIYer like us, there’s a good chance you already have some rope, paracord, or ribbon in your home. This guide allows you to put those materials to good use, giving you a cat harness you can make yourself without going to the store and spending any money!

If you’re on a tight budget or you just enjoy being thrifty, this is a great project you can build yourself in just an hour or two!

yarn ball divider

Final Thoughts

Cats love the outdoors, but the outdoors don’t necessarily love your cat. Cats that are given the freedom to roam can get lost, despite their excellent navigational skills. Unfortunately, they can even be stolen or kidnapped, and as well as the dangers of the modern road and the vehicles on it, there are wild and domesticated animals that might attack.

With a cat harness, you can comfortably and safely offer your cat some time outdoors to get exercise and air, without the added dangers that this entails. Hopefully, you have found the perfect DIY cat harness plan for your feline companion.

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Featured Image Credit: NINA IN SANTORINI, Shutterstock

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