How to Make a Cat Harness

Make your own DIY cat harness from a few simple materials and watch your feline friend safely enjoy the sunshine.

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Next Project
Time

A few hours

Complexity

Beginner

Cost

Less than $20

Introduction

Who says indoor cats can't hang outside? All you need to make a DIY cat harness is a few buckles and some nylon webbing. You may also want to load up on cat treats to help your furry friend adjust to their new harness.


Tools Required

  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Tape measure

Materials Required

  • 3/4-in. buckle
  • 3/4-in. nylon webbing
  • 3/4-in. tri-glide slide
  • D-rings
  • Lobster Clasp

Project step-by-step (8)

Step 1

Cut the Straps

  • Cut three straps from the nylon webbing material and prevent the nylon from fraying.
    • The neck strap should measure 20 inches.
    • The back strap should measure 10 inches.
    • The stomach strap should measure 30 inches.
  • Note: Measurements are for a mid-sized cat. If your cat is larger, add five to 10 inches to each strap. If your cat is smaller, subtract three to five inches from each strap.

Cut the StrapsKate Tully Ellsworth for Family Handyman

Step 2

Loop Slides Through Straps

  • Loop one tri-glide slide onto the end of the neck strap. Fold the strap over one inch, then sew to the other side of the strap.
  • Repeat with second tri-glide slide and the stomach strap.
    • Pro Tip: You don't have to stick with 3/4-in. slides. You can use smaller or larger ones. Just make sure you are using the same size for the rope, slide and buckle.

Loop Slides Through StrapsKate Tully Ellsworth for Family Handyman

Step 3

Attach the Pronged Buckle

  • Slide the pronged end of a buckle onto the neck strap, then slide the strap back through the tri-glide slide, leaving the pronged end of the buckle in the middle of an inch-long loop.
  • Repeat with the pronged end of the other buckle and the stomach strap.

Attach the Pronged BuckleKate Tully Ellsworth for Family Handyman

Step 4

Attach the Flat Buckle

  • Slide the flat end of a buckle onto the neck strap, then fold the strap over one inch and sew to secure, making sure the rough edge of the strap is facing the back.
  • Repeat with other flat end of a buckle and the stomach strap.
  • Buckle both straps to make full circles and test the buckles on your cat's neck and belly, adjusting the size as necessary to keep your pet safe and comfortable.

Attach the Flat BuckleKate Tully Ellsworth for Family Handyman

Step 5

Connect the Back and Neck Straps

  • Lay out two straps on a work surface.
    • The neck strap should lay horizontally at the top.
    • The back strap should lay vertically, connecting the neck and stomach pieces.
  • Fold the top inch of the back strap over the neck strap, about one inch to the right of the buckle, then sew the two together.

Connect the Back and Neck StrapsKate Tully Ellsworth for Family Handyman

Step 6

Attach the Stomach Strap and D-Ring

  • Slide the open end of the back strap through a D-ring, then fold the piece one inch over the stomach strap.
  • Sew the back strap to the stomach strap about one inch to the right of the buckle, leaving the D-ring exposed. Sew a square to secure the rope pieces and hold the D-ring firmly in place.

Attach the Stomach Strap and D-RingKate Tully Ellsworth for Family Handyman

Step 7

Make a Leash

  • Cut 30 inches of nylon webbing.
  • Fold eight inches of strap over on one end and sew, creating a large hand loop that's about 18 inches.
  • Sew a lobster clasp to the open end of the strap by sliding the clasp on, then folding the strap over one inch and sewing in a square to secure.
    • Pro Tip: You can skip making a leash and just use one you've bought or one you have lying around. As long as your harness has a D-ring, you can attach a standard leash to it.

Make a LeashKate Tully Ellsworth for Family Handyman

Step 8

Take Your Cat on a Walk

  • Buckle the harness over your cat's neck and stomach.
  • Adjust the straps as necessary to make sure your cat is comfortable.
  • Attach the leash to the D-ring, and show off your colorful new cat harness.
  • Make your cat a DIY cat toy as a reward for wearing the harness.

Completed cat harness and leash