How to Make a Harness Jacket for Your Cat

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Jacket harnesses for cats are a combination of the nylon strap harnesses and a cat vest. The vest portion prevents the straps from digging, making it more comfortable for the cat.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 nylon straps, 5/8-inch
  • 2 side-release plastic buckles, 5/8-inch
  • 2 nylon fabrics cut to size
  • 1 fleece cloth cut to size
  • Fabric glue
  • Measuring tape
  • Cat collar
  • Sewing machine
  • D-ring, 1/2-inch diameter

Measure your cat’s chest, right behind her forelegs. Measure your cat’s waist, just below her ribs. Measure the length from your cat’s shoulders down to her waist. That’s how wide the fabric for the cat harness jacket needs to be.

Cut the nylon and fleece cloths to size or have the associates at the fabric store do it for you. Both nylon and fleece need to be the same size. The width of both cloths should equal the measurement from your cat’s shoulders to his waist. The length of the cloths should equal the girth of your cat’s chest.

Glue the fleece and nylon together with fabric glue, making sure all edges match up. For added strength, you can sew the two pieces together as well.

Put the fabric around your cat and measure the chest and waist girths again to account for the thickness of the jacket. Cut one nylon strap to be 2 inches longer than your cat’s second chest measurement and the other nylon strap to be 2 inches longer than the second waist measurement.

Slide the strap with the chest measurements (the shorter strap) through the D-ring. Loop ¾ inch of one end of the nylon strap through bar of one half of the buckle and glue end down to hold in place. Do the same for the other end of the strap with the other half of the buckle. Do the same for the strap with the waist measurement and remaining buckle.

Lay the fabric nylon side up on a flat surface. Place the shorter strap 1 inch below the top edge of the fabric. Slide the D-ring so that it is in the mid-point of the strap. Glue the strap to the fabric ½ inch on both sides of the D-ring and glue the strap to the fabric 1 inch in from both side edges. Place the longer strap 1 inch above the bottom edge of the fabric. Glue it down to the fabric on the mid-point of the strap and 1 inch in from both side edges. Let the glue dry.

Place the collar and the fabric nylon side up on your cat. Measure the length from the top of the collar to the top edge of the chest strap and the width of your cat’s shoulders. Cut the second piece of nylon fabric to be double the length of the collar to strap measurement and be the same width as your cat’s shoulders.

Glue one end of the smaller nylon fabric to the nylon side of the jacket, adjacent to the top strap with the D-ring falling center of the smaller nylon fabric’s side edges. Fold the smaller nylon evenly in half and glue the other edge to the fleece side of the jacket to form a loop. String the collar through the nylon loop and the jacket is complete.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use rip stop nylon for this project if you can find it. It is durable, water-resistant and is designed for use as jacket material. You may also want to give your cat treats to keep her still while you are taking measurements or have a second person hold her for you.
  • Record all measurements as you are doing them so as not to forget or confuse them.

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