SPCA New Zealand
Animal Advocacy

Position Statements

Cats in Harness/on Leashes

SPCA supports the walking of cats in harness provided the equipment used is appropriate, well-fitted, and secure, the cat’s physical, health, and behavioural needs are met, and the activity is stopped if the cat shows signs of stress.

SPCA recommends that cats’ suitability is assessed on a case-by-case basis, based on consideration of age, temperament, life history, and the safety and suitability of the location.

SPCA encourages people considering training their cats to walk in harness to begin by gradually introducing the harness indoors using reward-based methods. Cats are individuals and while some may enjoy walking on leash, others may find this stressful. SPCA encourages people to monitor their cat for signs of stress and stop if you observe signs of stress.

No harness is escape-proof, so people should ensure their cats have a reliable recall before taking them outside in harness. All cats should be microchipped, desexed and wearing a collar with the owners’ details.

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