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These cat leashes keep kitties safe while they explore

Which cat leash is best?

It may come as a bit of a surprise, but some cats actually enjoy walking outside. But since the outdoors may not always be the safest place for your cat, it’s a good idea to find a suitable leash before heading out. With a good, durable leash, you can keep your cat safe while giving them the chance to explore the great outdoors.

If you’re not sure which cat leash to get, the PetSafe Come With Me Kitty Harness and Bungee Leash is the top pick. This two-in-one combo offers the flexibility and security any cat owner needs when taking their feline friend outside.

What to know before you buy a cat leash


There are three main types of cat leashes available: flat, retractable and bungee.

  • Flat leash: One of the most common leashes, the flat leash is durable and resistant to tangles or knots. These leashes come in many different colors and lengths.
  • Retractable leash: Similar to a flat leash, a retractable leash gives you more control over how far your cat can go at any given time. The retractable leash is perfect for walking your cat anywhere with different length options, even within one leash.
  • Bungee leash: The bungee leash stretches easily and reduces any stress caused by your cat’s sudden movements. This makes it ideal for cats with a lot of energy and who tend to run or jump around.

Harness and collar

If you plan to walk your cat, you’ll need more than just a cat leash. You’ll also need to get either a cat harness or a collar.

To figure out the right size harness or collar for your cat, the first thing you need to do is determine your feline friend’s weight and overall measurements. Use a soft, flexible measuring tape to take measurements of your cat’s chest, shoulder blades, legs and stomach.

Otherwise, look for a harness with adjustable straps. Most harnesses come in different sizes based on the cat’s weight, size and, in some cases, height. The harness should fit snugly around the cat without restricting them.

If you choose a collar, make sure it’s roomy enough for you to fit at least a finger beneath it when around the cat’s neck. That way, you can prevent the possibility of it choking or strangling the cat. Like harnesses, some cat collars are adjustable.

Health and safety concerns

Some cat leashes contain PVC, which may be toxic if swallowed or heated to a high enough degree. These leashes offer water resistance, which is part of why they’re so popular. However, if you’re concerned about your cat chewing on the leash, choose one that doesn’t contain harmful materials.

Also, if you choose to use a cat collar to walk your cat, make sure it doesn’t catch on your cat’s lower jaw. Some cats, especially those who try to escape their leash or collar, are susceptible to jaw and neck injuries. If you’re concerned about this, use a harness instead.

What to look for in a quality cat leash


The most common types of materials used in cat leashes are cotton, leather, polyester and metal.

If your cat tends to chew on its leash or other items, you’ll need something highly durable. Chain leashes are one of the strongest options, with leather following closely behind. However, these types of leashes may not be as comfortable to hold.

If your cat doesn’t chew on its leash, consider a softer material like cotton or nylon. Cotton leashes are water-resistant and durable. Some cotton leashes have a PVC coating for extra resistance against ripping or tearing.

Another good option is nylon. Nylon is flexible, durable and somewhat water-resistant. Many bungee leashes consist of nylon.

Although most cats dislike water, if there’s a chance your cat leash will get wet or be exposed to harsh weather conditions, make sure it’s durable enough to withstand them. The last thing you want is for it to break while you’re walking your cat.


Cat leashes vary in length. For example, standard bungee leashes can stretch upwards of 60 inches in length. Flat leashes vary from around three to five feet in length but do not stretch. Retractable leashes are often longer, with some reaching up to 10 feet in length.

When choosing a leash, consider how tall you are in relation to how much room you want your cat to have while walking. In general, your cat should be able to walk in front of you without the leash pulling on its neck. This will encourage your cat to walk forward without restraining them unnecessarily.

Color and design

Most cat leashes come in one solid color like black, grey, pink, blue or red. Some may have patterns like polka dots or stripes. The aesthetic may not matter much regarding function, but it could be nice to have a cool leash that matches your personality or the cat’s collar or harness.


Cat leashes come in different thicknesses. For the most part, cat leashes are much thinner than dog leashes, though they may be comparable to leashes made for small dogs like Pomeranians or Chihuahuas. Generally, thicker leashes are more durable and resistant to tearing, while thinner ones may be more fashionable but break more easily.

How much you can expect to spend on a cat leash

Most cat leashes cost $12-$25, depending on the type, length and material.

Cat leash FAQ

How can I make my cat more comfortable with a leash?

A. When it comes to introducing something new to a cat, the best bet is to go slowly. Once you’ve introduced the leash, collar and harness to the cat, let them wear the collar or harness each day for fifteen to thirty minutes. Do this consistently until the cat is comfortable. Next, add the leash. Some cats take more easily to the leash than others, so be patient. You can also use treats, pets, and praise to make the cat’s experience more positive and fun.

What are some tips on walking a cat outside?

A. Once your cat is accustomed to the leash, take them outside to a quiet area without moving cars, other animals or people. Start with short walks and let the cat lead the way when on the leash. If the cat seems stressed, bring them back inside to help them calm down.

What’s the best cat leash to buy?

Top cat leash

PetSafe Come With Me Kitty Harness and Bungee Leash

Our take: This bungee-style cat leash comes with a harness and is both durable and stretchy enough for even the most energetic of cats.

What we like: The leash stretches up to six feet, which allows for extra give when walking. Available in multiple colors, it also comes in three different sizes to fit most cats.

What we dislike: If chewed on, the buckle on the harness may break. However, the leash itself is quite durable.

Where to buy: Available at Amazon

Top cat leash for the money

CHERPET Reflective Cat Leash

Our take: This extremely durable, 26-foot-long leash is great for highly active, large cats who enjoy running around.

What we like: The 360-degree swivel snap hook allows your cat to move about easily in any direction when on the leash. With a long length, the leash is also great for backyard use. It is also reflective at night.

What we dislike: Due to its length, this leash is more suitable for backyard use rather than walking down the street. Also, the hook is a bit heavy for use with a collar, so you may want to use a harness instead.

Where to buy: Available at Amazon

Worth checking out

Rabbitgoo Cat Harness and Leash for Walking

Our take: This standard flat leash and harness set is great for smaller cats who enjoy playing outside.

What we like: With four adjustable straps and two sizes to choose from, the harness fits small felines with ease. The long, nylon leash is durable and attaches to the back of the vest, thereby preventing possible injury to the cat’s neck. The set comes in many colors.

What we dislike: Extremely small cats may be able to escape from the harness.

Where to buy: Available at Amazon

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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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