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Shall we try again tomorrow?


So I went out and got a cute little harness to try on Nailah. It was a mesh harness in the front with the regular straps on the back. I got home and Nailah greeted me with eager headbutts. How hard could this actually be? I decided I would attempt to film our first harness session with the assistance of my boyfriend. I asked him to hold the camera while I put the harness on Nailah.

It started out relatively smoothly as I looped her left paw through the first opening. I smiled and looked back at the camera, "This might be easier than I anticipated!" I then decided to pass the harness over her head next for a quick and easy buckle around the back afterwards. The moment the harness pressed against her ears, Nailah's pupils dialated and suddenly it was flight or fight! She started frantically scrambling, growling and hissing. Determined, I scruffed her gently and passed the rest of the harness over her head. Suddenly, the growls got louder and the screams more frantic as her teeth and daggers began to come out. "Am I even going to get this harness on?" I thought. I pinned her flailing legs against the ground and attempted to soothe her. She was not having it one bit! My gentle coos were completely overwhelmed by her hideous growling. I then realized that there was no way I was even going to get the harness buckled with one hand, the other still scruffing her.

"Help me!" I exclaimed frustratedly to my still filming boyfriend.

By this time, Nailah's frantic screaming had put my domestic shorthair in a tizzy. She comes looming around the corner and starts HISSING at Nailah. Nailah, still trying to escape, begins hissing back and before I know it I have an all out brawl in my arms!

Defeated, I release Nailah, still halfway in her harness and she begins bucking around the house like a bull with wings, my DSH and I, chasing her around like a matador. Up the walls, into the curtains, into the couch, eventually knocking over a lamp, "Oh my God she's going to die!!!" screams, I finally catch Nailah. It took both my boyfriend and I to get the harness off of her. Nailah looks at us like WE are crazy and walks up to my still pissed DSH and headbutts her. Myrn (DSH) returns the headbutt with a paw to the head, friendly reminder that she is the ALPHA in the house and CLEARLY she is the only one who can cause such a racket.

"Well that went over well," I said as I picked up the lamp and wiped my brow.

My boyfriend picks up the camera and laughs, "Shall we try again tomorrow?"


Savannah Super Cat
I wanna see!!

That makes me happy that at 4 months for one and 10 months the other both first try on went easy. Lol now sweaters we die.


Staff member
Heavens, that must have been a sight! I hope you post that educational video for us all to learn from!!


Savannah Super Cat
Oh, that's too funny! I laughed until I cried. It reminded me of when my Turkish Angora boy, as a kitten, was playing with a plastic bag and got the handle around his neck. He took off running and went through the house like a streak of lightning. Poor thing was terrified. The faster he ran, the faster the bag chased him. It was pretty funny seeing the bag sailing behind like a little parachute. Poor Gabriel was so traumatized. I finally got him stopped and took the bag off his neck. He is four years old now and still nervous when he hears a plastic bag rattle. I've also had the same rodeo as you described when attempting to teach my kittens to wear a harness. They don't like it for sure!


Staff member
Maybe try a walking jacket first? It is so much easier to start them out as kittens. How old is Nailah?


Oh my gosh!!! How funny, but that must have been distressing for you as well. I guess I feel lucky, I started Kronos' leash training when he was 12 weeks old and had no problem with slipping the harness over his head. I have funny videos of his first time wearing one though with him falling over and not able to balance lol!

Why is it cats lose their balance when they are getting used to wearing a harness I wonder?