Despite their reputation for loving a good lounge in the sun, your cat also needs some exercise. And if you’ve never considered taking your cat on a walk, now’s the time to consider it. The cat can stretch her legs, enjoy the warmth of the sun, and never stray more than a few feet from you. If your cat has the right personality for it, a walk on a leash might just be the perfect activity that you can enjoy together.
We reviewed dozens of cat leashes to identify the best of the best. We considered several features as we examined the leashes. We looked at durability because it has to withstand a cat pulling it in all directions. Weight was also a factor. Because cats tend to be much smaller than dogs, you don’t want to weigh them down on a heavy leash. Finally, we considered if it was suited for a cat. We were specifically looking for a swivel clasp to make sure the cat could move around freely without risk of getting tangled in the leash.
The OutdoorMaster Bungee Leash was our clear winner because of how many key features it had. We loved that it was long enough to give the cat enough leeway to make him feel like he was in control on the walk. The leash is lightweight enough that it makes it easy for the cat to walk and not feel the extra weight of the leash as it strolls.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Cat Leashes
|Best Overall Cat Leash||OutdoorMaster Bungee Leash||4.7|
|Best Retractable Cat Leash||Cleebourg Retractable Leash||4.7|
|Best Budget Cat Leash||PetSafe Nylon Leash||4.6|
|Best Tie Out Cat Leash||Petest Tie Out Cable Leash||4.4|
|Best Basic Cat Leash||Blueberry Pet Leash||4.4|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Overall Cat Leash: OutdoorMaster Bungee Leash
There is a lot to love about the OutdoorMaster Bungee Leash, and after all of our research, we think it’s the best choice for your cat. As we stated, we loved just about every aspect of this leash. We looked at the weight, because cats generally need something that’s a little bit on the lighter side. This one is lightweight and softly padded to protect your cat. We looked for durability. This one was made with nylon, which is extremely durable. But the OutdoorMaster Bungee Leash has managed to add comfort to durability. The nylon they chose is ultra-comfortable tubular nylon, which will protect your hand while you’re holding the leash on your walk.
Length is a really important factor when choosing a cat leash too. You want to make sure that you give your kitty enough room to roam, but not too much that she feels like she can just go wherever she pleases. The bungee leash is the perfect blend of length and freedom. Without being expanded, the leash is three feet long. As your cat walks, the leash stretches up to four feet away from you, then it will gently retract on its own as your cat wanders back to you.
On top of all that, there is a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a six-month warranty on this product. Although the word dog is in the name of the product, cat owners have commented multiple times that this leash works well for their animals. And we agree that it checks all the boxes for a great cat leash too. There’s nothing stopping you from trying it out to see if your cat loves it as much as we think she will.
OutdoorMaster Bungee Leash Key Features:
- Long stretch
- Six-month warranty
Best Retractable Cat Leash: Cleebourg Retractable Leash
If you’ve noticed that your cat loves to wander during walks, this Cleebourg Retractable Leash is about to be your favorite purchase. It sturdy and thicker than other retractables that often have a cord leash. It has a great stretch, going up to an impressive 16 feet. However, the great part of a retractable leash is that you can stop it at whatever length makes you comfortable. If you want to keep your cat closer, just lock it at the length you prefer and your cat will be confined to that. Likewise if you’re walking near a big field or an empty part of your neighborhood and you want to let him roam, unlock it and give him free rein.
There are other features that stand out with this retractable leash. The mouth design on the leash (where the leash retracts back into the handle) has been redesigned to ensure that the leash doesn’t get tangled as it retracts back in. The handle is non-slip. While that might not seem that important, think about how sweaty your hand can get if it’s warm outside while you’re walking your cat. You want to make sure you have a secure grip on the leash at all times and with this handle, you will.
This leash was designed for animals that weigh under 50 pounds, making it a great fit for any house cat. The simple black and white color scheme gives this a clean look, one you’ll love almost as much as you love how well it functions.
Cleebourg Retractable Leash Key Features:
- Tangle-proof retraction
- Non-slip grip
- Heavy-duty internal spring
Best Budget Cat Leash: PetSafe Nylon Leash
You can’t beat the price on this PetSafe Nylon Leash. You also can’t beat all that you get for that fantastic price. Let’s talk strength. This traditional leash is manufactured with nylon so you know it’s durable. It’s also flexible so your cat can wander around safely even if you’re switching hands and turning to look at things It’s got a great swivel clasp to attach to your cat’s harness to make sure that your cat is safe on a walk and can’t get tangled up no matter how much she decides to run around. The clasp is made of nickel-plated zinc so it’s extra durable as well.
This leash comes in a variety of different sizes, including two different lengths and three different widths. You’ll want to choose the smallest one out of the five choices. That way, you’ll know it’s not too heavy for your cat, which is a very important consideration.
It’s easy to get fooled by the price and to think that it can’t possibly meet your needs when it costs so little. But what we love about this is that it’s the perfect leash to try on your cat to see if she is going to like walking on the leash or not. There’s no need to buy anything with incredible features if your cat isn’t going to even want to walk. Try this leash out and make sure your cat loves taking a walk with you. If you she does, you can stick with this simple design or opt to upgrade at a later time to one that has more features.
PetSafe Nylon Leash Key Features:
- Variety of different widths and lengths
- Six different colors
- Metal swivel clasp
Best Tie Out Cat Leash: Petest Tie Out Cable Leash
Occasionally your cat needs the freedom to roam, to feel like he is the king of the backyard. The Petest Tie Out Cable Leash allows your cat king to feel like he rules all, but you’re the one who’s really in control. It’s neon yellow in color, making it very visible in your yard and thereby greatly reducing the possibility that you might not see it and trip on it. There are anti-rust swivel clasps at both ends so your cat can jump and dance and pounce as much as he wants without getting strangled or tangled.
Don’t be turned off by the word “dog” on the label. This tie out leash was designed to accommodate animals under 35 pounds, which is just about all house cats. People who have purchased it specifically for their cat reported that they’ve successfully used it with them. Your cat is totally protected from the actual cable when he’s using this leash. The cable is covered by a layer of vinyl that keeps the cat from being able to get to the cable, and also keeps the cable from getting rusty. One thing that’s unique to this leash is the structure crimp. It covers the ends of the cable to further ensure that it won’t rust or break.
While this tie out leash does come in several different colors and sizes, we recommend that you stick with the one marked for pets under 35 pounds, which only comes in one color. You might like a different color, but that size will be wrong for your cat. Choose the one we recommended and it will be just right!
Petest Tie Out Cable Leash Key Features:
- 25 feet of leash
- Anti-rust swivel clasps
- Vinyl covering over cable
Best Basic Cat Leash: Blueberry Pet Leash
Sometimes all you need in a cat leash is the basic model. This is especially true when you’re first trying to see if your cat is a good candidate to walk on a leash. But just because it’s basic doesn’t mean this Blueberry Pet Leash isn’t the ideal choice for your cat. It comes in several different sizes, and we love that one of those is extra-small. It’s not found in every leash, but it’s is perfect for most cats. That keeps it light enough for the cat not to be bothered by it and short enough for you to keep a closer rein on a potentially wandering kitty.
This leash is durable too. It’s made of both nylon and high-density webbing that combine to form a really strong product. Even if your cat really pulls on this one, she’s not getting away. It has the swivel clasp at the end that is so important for cats who are learning to walk on a leash. You have to let them move around without the danger of them getting tangled up in the leash. Until they get used to walking on the leash, you need to protect them and the swivel clasp will do that.
The Blueberry Pet Leash comes in more than a dozen colors or patterns so you can match your cat’s harness if you want. It’s been tested over 600 times in a laboratory to make sure that it’s a good, solid product, one that you will find is a great basic leash for walking your cat.
Blueberry Pet Leash Key Features
- Lots of color choices
- Several different sizes
- Made of durable nylon
Who Should Buy A Cat Leash
The ideal buyer of a cat leash is a person that has an adventurous and outgoing cat. We can’t stress enough how important it is that your cat has the right personality to start to walk on a leash. Unlike dogs, virtually all of which can be trained to walk on a leash, you want to make sure that your cat is open to unfamiliar environments and okay being around people. If you can safely say those things are true, then you can move ahead with buying a leash.
You should also consider your cat’s behavior inside your living space. Is your cat showing signs of stress from being alone all day? Is he demonstrating boredom by being destructive towards your belongings? If either of these is true, your cat might be showing a need for more exercise, especially if you’re gone a good portion of the day and he’s missing social interaction. At that point, you should definitely consider buying a leash to start walking your cat.
Important Features To Consider
A cat leash should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a cat leash:
- Durability. Make sure that the leash is made of durable material so it can withstand the cat pulling on it or potentially even clawing or chewing it.
- Length. If you’re taking your cat on a walk, you may want to choose one that’s a little bit shorter (or retractable so that you can change the length) in order to keep your cat close to you, at least on those first few walks. If you’re buying a tie out leash, make sure that the length of the tie out is smaller than the length and width of your yard.
- Swivel Clasp. Your cat will likely twist and turn a little while she is getting used to wearing the leash on the first few times she’s wearing it. A swivel clasp will allow her to move around a lot without the leash getting wrapped around her.
- Weight. Some cats may respond better to a lighter weight leash that they can’t feel as much as a heavier one. Consider choosing something that’s lightweight while you’re training your cat to walk on a leash.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it okay to walk a cat on a leash?
Yes, it is physically okay to walk your cat on a leash. Your cat’s body can handle it as long as you attach the leash to a harness. Don’t use a regular collar or a harness that’s made for a dog because a cat can slip out of either one of those. However, if your cat can physically handle it is only part of the answer. The other part of the answer has to do with your cat’s personality. If your cat is outgoing and loves to be around people, he is a good candidate for walking. However, if you have a very shy cat that hides under the bed every time someone comes to the door, this cat might not handle a walk very well.
Should I take my indoor cat on walks?
As long as your cat is micro-chipped and is up to date on her shots and vaccines, it’s fine to take her outside for walks. She can physically handle it. In fact, it would be a really good idea if your cat is showing signs of being bored or stress, like destroying your apartment. Also, if your cat is the adventurous type, she might really enjoy a walk. We reiterate, though, that if you have a very shy or skittish cat, one that has zero interest in leaving her spot on the couch, it might be best to keep her indoors.
How hard is it to train a cat to walk on a leash?
Because cats tend to be much more independent compared to dogs, it can be difficult to train a cat to walk on a leash. You have to realize is that walking a cat is not like walking a dog. When you train a dog, you teach them to heel and stay with you. When you walk a cat, you’re often just following the cat around wherever the cat decides to roam. Training your cat is a much more intentional process that requires several steps and may take a few days or even a few weeks before the cat is ready to go for a walk outside.
How do you train a cat to go outside on a leash?
Training your cat is a multi-step process. It starts in your home and slowly progresses to being outside. Before you begin, make sure you have a harness for your cat. Any leash you use for your cat must be attached to a harness. As we mentioned, a cat’s body is different from a dog’s, so please choose a harness that was made specifically for a cat.
- Put the harness on your cat and let him just wear it around the house, getting used to how it feels. If he fights it, take it off and try again another day.
- Once he seems comfortable (and this can take a while), then attach the leash to the harness. Let your cat wear that around to get used to the weight of it.
- When your cat is comfortable with the leash, then you pick it up and walk him around inside your house or apartment. This way he gets used to how it feels to have you constantly in his presence and to be constrained by the length of the leash.
- If you think your cat has mastered indoor walking, now it’s time to try outdoors. For your first few walks, choose a place that you know will be free of other animals and have only a few people. You don’t know how your cat is going to react to being outside on the leash and he needs as few distractions as possible.
- If you think he is doing well after a few walks in relative isolation, you can begin to walk him around more people or even small dogs. But remember to stay on the other side of the street or leave a wide berth if you can. Even if your cat is doing well on a leash, you don’t want to put them in a situation where they’re too uncomfortable. They make take off for the nearest tree and try to escape up the trunk.
Other Cat Leashes We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other cat leashes. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best cat leashes list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your cat. .The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Basic Cat Leashes
The vibrant colors in this leash collection will catch your eye, but you’ll love the swivel clasp at the top, the thick weight of the leash, and the large loop for your hand to hold.
- Two different lengths
- Made of 100% nylon
- Box stitching adds extra durability
You get two leashes for the price of one with this brand. It’s designed for small- to medium-sized cats, and it’s a combination of durable, strong, and safe so you know you and your cat will have a great walk.
- Two leashes for one low price
- Works well for cats of any size
- Lightweight so your cat is comfortable
Tie Out Cat Leashes
The Aspen tie out leash stretches out to 20 feet, giving your cat plenty of space to safely roam. It’s made of galvanized steel and designed to hold animals less than 100 pounds, so your cat is perfectly safe.
- 20 feet long
- Galvanized steel cable leash
- Weather-resistant vinyl covers steel leash
This leash is 26 feet long, giving your cat a large amount of space to roam freely without you worrying about where she’s run off to. The reflective stitching on the leash ensures that your cat will be safe and seen in the yard whether she’s out in the day or night.
- Reflective stitching
- Lightweight so cat won’t feel weighed down
- 360-degree swivel clasp
A leash that’s tangle-resistant and weather-resistant is a great fit for any cat in any yard. This leash is 15 feet long and it’s recommended that your cat wear a harness when she’s attached to it.
- Lightweight and durable
- 15 feet long
- Nickel-plated swivel clasps
This braided nylon leash comes in three different lengths so you can be sure it will fit both your yard and your cat. The material makes it durable and weather-resistant, ensuring that it will last a long time in your yard.
- Three different lengths
- Made of braided nylon
- Durable construction
This reflective tie out leash comes in either orange or black. The black one also comes with a bonus collar for your cat. The braided nylon is lightweight, durable, and 26 feet long.
- Reflective material to prevent tripping over it at night
- Braided nylon for durability
- Durable clasps
There’s 12 feet of cable in this tie-out leash, making it perfect for a smaller backyard. The leash is weather-resistant and coiled so that it doesn’t stay stretched out across the yard.
- Galvanized steel cable
- Weather-resistant covering
- 12 feet long
Bungee Cat Leashes
This bungee leash will gently keep your cat in check as you stroll around the block. It extends from three to five feet before it will gently pull your cat back, teaching him to stay in line with you.
- Comes in six vibrant colors
- Lightweight design
- Comfortable grip
This durable bungee leash can be held in your hand or attached to a backpack if you want a hands-free walk. It comes in a variety of colors and stretches to 80″ long.
- Adjustable handle length
- Reflective stitching for safe walking
- 90-day limited warranty
This set comes with a waist belt and a bungee leash so that you can attach the leash to the belt and take your cat for a walk hands-free. The bungee will keep the cat in check so that he can’t escape even if he gets spooked by something while you stroll.
- Hands-free leash
- Adjustable waist belt
- Made for animals as small as ten pounds
This bungee leash comes with a halter to make sure that your cat is comfortable while you’re taking your walk. The halter comes in three sizes and the set all together comes in six different colors.
- Three sizes for the perfect fit
- Comes with a halter for a comfortable walk
- U.S.-based customer service
Retractable Cat Leashes
This leash is designed for animals that are less than 16.5 pounds, making it perfect for your cat. The handle comes in a variety of different patterns so you can choose one you love, and the leash stretches out to 16 feet.
- Beautiful print on handle
- Long retractable leash
- Designed for small animals
This extra-small version of this leash is designed to hold a cat up to 26 pounds, which means it should comfortably fit any housecat. You’ll love the hand grip that’s contoured for extra comfort and the fun colors of the handle.
- Durable ribbon leash
- Ergonomic grip
- 30-day money-back guarantee
With thousands of great ratings on Amazon, this is one of the more popular retractable leashes that they sell. It comes in five colors and four sizes so you can find the perfect fit for your cat.
- Reflective leash
- 10-feet-long leash for x-small size (good for cats)
- Comfortable handle grip
This retractable leash stretches up to 16 feet and accommodates cats up to 26 pounds. It’s designed to be lightweight and fit comfortably in your hand as you walk your cat.
- Comes in three colors and three sizes
- Cord leash
- Swivel clasp
The small/medium size of this retractable leash is designed for animals under 45 pounds, so your cat should easily be able to wear it. The leash comes in six different colors and has a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
- 360-degree swivel joint
- Lightweight and durable
- 16-foot leash
This tangle-free leash is designed to handle pets under 26 pounds. Its lightweight, more compact design makes it easy to hold and manage as you walk your cat. It comes with a 30-day, money-back guarantee and a one-year warranty.
- Comes in two different colors and three different sizes
- Comfortable grip that’s easy for both kids and adults to hold
- Sturdy plastic case to prevent breaking if your cat pulls
This leash is a perfect blend of fashion and function. The bling is beautiful but the special touches on this, like the attached waste bags, comfortable grip, and swivel clasp, make this a great choice for your cat.
- Non-slip handle
- Beautiful pink bling
- Enhanced nylon leash