Cats are adventurous and it’s becoming increasingly common to take cats on days out, on boat trips and more.
Many cats love being on the water which is hardly surprising considering cats have been on ships with sailors for centuries.
In a rush? Check out the table below of our top recommended life jackets for cats:
Whether your cat loves to swim or you want to take them with you sailing, kayaking, paddleboarding or another activity that’s close to or on the water, it’s important to make sure you have the right gear to keep them safe and ensure everyone has a great time.
Cat life jackets are designed to prevent your cat from drowning and are something you shouldn’t go without even if your cat is a confident swimmer.
1. Lyra Cat Feline Flotation Device (FFD)
The Feline Flotation Device (FFD) from Lyra Cat has been designed specifically for cats. It fits the smaller torso and neck of a cat while accommodating their longer bodies.
The FFD includes a chest plate that adds buoyancy to help keep your cat’s head above water.
Its key features include:
- Reflective tape and piping
- D-ring for attaching a leash
- Polypro webbing (perfect for water activities)
- Water-resistant fabric
This life jacket provides a secure fit for cats, it comes in 3 sizes and a range of colours so you can find the one best suited to your adventurous kitty.
The FFD has an integrated cat harness so you can clip a leash on when travelling or in between activities.
This is a high-quality well-designed jacket that allows your cat to comfortably float and spend time in the water.
The jacket has even been tried and tested on the product designer’s cat so it could be perfected to give cats the best experience when in water.
As they are handmade there is a lot of attention to detail in these smart buoyancy jackets.
|Material||Water-resistant fabric with polypro webbing|
|Sizes Available||Small, medium and large|
|Colours Available||Hot pink, yellow, burnt orange, lime green, royal blue|
2. Crewsaver Boating and Sailing Life Jacket For Pets
- Available in four sizes to fit most breeds.
- Suitable for cats and dogs.
The Crewsaver Lifejacket is suitable for both cats and dogs.
It is available in four sizes and each size is adjustable to help you get the best fit for your pet.
The jacket is quick and easy to adjust so your kitty will be ready to go in no time.
Size Options (measurements taken from collar to base of tail) :
- Small – 28cm – 35cm
- Medium – 35cm – 45cm
- Large – 45cm – 55cm
- X Large – 55cm – 66cm
This jacket is made with soft closed-cell foam and has retro-reflective tape detailing. One of the best features is the load spreader lifting handle that makes it safe and easy to lift your pet out of water when needed.
The straps are padded to prevent rubbing and the low profile design makes it comfortable for pets to wear.
The pet float includes a small zip pocket so you can store a leash or disposable bags on the jacket for easy access when on the water.
This buoyancy aid helps to reduce fatigue and ensure your cat is safe when in and around water.
|Sizes Available||Small, Medium, Large, X Large|
3. LINKLANK Pet Life Jacket
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This brightly coloured life jacket from LINKLANK can’t be missed, it can be purchased in bright orange or blue and also has side to side reflective stripes for enhanced visibility in low light conditions.
The jacket is available in 5 sizes so you can find the best size for your pet.
On top of the life jacket is a loop so you can attach a leash to keep your pet close when out of the water.
The underbelly of the LINKLANK jacket is made from mesh which allows it to properly drain after swimming and quickly dry once out of the water.
The adjustable straps on either side allow you to adjust the size of the jacket so it fits your pet properly.
The jacket is lightweight so it is comfortable and helps to reduce fatigue when swimming.
The available sizes are as follows:
- X X Small – 15cm back length, 19-27cm neck circumference, 28-37cm chest circumference. Suitable for 0-2.5kg (pet weight).
- X Small – 21cm back length, 25-35cm neck circumference, 30-42cm chest circumference. Suitable for 2.5-4kg (pet weight).
- Small – 26cm back length, 36-47cm neck circumference, 41-53cm chest circumference. Suitable for 4-7kg (pet weight).
- Medium – 30cm back length, 40-48cm neck circumference, 41-63cm chest circumference. Suitable for 8-10kg (pet weight).
- Large – 35cm back length, 42-54cm neck circumference, 50-75cm chest circumference. Suitable for 7-20kg (pet weight).
|Weight||100g – 250g|
|Sizes Available||XXS, XS, Small, Medium, Large|
|Colours Available||Orange or Blue|
4. Smalllee Fish Style Floatation Vest
- Size S chest 32-54cm; back length 30cm; fit for weight 11-17 kg
- Great for a day on the boat or beach, and in the pool or lake
The Smalllee Lucky Store Floatation Jacket is fun, colourful and guaranteed to make you smile. Its colourful design is not only fun; it also makes sure your cat is highly visible even when swimming.
This bright pink harness has a fish scale print and has a fishtail on the back so your cat will look more at home than ever in the water.
This is a durable life jacket that is built to last. It is suitable for days by the water and will help keep your cat afloat when they go for a swim (or accidentally fall in).
This floatation jacket has adjustable straps so you can make sure your cat is comfortable and the jacket is properly fitted. It also has a neoprene belly band for added security and comfort.
If your cat needs help getting out of the water, there is a large handle on the top of the jacket that is easy to grab hold of.
There is also a ring for attaching a leash so you can keep your cat close when out of the water.
|Material||Oxford cloth with neoprene band|
|Sizes Available||Small / Medium / Large|
5. SwaxQ Pet Lifejacket
- ★【Measure Twice, Buy Once】Please refer our size chart picture to measure your dogs and choose a suitable size for them; Chest Girth should be decisive measurement to be considered. If your measurement is close to the maximum, next size up is recommended for more comfortable fit
- ★【New Sports Style Design】Sports-style design gives your beloved dog a new look and does not hinder his/her natural movement. Thoughtful strategically positioned neck design not only provides more space but also keeps your dog in a natural swimming positon, making them feel more comfortable and eased
SwaxQ is an affordable pet life jacket that is designed for ease of use and comfort.
The sports style does not hinder your pet’s movement so they will still be able to walk, run and swim as they naturally would without the jacket.
It is also designed to give plenty of space around the neck to help your cat feel at ease when wearing it.
This jacket is available in 4 sizes and the size guide makes it easy to find the best option for your cat. The material is heavy-duty, has passed the CA65 test and will keep your pet safe wherever they go.
It has a hardy fastening system that secures the lifejacket around the belly and the neck.
These jackets are available in black, orange, blue, green and red. Each colour has reflective trims for high visibility in low light or around the water. This helps you keep a close eye on your pet during adventures.
Another positive of the SwaxQ is the 7 day a week customer care service. The customer care email can answer any questions or help you determine the best option for your pet.
|Sizes Available||Small/ Medium/ Large/ X Large|
|Colours Available||Black, orange, blue, green, red|
Why & When Would A Cat Need To Wear A Life Jacket?
A life jacket for your cat may sound strange but some cats love water and enjoy spending time swimming, going on boats/ paddle boards/ kayaks etc.
As spending time on or near water brings risk, it’s important to invest in a life jacket for your feline friend whether your cat loves swimming or not!
A life jacket is an essential piece of safety equipment for these adventurous cats as it can help keep them afloat if they get into trouble.
Even if your cat is a great swimmer or feels at home aboard a boat, there are lots of potential dangers and unforeseen circumstances that could result in them getting into trouble.
A properly fitted, high-quality lifejacket will give your cat additional support when in water so they will float and will experience less fatigue.
A lifejacket will help them conserve energy and will make them feel more at ease when swimming.
A life jacket also makes your cat more visible when in or around water so you can easily keep your eye on them.
Most jackets also feature a handle that lets you pick your cat up and bring them back onto the boat/ board quickly and comfortably.
As cats can be funny about harnesses and wearing jackets they may not be too happy about wearing a floatation jacket but it is certainly worth taking the time to train them so they are as comfortable as possible.
The best cat life jacket will stay on your cat but won’t restrict their movement.
Once in the jacket, your cat will float when they are in water and you can easily scoop them out and get their paws back onto dry land.
What To Look For In Your Cat’s Life Jacket:
Below are a few things important things to think about when buying a life jacket for your cat:
The first thing to consider is the size of the life jacket. For the jacket to do its job it needs to fit your cat well.
If it is too big, your cat may slip out of the jacket when in the water and it could get in the way if they try to swim. If it is too tight, your cat’s movement may be restricted and they will struggle to move around.
As this is such an important factor, most manufacturers provide a sizing chart that includes measurements so you can measure your cat and find the best fitting option.
Also, think about the weight/ bulkiness of the life jacket as you don’t want it to be uncomfortable for your cat to wear.
Adjustable straps let you secure the jacket to the right size so it fits your cat perfectly. The straps should be easy to use and should not be left loose/ unsecured as this can be a trip hazard.
It is recommended you look for a pet life jacket that features a handle between the shoulder blades.
This is important for being able to pull your cat to safety if they need help. The handle should be durable, easy to grip and big enough to wrap your hand around.
Although it may sound strange, you should learn how to use the handle to pull your cat out of water. Practising can help you get used to the handle (and the weight of your cat) and will make sure you can act quickly in an emergency.
A chin pad (or neck float) will help keep your cats head above water. This may be a feature worth considering as, although it adds bulk to the jacket, it does help.
A leash ring positioned on the top of the jacket can also be useful for keeping your cat close when you’re on your way to/ from the water (read our article on how to walk a cat on a lead if this is something your cat is not comfortable with).
You should never have your cat on the leash when on the water though, so only use this feature to keep your cat nearby when on land.
Bright/ Hi-Vis Colour
A brightly coloured jacket with high vis strips helps to make sure you can see exactly where your cat is at all times. There are many fluorescent colours and bright jackets available.
How To Encourage Your Cat To Wear Their Life Jacket
As you may expect, even the most laid back cat won’t be too happy about wearing a life jacket.
As with most new things, it’s best to introduce the new jacket to your cat slowly and with lots of positive association. Be patient, consistent and encouraging:
- Start at home.
When you first introduce the life jacket to your cat you want to be at home, where it is safe and dry. Start simple: place the jacket down on the floor and when your cat comes over to have a look at it, give them a treat.
- Once your cat is familiar with the jacket and is no longer suspicious of it, you can place the jacket on your cat (don’t fasten the straps) and reward them.
- Once your cat is used to the feeling of the jacket you can then fasten it and reward them.
- When they are comfortable with this feeling, you can start to leave the jacket on your cat for short periods. Give them a treat each time and try to slowly increase how long your cat is wearing the jacket.
- Once your cat is comfortable wearing the jacket indoors, it’s time to try it out on the water. Find some calm water and spend time with your cat on a boat/ paddleboard etc. and give them treats. You don’t want to put your cat in the water yet, you just want them to get used to wearing the jacket in that situation.
- Now it’s time to try the jacket in some water. You don’t want your cat to experience the jacket in the water for the first time when they fall off a boat. Instead, you want to find a shallow area of water (ideally a pool or the bath where it is calm and quiet). Encourage your cat to swim but don’t throw them or force them into the water. Be encouraging and reward them. Start in small bodies of water and slowly build up to larger places such as lakes.
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