Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Product Review: TSA Fast Pass Leash and Harness

For the move to Germany, I wanted to cross through security screening at the airport with Moo the Cat as smoothly as possible. It is a requirement for the animal to be leashed while the owner walks with or carries him through the security gate (and no, it's not allowed to run the cat through the x-ray machine). At the time I went through this, it was also an option to be screened in a separate room with the pet if the owner doesn't want to carry him through the security gate.

I decided to go through the gate, but doing so presented another problem: if Moo was wearing a traditional cat harness when I carried him through security, the metal on the harness would set off the alarm. I looked at three large chain pet stores and didn't find a harness without metal. Some of them had just one metal loop to attach the leash, but I didn't want to mess with trying to cut it off.

I did some searching online and found the TSA Fast Pass Leash and Harness. It is designed for dogs and cats and has no metal so it won't set off security in the airport. I watched some goofy videos about the product on the website, read how to size the harness correctly, and measured Moo several times with the help of my friend to make sure that I chose the correct size for him (plus he wasn't super cooperative; he kept trying to flop over dead because we were "torturing" him).

Re-enactment of Moo playing dead when we tried to measure him for the harness.

Dry Fur is the company that sells the harness as well as other accessories for pet airline travel, like cage liners, replacement hardware for travel cages so they can meet airline standards, etc. I decided to order the In Cabin Pet Airline Travel Kit, which includes the harness, leash, two collapsible bowls, a metal-free carrier tag and pet ID tag, as well as some food pouches. The whole set was $24.95; just the harness and leash would have been $19.99 so I thought I may as well get some other items with it too. I was especially interested in the collapsible bowls since I wouldn't have room in my luggage for traditional bowls.

Here's a review of the set:

TSA Fast Pass Leash and Harness

Shipping time: I received it very quickly, even though I didn't choose expedited shipping. I think it took about 2 days to receive it.

Pros: being able to get through security without setting of the alarm; thicker panels on the harness to distribute pressure. I really like the collapsible bowls that came with the kits.

Cons: Even though I measured and remeasured Moo and ordered a harness per the manufacturer's size guide, when I tested the harness at home he was able to slip out of it. I had to tighten the harness quite a bit so he couldn't slip out. I think a lot of his problem is that he's really pear-shaped. His chest is narrow but he gets wider past his shoulders, right where the harness sits. The harness gaps a bit in the front. Also, since the harness is sold for both dogs and cats, it isn't made to fit either one's shapes perfectly.

Verdict: I'm glad that I had it for moving Moo through security with ease. I don't know if I would trust the harness to take the cat outside of controlled environments though, since I have concerns about him slipping out.

Look how cute their TSA logo is; he looks like a SuperMoo!

Upper side of the harness (this part goes behind his shoulders).

TSA Fast Pass Harness and leash. Sorry, Moo, for making you wear what looks like a sports bra.

Note: these are my unbiased opinions on these products. I receive no compensation, merchandise, etc. from the company for the review.


  1. what size did you got for the cat if i may ask? i have 4 cats and will be moving in the summer.
    read a lot about this harness but still thinking if i get it or cats' chest size is like 19 inches .according to the size chart i must get the Large size (16-18.5 inches)

    3 of my cats have huge body,you feel they have huge body with small head... iam bit afraid it won't fit their chest

    thank you

  2. I bought a medium for my cat. He's shaped like a pear: little head and widening body. It's cute but makes it hard to fit the harness. I think the issue is that this harness is made for both dogs and cats and I think it would fit a dog with a wider chest better. I just kept it on very snugly on him. My cat is rather passive so he didn't struggle or get out of it, but I'd worry about a cat with more "fight" in him. Moo is 14 pounds and the harness was slightly big on him but the small would've been way too small.

  3. thank you for the reply..
    mmmm i guess i will buy the 8 shape harness ,change the little metal stuff into hard plastic so they can pass the security at the airport

    my cats are very hard and never like anything around the neck.have a male around 8kg , 2 females 6-7kg and male 4kg

  4. I had thought about doing the same thing but went with the harness instead. I'm just lucky that Moo the Cat is pretty easy-going.

    Good luck on your trip!

  5. I can see by the photos this was the old version the new version has a much better tailored fit for cats. We did redesign the patterns and did extensive testing on cats at our kennel Kitty Cat Condos with hundreds of cat models I am happy to report the new version is a much better fit on cats.