It’s all over the internet. Cat and kittens looking gorgeous and stylish in designer duds or cozy in cashmere sweaters. It’s proof cats can wear clothes, but not at the risk of making life miserable for your feline
Wearing Clothes and Stressing Out
My mom absolutely loves dressing up pets. My canine sister Josie and I have a closet full of designer clothes that both of us hate to wear. Over the years mom spent at least $1,000 on Gucci sweaters, Burberry trenches and other luxury items. But she’s now realized it’s just a collection for her to look at and admire. Much to her disappointment, we simply won’t tolerate anything on our fur and she has begrudgingly come to respect that. There are plenty of other cats that will tolerate wearing clothes, so mom can look at them.
Five Tips so cats can wear clothes
If you have a cat you think will wear a sweater or costume, don’t just put it on them. Make it a positive experience so you don’t upset them. Follow these fashion tips to respect your cat:
Keep it simple: When you first start dressing up your cat, don’t get them a fancy ballgown with sequence. Any piece of clothing is going to feel weird to them. Start with a simple plain cotton t-shirt or a bow-tie or collar. (Whatever feels good to you should feel good to your kitty.) If your cat is comfortable with these items, then you can graduate to fancier clothes and accessories.
Size matters: Make sure what you put on your cat fits just right. This includes collars and clothes. Make sure the outfit isn’t too tight or loose. If it is, it can impede your kitty’s movement.
Introduce New Clothing: Leave what you want your cat to wear on the floor and let them sniff it and roll around with it. Then after they get used to it, put it on their back for a few seconds so they can feel the fabric on their fur. Have plenty of treats around so they associate the clothing with something positive.
Never leave them alone: Once your kitty is looking like a super meowdel, never leave them unattended. Cats left alone in clothes might try to get out of them and get stuck in arm or leg holes.
Watch for Stress: You’ll learn pretty quick if your cat likes it. Some tolerate it and others will freeze, flop over or scratch and paw at their outfit. If it’s clear that your kitty is uncomfortable, take the outfit off. While a cat in a costume (dressed up) is cute, it’s simply not worth stressing her out.
Listen to your Cat
When it comes to sweaters, hairless cats or felines who have just been shaved may feel cold, but typically a cat’s fur will suffice in any weather situation. Sweaters can actually put a cat in danger of overheating and stop their ability to regulate their body temperature.
The main thing is that you need to limit your fashion choices to whatever your cat is comfortable in. While it’s great when a pet can be fashionable, remember that all cats are absolutely fabulous and are perfect exactly the way they are.