What could be cuter than a cat wearing little cat clothes?
We can’t think of much!
There are plenty of reasons why humans dress up their furry friends. Whether it be for the weather, for post-surgery recovery, for Halloween, or because its just plain adorable, many cat owners delight in picking out the perfect outfits for their cats.
While some cats may not like it, many cats seem to enjoy the attention and the extra snuggles that come with wearing clothing.
But the question remains: can cats wear clothes? And even more importantly, should they?
In this article, we’ll cover the following:
Dressing up our feline friends has a long, long history. It spans all the way back to ancient Egypt when ancient art show cats were wearing all sorts of things, from jewelry to intricately embroidered collars and even earrings.
Valued and almost worshipped by the Egyptians, these cats lived lives of luxury, dressed to the nines alongside their loving masters.
Nowadays, dressing up our pets is met with both praise and criticism. Lots of people dress up their dogs, and this is generally accepted. But what about cats?
I mean, technically any animal can wear clothes- provided you manage to actually get them on! Cats are generally less likely to accept clothes than dogs are, due mostly to the difference in the personalities of the two species.
Many cats dislike the feeling of being restrained that clothing often brings, and some cats find the outfits annoying. But for every cat that runs at the sight of a hat, there is another cat that delights in the extra attention that clothing often brings.
These cats are enjoying their special day (Guys… it’s a cat wedding and they’re wearing clothes for a bride and groom, cutest thing I’ve ever seen!)
If you’re interested in dressing up your cat, you’re in luck! There is an absolute abundance of cat clothes on the market. They are especially made to be comfortable for your cat and to fit them properly.
A quick search on amazon will give you an astounding amount of adorable results.
But will your cat love it?
Well, that all depends. Many cats will put up a fair amount of resistance, but here are a few tips to make it go as smoothly as possible:
These cats are ready for Halloween! Some look more emotionally ready than others, though.
Now that you’ve been introduced to the amazing and sometimes surprising world of cat clothes, you may be asking yourself: can cats wear baby clothes?
Baby clothes are often difficult to put on cats because… they’re made for babies. Babies and cats, despite the fact that we sometimes treat them as if they’re the same, are made differently than cats. Many baby clothes have buttons that button up in the front, which may be challenging to put on a cat. Beyond that, you want to make sure the baby clothes are clean to avoid the possibility of bed bugs.
Baby clothes are made to accommodate all four limbs, but they are spaced out differently on cats than on babies! Also remember that cats need to use the litter box, so clothes should never cover their rear end (and most baby clothes would.)
While you may be tempted to recycle your kid’s clothes on your kitty, it may be best to stick to clothes made especially for cats or small dogs. They will be more comfortable for your cat and easier to put on.
Yes! In fact, if you want your cat to get used to wearing clothes, it’s best to start them off when they are kittens. Kittens are generally more easygoing and pliable than adult cats, and may enjoy the soft fabric and warmth that comes with wearing kitty clothes.
If you want to get your kitten started with clothes early, make sure to make it as pleasant an experience as possible for them. You want your kitten to love wearing clothes, not run from you every time you open the cat closet!
Offer your kitten treats and tons of praise, and make sure to pick clothes that will be comfortable and loose at first, such as this simple pet shirt.
This kitten is wearing a dress!
We’re not crying, you’re crying.
While most people dress up their cats because it’s fun, there are some instances in which clothing can actually be very helpful for cats.
The most significant example is post-surgery. If your cat has undergone surgery and you need to protect the incision, a loose-fitting article of cat clothing may be just the ticket!
In fact, some vets will even recommend that you cover a surgical incision with clothing to keep your cat from messing around with the wound. This helps to prevent infection and discourages your cat from scratching.
More comfortable than the dreaded cat cone, a small article of clothing specially made for cats may be a safer and easier alternative. Ask your vet for advice and inquire about whether or not a shirt could be a comfortable alternative for post-surgical recovery!
Although it’s generally best to keep your cat inside during the winter, if you want to take them out for a walk when it’s cold, you may want to provide them with a little extra protection against the cold to help them regulate their body temperature.
Sure they can, but make sure your cat is cool with it first!
Unless there is a medical reason why your cat needs to wear clothing, there is no reason to force them if they really don’t like it.
If you are the kind of person who likes to dress up their kitty, here are a few final reminders on how to do it safely and kindly:
Does your cat enjoy being dressed up? Do you have an entire wardrobe for your fashionable feline? We want to hear about it (and we also want to see pictures!!) Let us know in the comments!
After moving to New York City from Rome, Italy, I began working in the nonprofit world. Despite my day job, my passion has always been animals, especially dogs and cats, and writing. What better way to combine the two? I’ve been a pet owner for 15 years, and my menagerie includes dogs, cats, hamsters and the occasional hermit crab. My beloved cat, Mozart, who I found as a newborn kitten, sparked my love for felines and is now nearly 15 years old. I am an enthusiastic volunteer at the local ASPCA, where I enjoy spending time with the cats and cleaning up after the dogs. I’ve been writing about pet ownership and care for the past five years.