How To Get Your Cat To Wear Clothes (Plus The Best Clothing Items)

Winter is here and you’re probably wondering if you should dress up your feline pet whether for the sake of keeping it warm or for an upcoming holiday celebration party.

But do cats need clothes?

Most kitties already have a thick layer of fluffy fur and only a few hairless breeds, like the Sphynx for example, will need clothing to stay warm. In some cases, cats which have recently undergone surgery might need partial clothing like a sleeve or a “sock” in order to protect the injured spot. However, in most cases they don’t need to be dressed up, and they like it that way.

By default cats, unlike dogs, don’t take well to being dressed up.

Many of us have probably tried to put a funny costume on our pets for Halloween parties just for laughs, regardless of the cat’s opinion on the entire outfit.

And the biggest mistake pet parents make when dressing up their cats is neglecting the fact that their furballs are feeling rather uncomfortable and stressed out when stuck in a costume. As such, the cat feels the need to wriggle out of the clothes, which may result in kitty getting tangled up or even choking on the piece of clothing.

If you want to dress your majestic and fluffy Maine Coon in a lion costume, or fit your lovely blue-eyed Birman into a sophisticated tuxedo with matching blue colors, think about the pros and cons of subjecting your kitty to the possible stress factor.

If your cat happens to be easy-going, then you could try on a cat costume. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to proceed.


Familiarize the cat with the clothing items

Don’t just shove your kitty into the costume. Allow it to get accustomed to its smell, shape, and presence. Encourage it with food, treats, and verbal praising. Gently place the clothing over the kitty’s back to see if your cat wants to walk around with it before you actually try on the clothes.

Measure your pet before purchasing clothing

If you get a smaller size, it will limit the cat’s movement and might even choke your pet. If the clothes are too big, your furball will just wriggle its way out of them.

Keep things simple

Opt for a small headpiece, a bow tie, a soft necktie, a vest, or a light T-shirt. The costume shouldn’t be restraining your kitty’s limbs, whiskers, or ears in any way.


Don’t scold and punish your cat

Always use positive reinforcement techniques when trying on cat clothing. If your cat is showing signs that it’s afraid or uncomfortable in its clothes, don’t scold or punish it, because you’ll force the kitty into associating the clothes with a negative experience.

Don’t opt for heavy fabrics

There’s no need to put additional weight and strain on your beloved furball. You should never choose heavy fabrics that will limit the cat’s movement.

Stay away from scratchy, itchy, sticky fabrics

Cats hate sticky surfaces and if the clothing is made out of itchy or sticky materials, your cat will immediately despise being anywhere around it. Avoid such fabrics and focus only on light, soft clothing.

A Couple Of The Best Types Of Outfits

Namsan’s Neck Tie

Namsan offers pet-friendly products, including pet doors, training hoops, and various clothing items.

Their adorable neckties are the perfect party costume piece for any cat.

The item is made out of soft cotton and the adjustable Velcro strap makes it a great fit for cats of all breeds and sizes. The soft fabric won’t irritate or stress your kitty and the fact that it’s so small guarantees that your cat will tolerate it, compared to other types of costume pieces.

The tie comes in three different color schemes and it’s an ideal clothing item for all sorts of parties. The best part about this product is that it’s super budget-friendly, not to mention the fact that it will make even the most mischievous cat appear extremely sophisticated!

If you’re looking for a fun, pet-friendly costume for your feline friend, this necktie is the perfect item.

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If you’re one of those pet parents who take their cats out for a walk on a leash, then you’re in need of a proper cat clothing item for colder winter days. Thundershirt’s cat vest is specially designed for anxious kitties which have a problem with cold weather, vet visits, traveling, and so on.

This product is made out of soft, durable fabric which applies a slight, gentle pressure on the kitty’s torso in order to ease the anxiety.

Recommended by vets from all over the world, the Thundershirt is ideal for keeping your kitty warm and snug without limiting its movements or choking it. It comes in three different sizes and is washing machine-friendly.

While it was initially designed as anti-stress apparel, this item is ideal for cats of all breeds and ages for colder days.

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So, to sum it up, most cats are better off without any clothing pieces at all. However, if you still wish to dress up your kitty for Halloween, Christmas, or some other celebration or party, you should opt for something small, comfortable, and soft, which will allow your cat to move freely without wriggling out of the costume.

Vests, light headpieces, bow ties, or some form of light T-shirts and dresses are the perfect types of cat clothing.

Be patient and watch for any signs of stress or discomfort. If your cat seems to hate the costume or if is afraid of it, don’t force the kitty into wearing clothes. Its mental and physical health should always come as a priority, regardless of how cute your furball might look in party clothes.

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Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

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