Cat Clothes & How To Choose Them: Fashionable Felines
There’s no doubting the utter cuteness of kittens with mittens, cats with hats, and other adorable images of our furry friends wearing little clothes that were made just for them.
But is it just the cuteness factor that makes cat clothes worth it?
We humans, smooth and hairless as we are, need to wear clothes for protection against elements. Our feline friends, on the other hand, have luxurious coats of fur that seem to invalidate the need for clothes.
It’s important to any cat owner that their pet is safe and comfortable, so read on to learn about how cat clothes affect their wellbeing, and how to choose clothes for your cat.
Cat Clothes: Does Your Cat REALLY Need Them?
Cats definitely don’t need clothes as much as we do, but they can still benefit from a warm sweater, shirt or hoodie during the colder months.
This is true even if your home has heating during these seasons, as the morning temperature drop can give your kitty the shivers. You’ll want to give your cat clothing that is thick enough to keep their body heat locked in, yet soft and light enough not to impede their movement or annoy them.
Not all cats are made equal, and the different fur profiles of each cat breed have to be taken into account when choosing cat clothes.
For example, short-haired breeds like the Abyssinian cat, the American/British Shorthair cats, and the Bengal cat, are going to lose more body heat during very cold periods. Long-haired breeds like the Persian, Siamese, and Norwegian Forest cats, on the other hand, might not need clothing unless it’s really cold!
Some cats also have skin conditions that can cause a lot of discomfort. These conditions are most often caused by overgrooming, open wounds, or maybe even allergies. If your cat has a skin condition, it’s very important to cover up their skin so they can’t scratch or groom the affected areas.
Cat clothes are extremely useful for cats with skin conditions, it helps them protect their skin while preventing further harm.
Flea infestations and other parasites can also be stopped with a wardrobe for your kitty, but of course, it shouldn’t be relied on as the solution to the problem!
Cat Clothes Are The Purr-fect Addition To Your Cat’s Wardrobe
Cat clothing has a variety of benefits for cats that could make it a must-buy for your pet, depending on their needs. Let’s take a look at some of these benefits.
Cat Clothes Increase Warmth and Thermal Protection
You might have noticed that cats love warm spaces, whether it’s laptops, your actual lap, refrigerators, or even phone chargers. They might also like being wrapped in blankets when they lie on your bed.
In general, cats like being warm, and this is especially important when the surrounding temperature becomes uncomfortably cold for them.
If you want to gauge how cold your kitty might be feeling, use this simple trick — if you feel cold at any time, chances are your cat is feeling cold too. If you’re wrapping yourself up in clothes and turning up the space heater, make sure your cat gets in on some of that heating action.
Clothing and fur work in similar ways when it comes to keeping a living creature warm. When you wrap yourself in thick clothing, you simulate having thick cat fur, and you feel hotter under your clothes — this additional heat isn’t being generated by your clothes, it’s actually generated by your own internal body heat being trapped by your clothes.
Without the clothes, your body heat would radiate away from your body, leaving you colder.
Putting clothes on a cat enhances the heat-trapping capacity of their fur, and can keep them warm during very cold periods that their fur wouldn’t be able to handle. If you take your cat outside into a snowy winter, you should definitely consider putting clothes on them as well.
Cats Can Overheat Easily
Just remember to be careful with how your cat is feeling when they’re wearing clothes, as they might overheat without you noticing, especially if they have thick long fur.
Cat Clothes as a Fashion Statement
Most cat owners think of how adorable their cat’s gonna be when they dress them up in cute little clothes. Perhaps your cat won’t care so much about human social conventions, but there are few things more adorable than your little furry friend in a bowtie, raincoat, or even a Halloween costume.
As long as they don’t mind the fabric pressed against their body, feel free to make your cat a canvas of cuteness. Plus, cat clothes make your kitty look meow-nificent!
Cat Clothes Can Help You Bond With Your Cat
Cats can’t get into their own clothes, so dressing them up is a slow, methodical process. Each time you dress your cat provides an opportunity for bonding between owner and pet. This is especially important if you’re a busy pet owner and hardly have time to pay attention to your cat.
When you dress up your cat, they feel you stroking them, petting and touching them, and generally paying attention to them. This is an excellent bonding activity for them and will help strengthen your relationship. While popular culture seems to paint cats as independent and fussy, your cat needs your love and attention just as dogs do!
Cat Clothes Can Boost Positive Emotions
By associating your cat’s clothes with positive feelings of bonding, you can improve your cat’s mood just by dressing them up. They’ll feel calm and less stressed if they feel that familiar warmth and comfortable texture against their bodies.
What Clothes Should I Get For My Cat?
There are so many different kinds of clothing out there for cats, perhaps almost as diverse as the fashionable options that are available to humans. Really, the kind of clothing you choose is probably more important to you than to your cat.
Before you choose a style of clothing, remember that the kind of fabric is critical to your cat’s comfort.
Excessively bulky clothing can impede their movement and stress them out, while itchy clothes can understandably irritate them. Clothing made of fabrics that easily snag in their claws and unravel when pulled can very quickly turn into a sticky situation for your cat as well.
You should also avoid clothes with small parts or accessories that can be detached, as your cat might choke on them.
Keep this in mind when you choose any of the styles of cat clothing that we list below.
Cat sweaters are the quintessential cat clothes. They’re exceptionally warm, make your cat feel warm and fuzzy to hold, and often come in an array of super cute designs.
They’re also very easy to put on and remove, so choose these for a fussy cat who fidgets when they’re being dressed up, but is otherwise happy once the clothes are on.
Scarves are also very easy to put on and come in so many different styles. They’re also relatively inoffensive to cats compared to other full-body outfits, so cats who don’t really like clothes might tolerate a scarf.
Cat raincoats that are actually waterproof can be somewhat bulky and heavy for felines to walk in. However, if you have to bring your cat out on a rainy day, it may be a good idea to keep your cat from getting wet.
Cat Bow Ties And Other Accessories
Many cats have clothing-like patterns on their fur coats already, like the tuxedo cat breed. If all you’re looking for is a fashion statement, then something like a bow tie or a ribbon can be the perfect addition to an already sharply dressed cat.
Dresses are amazingly cute on cats! Everything from Victorian-inspired frilly dresses to modern evening attire can be purchased for your feline fashionista. These tend to be more delicate than other clothes, and somewhat more complicated to put on if there are a lot of frills and decorations.
Reserve these dresses for when your cat is comfortable with basic clothes.
Cats Are Known For Giving Some ‘Cat-titude’
Just make sure that you don’t wrap anything too tightly around your cat’s body, especially around their neck, or else they’ll reject the clothing.
How To Dress Up Your Cat In Their New Cat Clothes
Cats may initially be resistant to putting their clothes on, so it’s important that you ease them into the process as much as possible.
Step 1: Check Your Cat’s Mood
First, make sure that your cat’s in a good mood; pay attention to them and wait for the telltale signs that they’re relaxed. Make sure that they’re not in a stressful environment by removing sources of noise and distractions.
Try offering them a cat treat in order to set the mood and help them associate being dressed up with positive emotion.
Step 2: Place Your Cat’s Head Through The Clothes
Then, start by placing just their head through the clothes. Open it as wide as you can so that it doesn’t pull tightly over their head and neck. Wait for their reaction; if your cat starts to fuss over things or show reluctance, then slow down.
If they remain calm, continue by putting their front paws in. Let your cat bend their legs to push through the sleeves.
Cat Clothing Pro Tip:
Don’t force your cat’s legs through or else they might start to resist.
Step 3: Be Sure To Reward Your Cat!
From here, it’s very straightforward, and it should get easier every time you do this, as long as they’re not stressed. Give your cat a treat afterwards — they’ve earned it for being so patient!
Cat Clothes Are Pawsitively Awesome
Okay, okay. Enough of the cat puns. Cat clothes can be very beneficial for the colder months, and it can also be a source of great bonding for you and your cat. But make sure that your cat is comfortable with the situation before you dress them up in cute clothing.
Also, note that there are many options out there beyond just the usual sweaters and mittens. An entire world of fashion world awaits you and your pet. You can even try your luck at making your own cat clothes!
However, it’s important that you get the hint when your cat doesn’t want anything to do with fashion. Some cats, especially long-haired ones, simply don’t like cat clothes, and you shouldn’t force it on them if you have no reason to.
Just remember that your cat’s well being is more important than anything else. Watch for their response to their clothes, ensure that they’re not overheating, and you’ll have a happy cat who’s just a little more stylish.