HomeGeriatric CatDo Some Cats Need To Wear Clothes?

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Do Some Cats Need To Wear Clothes? — 26 Comments

  1. Found this while searching for how to dress cats. My cat was recently sick and had to be completely shaved. She loves to lay in the window to sleep, so she’s going to need a t-shirt or something to prevent a sunburn until her fur grows back. I enjoyed reading about Sealy, thank you for writing!

  2. You wouldn’t believe all the outfits out there with either lace or sequins. That would be very uncomfortable for a cat. I’m fortunate in that the cute outfits I found are a comfortable material. I believe thats why Sealy is so accepting of being dressed in them.

    Sealy had Christmas money that stipulated some of the money to go for a few outfits.

    We rescued 50+ cats in a little over a year and a half. He’s the only one to ever need clothes.

  3. I don’t believe in dressing cats up for vanity’s sake,it’s the vanity of the owner not the cat,cats like to be as the good Lord made them,not swathed in clothes.
    I accept some breeds maybe need to have some extra warmth to keep them comfy, but surely something plain suffices,it seems wrong to spend money on fancy outfits when homeless cats are starving for lack of food.
    Cats love warm beds to nestle in and they can jump out and cool off when they need to,I think it’s sad some people fetter their cats with unnecessary unnatural clothing.

  4. I am the queen of electric heating pads for cats. Right now I count four cats, curled up on their heated beds surrounded by fleece blankets. Okay, I admit, the fleece are baby blankets with cute little print on them, but only because I buy them at a discount store for three bucks and don’t mind discarding them if they get too soiled. The back yard cats have a little dog house they use. I had a hole drilled in the floor to pull the coiled outdoor cord through and I had an outlet installed that is weather protected.

    Marvin is cozy on the front porch in a cushy bed with tall sides. Also an outdoor corded plug set up, though he is on a covered porch. He spends more and more time indoors now, but insists on being out of doors like he has his whole life. But at least now he is warm.

    Then there is skinny little Bigfoot, who has slept on a heated bed his whole time living with me. He loves it, even indoors where it is relatively warm.

    Cats like to be warm. In the winter I watch Yellowcat’s winter coat come in. She makes her own pjs. Marvin and Shadow’s coats don’t seem to change much except for some downy fur under their coat. Yellow turns into a a cat and a half.

    • I agree with Michael – I would love to be one of your cats. It sounds perfect. They have indoors and outdoors and everything in between and each other too. Sounds like a real paradise. I think Marvin is beginning to realise how lucky he is but I bet you he won’t ever be comfortable if there isn’t a way for him to go outside, even if he doesn’t hardly use it. My cat in Canada was like Marvin a bit. I made her a special tunnel to get in and out so the raccoons couldn’t get in through it. It was lit inside and it helped keep the cold air out so I didn’t freeze inside. She would spend hours asleep on the radiator and occasionally go out for a pee. But if I ever blocked her tunnel she was not a happy bunny 🙂

      • Sometimes, more these days, I think I would have been happier as a cat in a home like Dorothy’s. Short, sweet life. And a nice electric blanket to curl up on… 🙂

        • The tunnel started high and went low – was about 4 meters long and ended in a little cove so the wind could not blow directly up it. The end being outside in the cold and low meant also the cold air was not in any way drawn up it and the warm stayed at the top end of the tunnel. I actually used 2 long carpet rolls made of cardboard – widest I could find, one fit just inside the other so it was sort of a telescopic tunnel. It worked perfectly for 7 years. I even insulated it and waterproofed it by wrapping the whole thing in tarp and covered it in plants and tree branches by letting everything around it grow in the summer without any trimming. It was very well disguised and effective. I was always able to close the top end from inside if need be. I also had a string of xmas lights going down it on the inside so she would not be scared of the darkness in this long tunnel. I could also see down it like that and I noticed she would anyway run up it with her eyes closed. It wasn’t large enough for her to turn around in I dont think. She loved her tunnel and was very unhappy if it was ever blocked for some special reason.

          • You are a remarkable cat carer Mr. Marc. I have designed so many things in my head for the cats, but I don’t have the skill to pull off most of them. Handyman types think I’m bats of course. This sounds doable.

        • I am going to come back as a cat with a passport alternating between Switzerland and California. I want to try that tunnel. I remember seeing a cat toy in America that is a tunnel. Savannah cats loved it.

  5. I don’t find fault Elisa. I know some cats really enjoy the attention and love they get with their caretaker when involved in such activities as trying on clothes. Dan might agree since he has mentioned her before – that Daisy the Curly Cat is one who regularly likes to wear clothes and be hand fed treats. I have no doubt if with her or Sealy that if you were to suddenly stop the activity that the cats would miss it and wonder whats going on and perhaps be a little sad about it. Relationships are many and varied and each is totally unique so it’s often impossible to make judgements when it comes to unfamiliar territory. I am sure there are cases of dressing up cats where the cat is very unhappy but this is far away from it. Plus I believe some cats get a sense of security from having something wrapped around them. If you have ever heard of Thunder Shirts you will now what I mean. They actually wrap tight around your animal making them feel more secure and relaxed when on a vet visit or in a new and different situation. And of course hairless cats probably like the feeling of a warm tube top just in the same way as do humans for the cozy warm feeling. I do believe cats brains and general selves have similarities with humans so I honestly believe cats feel the same kind of snug we humans do in some cases. Each situation is unique and can also have good and practical reasons as well as fun and loving reasons so as much as I know my cats would not stand for it and I have never met a cat who would, over the years I have come to understand and believe that there are many cats who enjoy dress up time and my inexperience with it dissallows me to make any judgements about it beyond what I can clearly see – which is happy cats for the most part. I used to be against it because I did not know aboiut hairless cats and I had not seen cats who enjoy it on a regular basis.

    • Don’t tell me you have a tiny wardrobe full of miniature tank tops, jumpers and bobble hats for cats… 😉 – You know I am just having fun. We know you are a superb cat caretaker.

  6. I think it’s OK to dress a cat if he needs to be kept warm by clothing but not otherwise. Cats are not babies or dolls to be played dressing up with.
    I hate seeing the endless photos of cats in hats and bows etc and at Christmas time in Santa suits, with people commenting ‘Oh how sweet’
    Cats are dignified creatures and we shouldn’t demean them this way.
    I don’t even like seeing collars on cats, especially indoor cats, the person saying ‘I bought Fluffy a new collar for Christmas and she loves it’ I’m sure the poor cat sitting there in an irritating jewel encrusted collar doesn’t love it, it’s only for the person’s benefit. To me cats are feee spirits and their lives deserve to be kept as natural as we possibly can keep them.

    • Totally agree with what you say. Collars are an interesting product because some people will say they are for the cat’s safety etc. But a lot of people buy collars for appearance reasons.

      • Microchips are far better than collars for outdoor cats, I’ve seen any number of cats injured through supposedly safe collars. One neighbour’s cat was lying hobbled and vulnerable under the trees here when her ‘safe’ collar was pinning her front legs together, thankfully she was found before she came to any harm.
        A collar can be removed too by an unscrupulous person, a microchip is permanent proof of the cat’s caretaker.
        Flea collars are particularly cruel, pretty on the outside and poison on the inside where it goes right next to the cat’s skin, yet we see them on sale in the shops and people choosing the prettiest colour to buy.

  7. Hi Elisa,

    Michael – you called it right. You aren’t surprised that I do have some comments about the topic. You also got it right when you said that it’s okay as long as it serves a needed function i.e. the cat needs the clothing to stay warm enough.

    Hairless Cats are a prime example of a cat that needs clothes. Without clothing, they would be cold and uncomfortable. It would be the equivalent of us walking around naked all the time. We all know how chilly we can get at times if we don’t have adequate clothing – even indoors.

    Elisa – I am really happy for Sealy that you figured out that he would be more comfortable in clothes. You’ve made his daily life much more enjoyable. I can almost hear his sigh of relief from here. Glad that you cared enough and were tuned in enough to figure that out. Very nice.

    Some people dress up their pets for reasons of vanity, because they grew up dressing their dolls, because they like to style it up, or for similar reasons.

    But as you say, some cats such as hairless cats or geriatric cats require clothing.

    When is serves a needed function, I don’t think there is anything wrong with a growing cat wardrobe and having a little fun with it as long as there is enough respect involved.

    You mentioned that you try not to go overboard on taking too many pictures since it might annoy your cat. You also mentioned that you’re very careful about making sure the clothing fits for comfort and safety. I would say that you are a concerned cat parent who is taking the proper precautions.

    I would say that you go about it in the right way. Since it helps Sealy and Cujo, it’s more than just okay, it’s necessary and very considerate of you. You’re an excellent caretaker.

    Alterations are a good idea and I like your “Where to buy” section. It will help those looking to purchase some cat clothes.

    =^..^= Hairless Cat Girl =^..^=

    • Hi Liz, you make a very sensible and practical comment on this slightly difficult subject. It a tricky subject but there is no doubt that the only reason to put clothes on a cat or do anything else to change a cats appearance is if it is for reasons of the cat’s health and well being.

  8. I know Hairless Cat is going to comment on this. She has Sphynx cat companions. I think it is fair to say that on occasion it is fine to put clothes on a cat. The reason would have to be related to the cat’s health.

    That said, Elisa loves to dress Sealy. Do some women to dress up their cats because they are a baby substitute? I am not saying that is the case with Elisa but it is the case sometimes, I am sure.

    Dressing up cats for fun is as result of anthropomorphizing the cat.

    • I can’t wait to hear from Hairless Cat. The Sphynx is Lauras favorite breed, but I told her her they are very special as to the physical needs.

      This story reminded me a lot of the ones I did called Do You Have Cat Grandkids? When shopping for Sealy it reminded me of when Laura was a baby and I’d go dress shopping for her.

      I’m just glad I have a physical excuse with Sealy to do this or it would feel really weird. I don’t have any desire to dress any of the other cats.

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