Cat doesn’t quite feel that pyjamas are the “cat’s pyjamas”

This is a very popular video of a cat who looks like he is wearing pyjamas. He is unable to walk and falls over, hence the title to this article and the video.

Cat's pyjamas. Actually he is wearing a Thundershirt which immobilises cats sometimes
Screenshot from video.
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The reason why the cat is immobilised and falls over is because he is not wearing pyjamas. He is wearing what is called a “Thundershirt”.

This is a calming device. You get a similar response in fact with a wide harness. What happens is this: the pressure from the Thundershirt invokes what I call the “kitten response“.

It is a response which is exactly the same in principle to the response of a small kitten when he or she is being carried by the scruff of the neck by his mother. The kitten becomes very calm and draws his hind legs up which allows the mother to transport him without inconvenience.

Although a thick harness or Thundershirt does not place the same sort of pressure on the back of the neck which a mother’s bite does, it does create a very similar disabling response in an adult cat.

The garment must impinge upon the same part of the nervous system that takes place when a mother transports her newborn kitten by the scruff of his neck. It may be the part of the garment which puts pressure on the back of the neck at the base of the skull.

The Thundershirt is designed to calm cats and dogs under stressful situations such as when fireworks are going off. But it appears to go a step further and immobilise the animals. They get used to it and start moving after a while. The initial response is as shown in the video. I don’t think it is as amusing as the cat’s owner makes out.

1 thought on “Cat doesn’t quite feel that pyjamas are the “cat’s pyjamas””

  1. It was mildly amusing at first, with the sound off. When I hear the owners laughing, it somehow loses it’s hilarity. I don’t like to hear people laughing at cats, unless the cat is in on the joke (and I do believe they have a sense of humor). I think of things in terms of from the cat’s point of view. It’s uncomfortable, inhibiting and the cat doesn’t know what to do about it but give up. I don’t like that, philosophically. And the fact that cats eventually overcome it and learn to move with it anyway, makes it ineffectual for it’s intended purpose in the long run.


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