Cats in Costume? What to Know Before You Dress Up Your Cat
People with little or no experience with a cat might think it’s just a smidge away from sheer lunacy to play dress up with one. There are solid reasons to back up this prejudicial logic, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t dress up your cat.
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not your cat would tolerate a costume, you’re not alone. And, when it’s done respectfully, carefully, calmly, and safely, your cat might even enjoy it! To help with this attempt, we offer the following tips and tricks.
There are loads of costumes perfect for dogs of various sizes, but perhaps not surprisingly, not a lot for cats. Of course, you’ll see the obvious standbys like bow ties, festive collars, or kitty bandanas, but there are fewer costumes generally available on the market than the ones intended for dogs.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s important to address the differences between these costumes. When you decide to dress up your cat, do not put them in clothes designed for dogs – even if it looks like the costume will fit.
A major component of costume safety hinges on the fit. Whatever you dress your cat in, make sure it has a snug fit. The garment should neither be too tight nor too small, as serious hazards can result from either possibility.
Your cat must be able to breath, see, communicate, eat, move, jump, and go to the bathroom without being hindered by whatever they’re dressed in.
While there may not be a lot of time before Halloween, one favor you can do for your cat before attempting to dress them up, is to offer ample time before the event. Allow your cat to get used to the smell and look of the costume, without putting it on. Leave it in places popular with your cat so they can begin to get used to it and even trust it as something harmless.
Slowly, work up to dressing up your cat. Along the way, positive reinforcement, treats, and a calm, soothing voice will win major points.
Dress Up Your Cat!
Once you dress up your cat, try to distract them from the costume. Play with your cat, offer special treats, and take your pictures quick. You never know how long a cat may tolerate clothing or new gear. However, once your cat gains an understanding of the costume (and isn’t restricted at all), you may be surprised at how well and long they tolerate it.
Your cat may become a seasoned pro at dressing up, you may even run out of costume ideas for them! It’s possible…
Be sure to monitor your cat closely the entire time they’re dressed up, and be able to recognize the signs of discomfort, anxiety, or stress. Keeping your cat happy and safe are the biggest concerns when you think about costume play.
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