Hello, everyone! I hope you are doing well! In this post I will talk about what you can do if your cat hates pet clothes. A lot of the time I receive messages from customers, who even before receiving the sweater ask what is the best way to make sure the cat will love the sweater. And I am not surprised they ask it! I am sure we’ve all been in the situation where your cat becomes paralyzed, cannot run or jump, or is falling on the side while wearing a sweater. Yes, even one of my lovely cats, Beliza, who is now loving the warmth the sweater gives, was one of those cats. So how did she go from hating cat sweaters to enjoying and modelling them? Well, here’s some advice!
Lots of treats. Treats are the power, and you’re the one holding them! Cats love treats just as much as dogs do, and they can be used for a good purpose. When putting on and taking off the sweater, always be very affectionate towards the cat and give them their favorite treats. This way your lovely pet will associate wearing clothes with something positive, which is exactly what you want. A little bit off topic – still to this day I can’t understand why there are no freely available cat treats at the vet’s office? There always are treats for dogs, but never for cats. Double standards, considering cats need to associate the vet with something positive as well. We always take our own treats with us! 😊
Keep it short. If your cat isn’t used to cat clothes, don’t keep the sweater on for long. First time, put it on for 5 minutes, while giving affection and treats, like I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Next day you can prolong it by 5 minutes and keep the sweater on for 10 minutes total. Keep on repeating it until your kitty seems to be comfortable wearing the clothes. It may look like a bit of a hassle (believe me, it isn’t!), but it’s totally worth it.
Do something your cat enjoys while (s)he is wearing a sweater. Does your cat love a certain game? Or maybe (s)he has a favorite toy? Do something your kitty enjoys while they’re wearing pet clothing, and they will forget they even have it on! 😊
Before investing in good clothing, try out the sock. Now you may think: “Hey, aren’t you writing this article in order to make us buy your clothing?” While I appreciate each and every single person who supports me and my 4 cats, I would never trade my dignity or fairness. For this reason I will give you a simple advice – before going all out and spending hundreds of dollars on (hopefully) well made pet clothing, try out the oldie goldie sock. Just cut off the thumbs part, cut out two holes for the front legs, and ta da – you got yourself a simple kitty sweater! It’s great for training and also doesn’t cost a thing. You can also do the same trick with old shirt/sweater sleeve, it works just as well!
Always keep an eye on your pet. I personally have never ever heard anything happening to cats while wearing clothes that fit them well, but I always say: better safe than sorry! For this reason I always suggest not leaving your kitty alone for longer periods of time while they’re wearing clothes. You have no idea, how many times I’ve heard people be like “Oh, I buy from this or that seller, they make clothes for cats, and I am leaving my pets alone for the whole day while I’m at work; (s)he makes clothes for cats specifically, so nothing will ever happen, I feel safe leaving my pet like this”. Honestly, this makes me really angry, because IT DOES NOT MATTER WHO MADE THE CLOTHING FOR YOUR CAT OR IF THE CLOTHING IS MEANT SPECIFICALLY FOR CATS – THINGS CAN HAPPEN ANYWAY. I personally think it’s irresponsible to leave your pet completely alone for a very long period of time while wearing pet clothing/accessories. Let me tell you a quick story as to why I have such a strong opinion regarding things like this.
When I was a kid, maybe 12-13 y/o, we had a cat we loved a lot. And because we loved her, we’d buy her cute accessories, including collars, that are MEANT FOR CATS. That was until one day our lovely kitty decided to climb up the tree as we would let her out to the yard. It was a beautiful day, so she was outside, and I was near her just talking to my dad. Suddenly I saw this happen: our beloved cat climbs up the tree branch, slips, her collar gets stuck on the branch and she hangs on that branch choking. I ran to her as soon as I could, grabbed her and tried to get her loose, but she was stuck. She was in shock and didn’t know what to do, and she ended up grabbing and biting my wrist (I still have the scars to this day). It was a bloodbath! Thankfully my father had a pocket knife with him, and he managed to cut off the collar. By the time we freed her, the cat was unconscious, so my mom performed a CPR, and thankfully she was able to revive her, and the kitty was fine afterwards, just very shook for a while. And so was I – I was literally traumatized for life after this. Now I do not put any collars on my cats (only sometimes for photoshoots, when they’re sitting still), and for this reason I am extremely cautious with clothes as well. Like I mentioned before – I have never heard anything happen to cats while wearing clothes, and I would prefer it to stay that way!
Start with sleeveless sweaters. Sleeveless sweaters give more freedom than the ones with sleeves. It does not matter how well the sleeves are put in, sleeveless ones will always be more appropriate for a first time wearer. Not having the sleeves also gives less coverage, which is great for a kitty that’s not used to wearing clothes.
Make sure the fabric is stretchy. One of the reasons I knit clothes is not only because I love it, but also because they’re one of the most stretchy things you will come by! While fleece is nice and soft, it is nowhere near as stretchy as knit fabric. That’s one of the reasons why my handknitted sweaters also have no seams – I try to make the sweaters as less bulky as possible, because every little bit counts. Especially if you own some active cats like I do!
I hope you liked this week’s blog post! Next time I will talk about the process of buying cat clothes and how to choose the most suitable ones for your kitty’s needs. Have a great day everyone!