How Do I Get My Cat to Wear a Costume
It's a debate among cat owners. Some will say it's entirely unnecessary to try to clothe a cat and that he will hate you for even trying. But, every cat is different, and some cats like the feeling of something over them, to keep them warm and make them feel safe.
Some cats may not like something on their head or covering their ears, or they don't like fabric rubbing their legs. Cats will always be finicky about new sensations and feelings, so they don't always acquiesce to new experiences, but you know your cat the best, and it may be worth a try.
Here are some suggestions and do's and don'ts for cat costuming:
Check For Cat ParalysisIf a cat remains stiff and doesn't move when you have put her in a costume, then get it off immediately. That means the cat doesn't like the costume, doesn't know how to get out of it, and isn't sure what she is supposed to do.
Make the Scent FamiliarRub familiar scents on the costumes before introducing it to your cat. Catnip could help too, but you don't want your cat to just roll around in it, so don't use too much of that.
Careful of Strange SoundsVelcro, rubber, zippers, buzzers, or bells could startle your cat and make him run from the costume and hide. You don't want that to happen, you will never get him near the costume again. Strange sounds are not something your cat will like, so be careful of that.
Don't Rub the Fur the Wrong WayOne thing that you will know if you've ever done it is that cats absolutely hate their fur being stroked the wrong way (against the flow). That's the same for any costume that could rub the cat fur the wrong way. It is not only uncomfortable but could be painful as well.
No Masks — EverDon't ever put a mask on your cat or any animal, it will scare them unnecessarily and they will be essentially blind. A headpiece may be all right, but don't put anything on that will obscure or hide a cat's vision, including fluffy collars or low-hanging caps or crowns.
Try a TreatGiving your cat a treat when she is all dolled up may help ease the discomfort your cat may feel at first until she gets used to the costume. All it takes sometimes is a simple distraction, and then she will go on as usual, and may even pose for you.
Have Your Cat Get Used to the CostumeLeave the costume out for a while, let the cat roll in it, play with it, and get used to the fabric. Make the cat costume part of the playing with the cat, so he will not be threatened when it covers him up. Maybe dangle the opened costume over him before trying to put him in it.
The Fewer Dangles, the BetterYour cat will inevitably try to chew, swat or pull at any dangling string or tassels or loose pieces of cloth. Secure anything that is dangling or straying because it will be pulled off eventually anyway.
A Simple FitTry something that doesn't require buttons or is too tight. The looser, the simpler, the easier to snap on or slip on, the better. Make sure it's a proper fit, too. If too big, the cat will just walk out of the costume, if too small she will be too squeezed in.
Make Sure Hats Don't Mash their EarsCats generally hate things on their heads, but especially if the hats or crowns smush their ears. Make sure any head covering has ample space for their ears to pop up and leave their ears free.
Never Force Your KittyIf there's something too tight, or if the cat is howling or growling, just don't try it. Stop forcing the costume on, and leave your cat alone. You will both be happier for it.