Many pet owners adore dressing their fur babies up in cute little outfits and jackets, either for aesthetics or to keep them warm. However, not every cat is keen on wearing clothes right off the bat, no matter how much we want them to enjoy their new outfit. So what’s the deal—how can we teach our cats to wear clothes?
Below, we’re going to give you the ten best tips and tricks you can use to teach your cat not only to wear clothes but to enjoy wearing them, too!
Start Putting Clothes on Them While They’re Still Kittens
Without a doubt, the best way to get your pet cat accustomed to anything is to introduce them to it while they’re still young. It’s far harder to get a pet to get used to something when they’re adults (i.e., you can’t teach an old dog new tricks), so if you have the opportunity, try to put clothes on them while they’re still kittens.
You can purchase adorable kitten clothes on Amazon, like this cute sweater here. Make sure you purchase clothes specifically for kittens, as this is a vulnerable age for them. Experiment with different types of clothes to see what types your kitty loves best.
Leave the Clothes Around the Cat Before Putting Iton Them
One great way you can get your cat accustomed to wearing clothes at any age is to leave the clothes around the cat before you attempt to put them on the cat. This way, they can explore the clothes on their own.
Try to keep the clothes in areas where the cat feels comfortable, like its bed or favorite spot in the house. You can even lay the clothes on top of the cat, like a blanket, if they allow it. This way, they’ll get used to the fact that the clothes aren’t anything to be afraid of before you attempt to put them on the cat.
Let Your Cat Sniff the Clothes Before You Put Them On
Cats perceive the world mainly through their olfactory senses (AKA their nose).So, one great way to get your cat used to new clothes is to let them sniff them first.
Don’t force them to do this—simply place the clothes in front of the cat every once in a while, and let it come up to the clothes to smell them on their own. Once they register and recognize the clothes’ smell, they’ll be more open to having them on.
Start with a Collar Piece and Work Your Way Up
Starting with small pieces of clothing and working your way up to those bigger articles is a great way to get your cat used to the idea of wearing things.
For instance, before trying to put a huge sweater on them, try to get your cat to wear something like a bowtie collarfirst. They’re more likely to get used to something small like this initially, and you can slowly start to work your way up to larger articles of clothing as your cat grows more comfortable with the idea of wearing things.
Avoid Clothes That are Too Restraining or Tight for Your Cat
One of the top reasons cats dislike clothing is that they can be too restraining or tight, making them very uncomfortable. Additionally, keeping your cat in clothing that is too small for them can even be bad for their health.
Go for breathable and stretchy fabrics to avoid making your cat feel stuffy or trapped, and make sure the clothing has a little bit of give—but not too much. This leads to our next tip:
Avoid Clothes That Are Too Loose for Your Cat
Clothes that are too loose for your cat can be unfavorable choices as well. Your cat doesn’t want to wear anything that canaffect its mobility, which loose clothing can do, especially once their poor paws or legs get stuck in them as they try to walk around.
Additionally, loose clothing can pose a safety hazard. If your cat likes to have the “zoomies” or is trying to run away from something, the clothes can catch on nearby objects in their path, putting them in harm’s way.
With that said, not only do you want to avoid clothing that’s too tight, but you also don’t want clothing that hangs or droops down past your cat’s body.
Avoid Clothes That Affect the Mobility of Your Cat’s Tail
Your cat’s tail is one of its most sensitive—and important—parts of its body. Therefore, whatever clothes you choose for them to wear, make sure that it does not affect their tail’s mobility. This is a surefire way to get your cat to associate the clothing with discomfort, and then they’ll start to shy away from all types of clothes.
Purchase clothes that don’t interfere with your cat’s tail. Ideally, you’ll want to stickto shirts and sweaters that end before their bottom. And, at all costs, avoid clothes that involve sticking their tail through a hole.
Give Your Cat Treats as a Reward for Wearing Clothes
Of course, conditioning is always a great choice when training any pet to do anything—and that goes for getting cats to wear clothes as well. Get your cat to associate the clothes with a tasty snack every time they react well when they’re exposed to them.
If your cat shows interest in the clothes, or better yet, is calm enough when they try them on, that calls for a treat! The more you give your cat a treat when they interact with the clothes, the more they’ll start associating the clothes with the positive experience of receiving snacks.
Talk to Your Cat as You Put on Their Clothes
Your cat will feel much more at ease when you’re putting on their clothes if you speak sweetly and softly to them as you do it. They’re used to your voice, and if you seem calm and optimistic about them wearing the clothes, they may be far less likely to be scared of them.
You should also avoid making any sudden movements or loud sounds whiletrying to put the clothes on them. This will help deter your cat from being scared or associating the clothes with negative experiences.
Don’t Force the Clothes on Your Cat
Our last tip to you is not to force it. If you notice your cat looking particularly uncomfortable or unhappy when you try to put clothes on it, don’t push it or try to force your cat into them. Not only is this incredibly unpleasant for your furry friend, but you and/or your cat could end up getting seriously hurt if they end up freaking out over this.
At the end of the day, some cats will never be okay with wearing clothes, while some cats will. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is, especially with how sensitive cats can be. It’s best to gauge the reaction of your cat and act accordingly.
There are lots of ways you can try and train your cat to wear clothes. Just make sure you follow the tips above, such as using the right kinds of clothes (not too tight or loose), allowing your catto get used to the clothes before putting them on, rewarding your cat with treats when they remain calm with the clothes on, and more.
But most importantly, do not force your cat to do something they do not want to do to avoid any harm to you or your pet. If it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be; sacrificing your cat’s happiness and comfort isn’t worth it.
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