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Halloween Cat Costumes? Hissss-terical!

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orange cat in tiara princess dress

“Ready for my close-up!” (Image Copr. Karla Spence/Flickr)

Halloween cat costumes–I can hear the cats snickering (or screaming in horror). Do your cats “do dress up?” With Halloween just around the corner, thoughts of goblins, ghosts and get-ups begin to tease at the back of pet lover’s minds. Princess Molly in the picture seems quite happy with the frills but I suspect my Seren-Kitty wouldn’t be quite so accommodating. If you want your cats to willingly wear costumes, TODAY is not too early to introduce the notion.

In fact, knowing how to get cats to accept wear-ables may be important to kitty health. (How’s that for a teaser? :)) Read on to learn more.

cat in costume

“Snoopy’s got nuthin’ on me!” (Image Copr. Karla Spence/Flickr)

The images in today’s blog were taken by the amazing photographer Karla Spence who obviously has the cat costume thing down pat! Probably the most kitty acceptable accoutrement (especially if your cat already wears a collar) is some neck adornment like the red sash on the Sky Pilot picture, above. Whole body costumes, as below, take a bit more getting used to. Also remember that the photos here–and in advertisements–are POSED shots! Sure the cat wore the costume and looked great at the moment the shutter clicked, but thereafter may have been throwing a hissy fit. The Number One consideration for cats and costumes must be IS IT SAFE, and a close second is–how does it affect your cat emotionally?

cat in motorcycle jacket costume

“Just call me Fonzie.” (Image Copr. Karla Spence/Flickr)

Safety issues include making sure the costume fits correctly. Too tight can cut off circulation or block vision. Too loose can tangle kitty feet, slide off partially and get caught on “schtuff” that again can cause injury or even strangulation.

Check for any chew-able parts of the costume. I caught Seren gnawing the cellophane wrapper on packaging yesterday, so if the costume has “danglies” that entice paws or nibbles, remove them. Remember to SUPERVISE your costumed cat. Even laid back cats that seem to take costumes in stride shouldn’t be left unattended.

Emotional issues also can be problematic. Cats hate change so anything new tends to hiss them off. Slow and gradual introductions to the costume are vital. I have a step by step 7 tips for Halloween costumes written for puppies–but it applies to adult dogs and cats just as well. Please share with anyone you know who plans to dress up their pets for the coming season.

You might want to share it with ANY pet parent. Because as I said earlier, there are times when therapeutic wear can be very beneficial. There’s an awesome product called the Pet Therapy Jacket that has some wonderful functions. It can hold a hot or cold pack in a particular spot (over achy arthritic hips), or help keep a bandage in place on a paw. It comes in several sizes, including jumbo for the largest cats and dogs. Here’s a review of the Pet Therapy Jacket.

cat wearing pet therapy jacket

Seren accepted the Therapy Jacket immediately.

I talked about the Thundershirt in the blog before, and how much it helped Seren deal more calmly with veterinary visits. Well, a Thundershirt is a cat costume! Here’s a review of the Thundershirt, and check out Seren wearing hers below.

Does your cat dress up for the howl-idays? How does that work for you? Do you do full costumes, fancy bows and collars, or does your cat say GET THE !@#$%^! AWAY FROM ME WITH THAT THING! Do tell…

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!

About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

16 responses »

  1. Hissterical is right! Oooh, my leopard-like cat would have any costume shredded and torn off in a minute…my fat, clown cat would just sit there like “hmmm” now what do I do? My son puts his matchbox cars all over him and uses him like a city. He just sits there. They both need thundershirts to get them to the Vet though!

  2. Pretty sure putting a costume on Anubis would result in poop winding up someplace we really do not want poop to be. LOL He tends to have no qualms about showing his displeasure (he even poops different places depending which of us he’s mad at – and trust me, there is a DEFINITE distinctive smell when it’s “angry poop” versus sick, stress, or “oops” – just shy of the stench of the territorial poops he leaves on the back doormat when the neighbors dogs come sniffing around the porch).

    Simba is more laid-back, but I still don’t know how well she’d take to costumes. You can put stuff on her and she’ll just lay there sometimes… but she’s a lazybutt. LOL I have successfully put things around her neck now and then: (mala was taken off shortly after the photo… not that she moved anyway) but I suspect anything more than that she might throw a fit for.

  3. Great post: you cover so many things that don’t occur to pet people until it’s time to get dressed for the photo or party! Very sensible! My cats are mellow but I don’t think they would approve of costumes!

  4. Loved all of the costumes. One year, my oldest granddaughter spent all of her Christmas money buying outfits for her cat. Great fun for Lauren, but I don’t think Purrl was so pleased.

  5. Cats who wear costumes? Inconceivable! Our cat barely lets us pet her, so no costume for her, but our dogs get dressed up. We love our Thundershirts, they work well to calm both our dog and cat. Never thought to use it as a costume, hmmm, that gives me some ideas.

  6. I love pet costumes. My cat wears his little Halloween, Boo Kitty, shirt sometimes. It looks so cute on him 🙂

  7. I love cute pet’s costumes. My cat wears his Halloween, Boo Kitty, shirt from time to time and he seems pretty content in it. I would love to get him a fun Christmas outfit 🙂

  8. Pingback: Friday FaBOOolousness – Celebrating October and Halloween 2012 | Tiffany A White's Ooo Factor

  9. I love your kitty costumes! Especially the tiara. Priceless! Now I’m suddenly feeling the need to post my doggie’s costumes…LOL!


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