house kitten in bed

Do Cats Get Cold Enough for Clothes?

by Sam Salvati - 07/08/20

However cute they may look, most cats don't actually enjoy being bundled up in sweaters and coats. Even in cold temperatures, many cats would prefer not to wear cat sweaters. Having evolved from both predator and prey species, they dislike the constraints that clothing has on being able to move and climb.

But can cats get cold enough for a cat sweater to be necessary? In some specific instances, they can.

When Can Cats Wear Clothes?

cold cat in the snow

Depending on how cold your city or home is, some cats with either no hair or very little hair may appreciate the additional warmth provided by cat clothing. If you believe your cat is dangerously cold, worry about clothing later and take your cat to the vet now.

Another function of cat clothing is to protect a recent wound or infection that has been treated by veterinarians. Sometimes after a cat has received surgery, vets will place a sweater on the cat to prevent her from picking or licking the healing wound. However, some vets run into problems when the cat simply refuses to get dressed.

If you do feel a sweater is necessary and your cat doesn't resist entirely, you should start the process by associating the sweater with something positive for your cat. For example, place some treats on the sweater and let your cat investigate the article of clothing. This will prevent your cat from associating the clothing with anxiety or discomfort. Then, once you place the sweater on your cat, feed her treats and pet her for more positive association with the sweater.

Sweater Selection and Placement

In order to place the sweater on your cat without causing any irritation or discomfort, stretch the neck of the sweater into a ring shape and guide her head through the ring carefully. Then slowly guide her limbs through the openings, guiding her all the way to prevent the sweater from hugging your furry friend too tightly. Lastly, smooth out the sweater so your cat is comfortable.

In order to pick a sweater that's comfortable, pick a nicely fitting garment, not too tight or too loose, and avoid itchy materials.

Pasadena native Sam Salvati is the adoring dog dad to Pablo, Ester and Farris. He enjoys keeping abreast of and writing about the latest developments in pet care.


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