If you’re surfing the internet for photos of these adorable pets in cat clothes, whether sweaters, vests, or jackets, you’re sure to find endless photos of cute cats. They all look snug and prepared for the cold weather.
But are these items of cat clothing really necessary? Do you need to shop for cat clothes in colder weather?
I know you’re as eager as I am to find out, so read to the end.
What are the Important Aspects to consider?
Signs to know your cat is cold.
- Shivering or shaking
- Curling up into a tight ball
- Tucking his limbs under his body.
- Going closer to lamps, fireplaces, or seeking extra sources of warmth like patches of sunlight.
Do cats need winter clothes?
Before you start buying cat clothes for winter, it’s important to understand how the workings of your cat’s body. Nature has already given every cat a natural coat/fur which acts as a natural insulator against the cold. This coat helps to keep him warm and prevents him from getting cold when there is a drop in temperature during the winter months.
Since they are already naturally insulated, dressing them in cat clothes could cause overheating thereby tampering with the body temperature of the cat. A cat with a natural, healthy coat, doesn’t need cat clothes during cold weather unless you’re going to be taking him outside in extremely cold weather.
As I said, a cat with a healthy coat doesn’t need cat clothes but we can make a few exceptions.
- Cats who have no coat, such as one whose coat was recently shaved due to surgery. Such cats may benefit from an extra layer of clothing in the winter. These clothes would also restrain them from licking cuts.
- Hairless cats, such as the sphynx that may need some cat clothes to help give them more warmth and provide comfort. These breed of cats get cold more easily.
- Outdoor short hair cats These type of outdoor cats are at a high risk of catching hypothermia when the outside temperature falls below freezing point and may need warm clothing such as cat sweaters and booties. The same considerations apply even to long hair outdoor cats as they can still get frostbite in their extremities ( tips of ears, tail and paw pads ) during cold winter months.
Items of clothing as a general rule aren’t really necessary unless the cats are in an extremely cold environment but the decision on this is entirely up to the owner and a selection of good quality items can be viewed on the clothes and accessories section on this site.
Can Cat Clothes Harm Cats?
Buying and dressing up your cat in cat clothes can be fun but is it worth it? For all its worth, you might be doing more harm than good to the cat in question. Cat clothes are not for every cat. Unless you have a hairless cat, avoid putting clothes on cats. Here’s why;
A cat can suffer from the cold outside, prompting you to try and protect it with suitable cat clothes. However, cats are indifferent and independent animals and know how to regulate their temperature. There is no need to buy cat clothes that are not only expensive, they also make your cat uncomfortable.
If your cat doesn’t need clothes, it’s best to leave them alone because clothes can pose safety risks.
Safety Risks to Cats
- Cat clothes can restrict your cat from moving about freely leading to accidents. For example, a cat might slip and fall if they mistakenly step on their clothes while walking.
- Cat clothes are risky because they can easily get caught on objects, like trees and furniture. This could cause severe injuries to your cat. Also, your cat can get tangled in those clothes while trying to take them off since they are very good at getting out of their clothing. This also means you would have to keep buying lots of clothes as your cat’s clothes might go missing.
- More importantly, wearing clothes could cause overheating for a cat. They already have their fur coats for warmth, adding clothes to them can interfere with the normal regulation of their body temperature.
- Some cats may also feel stressed while wearing a sweater, and stress can lead to all sorts of problems. Not every cat is comfortable wearing clothes. Truth be told, clothes can be stressful for them. If you have to, introduce the clothes gradually and make sure to monitor your cat’s personal comfort to make sure the clothes aren’t causing more issues when they should be solving it.
- Also, clothes that don’t fit properly can make your cat very uncomfortable.
Natural ways to keep your cat warm.
Cats don’t need special clothes to provide warmth. To be honest, cats may look irresistibly cute in clothing, but putting clothes on your cat isn’t the best shield against cold weather. To reduce stress and ensure your cat’s comfort, focus on simpler ways to keep your cat warm. There are plenty of other practical solutions to ensure the cat’s warmth and protection. You might be surprised to know that these steps are even more favorable to your cat’s well-being than cat clothes.
- Start by maintaining a consistent temperature in your home. As much as you are trying to cut down costs, resist turning down the thermostat when you are leaving the house, especially when the weather is cold. Ensure the heat is kept where it should be for your cat. Also, make sure to keep an eye on your cat to know if the heat keeps him warm enough. If the temperature is comfortable for you, that means it will also be comfortable for your cat too.
- Instead of clothes, try getting your cat a heated bed instead. This should keep him extra warm. A heated bed is the first place your cat would curl up in when he’s feeling cold. The picture below is an example of such a bed that you can purchase from Amazon. You can find full details of it by clicking on the picture.
- As much as you love taking your cats for evening walks, avoid doing so when the weather is cold. Very low temperatures can be harmful to cats, especially those who are aged or who aren’t healthy. Resist the temptation and keep your cat indoors. In cases where you have to take him to see the vet or you can’t leave him home alone, make sure to warm up your car first before bringing him in so he won’t easily feel the temperature change.
Knowing that cat clothes aren’t really necessary does not imply that your cat can’t ever or shouldn’t wear a sweater, or that you have to empty his wardrobe. Just try as much as possible to minimize the amount of time your cat has to wear those clothes and let it be more like an opportunity for you to take really cute photos of them instead of making it an all-day thing.
Cat clothes should be a short-term strategy for warmth. Using natural ways of providing is a more suitable long-term strategy because not only is it safe, but it also ensures that your cat is comfortable.
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16 thoughts on “Do You Need Special Cat Clothes For Your Pet’s Warmth And Protection?”
I must admit, apart from a bow around the neck, I have yet to see cats wearing clothes where I live in South Africa. We have a very temperate climate, so I guess the cat has enough warmth just with his fur coat, so it is not necessary. Also thinking of the cats I know, I don’t think they would enjoy wearing clothes of any sort. They even get rid of their collars in ways I can’t fathom.
Thank you Michel for those comments. I have also lived in South Africa before finally settling down in Australia which has a similar climate. Winters can still get quite cold even in such temperate climates and it is mainly the outdoor short hair cats that may need some form of protective clothing when temperatures drop. You are definitely correct about some cats hating collars as I used to find one of our cat’s collars at the foot of a tree that he had climbed and it was a mystery to me how he had got it off!
This a great article!
I have a cat and a dog. The cat doesn’t have problems with cold weather, but the dog is cold all the time. That’s why we always cover her with a blanket, and she doesn’t mind that at all. Haha
I don’t really like those clothes for animals, but for example, when we go for a walk with the dog in winter, those are unfortunately necessary. Otherwise, she catches a cold.
I can notice that the cat is also laying on the blanket with us a little more than usual, but he’s not showing any other signs of being cold, so he certainly doesn’t need sweaters or anything like that.
Great comments Alisa and much appreciated. Both cats and dogs can be susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia in very cold conditions and it is best to keep them indoors when it is too cold especially animals with thin coats of hair
Of course! They’re both kept in our apartment. They’re sleeping with us. What else can I tell? 😀
However, the heating season hasn’t started here yet, so that transition period is the worst for all of us.
You are right to suggest that most cats do not need cat clothes to stay warm as most have been blessed with a permanent warm coat. I do think the heated bed is a great idea though as cats seem to curl up and enjoy some heat when sleeping. It also provides the security you need so that you do not worry about the cat. The animal will simply and naturally go to its bed when cold. Thank you for a great article on cat care. I must buy a heated bed for my sparkles.
Thank you for those comments which I greatly appreciate. From personal experience I know that cats do like warmth when sleeping as one of our cats used to sleep at the foot of our bed under the covers on cold winter nights!
Hey great post!
Websites like this are a great help and provide good knowledge for those who aren’t sure or are new to having fur babies! My friend has a cat who she often dresses up for fun however it does seem like the cat is uncomfortable especially if it’s left wrapped for longer periods.
This is going to be shared for sure!
Thank you and pleased you liked this website! Your friend is definitely right. If their pet does allow the owner to dress her up it should only be done for a short duration otherwise you will have a very stressed out cat!
Thank you very much for this valuable detailed post about Special Cat Clothes For Warmth And Protection. I actually have two cats. I was looking for this too. Because how they must have felt on very cold days. Your post had a lot of important information about it. Keep posting like this. I definitely share this.
Much appreciate those comments and pleased that you liked this article. Thanks for sharing it..
Hello James, what a wonderful post about clothing for cats. I must admit that whenever I think of clothing for pets I think of dogs mostly. The information you have provided is very valuable for cat owners.
We do not have any pets in the home but those folks who have cats will love this information. You have brought up a number of points that I never would have thought about.
Many thanks for those comments William. Generally speaking if your pet ( cat or dog ) dislikes wearing clothes you shouldn’t force them to do so as their fur coats insulate them from heat and cold. However it is a different story when Winter temperatures drop below 45F or 7C and the pets are outside for lengthy periods.
In this article we see so many great clothes to choose from when it comes to your cat and there are multiple options . They are good clothes for your pets warmth and protection. This winter is going to be cold so we know that we must collect all the clothes we can to keep our pets warm.
Many thanks for those comments which I greatly appreciate
Thanks so much!