We’re all suckers for cat clothing. We get excited when we catch a glimpse of cats wearing chunky cardigans on our Instagram feeds. We spend our money on cute cat outfits even though we know our cats aren’t going to wear them – ever.
While we swoon over other people’s furbabies strutting entire ensembles, we wonder: How can we get our cats to wear sweaters? Whether they’re under the weather or ready to hit the runway (or should we say catwalk!?), how can we get our fluffy friends to become even fluffier by wearing wooly vests?
Worry not, we’ve got the answers you’re searching for down below!
How to get your cat to wear a sweater?
1. Allow her to explore the sweater to make sure it won’t attack her
Cats don’t need sweaters, for the most part. Cats don’t even acknowledge sweaters because they’re already wearing warm coats. Sweaters, chunky cardigans, and wooly vests might be cute to you, but rest assured, they aren’t cute to your cat.
But, that doesn’t mean that your kitto can’t take one for the team and wear the sweater you bought her for a minute or two (enough time to take a picture, right?)
For starters, allow your cat to explore the sweater, sniff around it, and push the sleeves with her little paws – she needs to be assured that the sweater isn’t an enemy! Furthermore, don’t shy away from playing with the sweater near your cat to ensure she notices how fun the sweater can be.
2. Offer her treats to make her comfortable around the sweater
Treats make everything better, right? Whenever you’re trying to teach your cat to do something, prepare plenty of treats to bribe her.
We’re aware that bribery and corruption might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s one of the best ways to get your cat to do whatever you want her to – Meow Mix can make your cat do odd, odd things.
While your furry friend starts getting comfortable around the sweater, offer her a treat every time she doesn’t make a face, growl, or attack the sweater. And don’t forget a treat to calm her down when she starts throwing tantrums.
3. Try out a fun activity while your cat’s getting used to the sweater
Make the entire experience entertaining and your fluffer’s guaranteed to wear that sweater with courage and confidence. More times than not, we’re the ones who make our fluffy friends afraid of doing certain things because we make them seem scarier than they are.
Moreover, we dread the moment we need to do something our fluffers don’t particularly appreciate and we make them think, “Wow, mom doesn’t want to do this!” Rather than that, think up a game revolving around the sweater to make it seem less intimidating and more “approachable.”
4. Experiment with a sock
Sweaters aren’t scary, right? But sweaters aren’t comfortable for your furry friend to wear because she’s never worn them before. Before you spend a fortune on an overpriced cat cardigan, experiment with a sock.
Make a sweater out of a sock (preferably a sock that your cat already adores), and try the same steps we mentioned beforehand. Socks are easy to work with because they’re soft and stretchy – and they’re pretty fashion-forward when you know what you’re doing.
Before getting that overpriced sweater, socks can be a great way to practice without annoying your cat, stressing her out, or overwhelming her (which might cause her to rip the sweater to shreds).
5. Start with a sleeveless sweater made with stretchy, comfy fabric
If you aren’t quite comfortable with putting a sock sweater on your cat and you want to start with the real deal, choose a sleeveless sweater made with a stretchy, comfortable fabric.
Of course, we’re rooting for socks because we don’t want you to potentially waste your money. On one hand, sleeveless sweaters are better to work with and easier to grow accustomed to. On the other, a sweater (even if sleeveless) isn’t something you can pressure your cat to wear if she doesn’t want to – no matter how hard you try.
6. Let her wear the sweater for 1-2 minutes the first time and build it up with each wear
With cats, patience is key. Whether you’re trying to teach them a trick or get them to stop stealing the food off of your plate, you need to be patient and afford them enough time to figure out what you want them to do.
We suggest putting the sweater on your cat for a minute or two to check her reaction. Observe her behavior, read her cues, and take the sweater off the moment she becomes uncomfortable.
Over time, she’ll grow accustomed to the sweater and become more comfortable with wearing clothes for extended periods. Remember, though, one minute at a time!
7. Monitor her while she’s wearing the sweater
We don’t want to make you overthink and overanalyze the fact that you’re thinking of tricking your cat into wearing a sweater.
However, we do need to underline that cats can become extremely overwhelmed, stressed out, and anxious when faced with unknown situations. Hence, we suggest you keep an eye on your kitto every time she wears a sweater and make sure she doesn’t get hurt, stuck, or something worse.
8. Abort mission the second she gets stressed out and overwhelmed
Sweaters might be cute, but your cat’s comfort, safety, and security are much, much cuter.
While there’s nothing wrong with trying to warm your cat up to the thought of feline clothing, abort the mission as soon as you notice your cat getting overwhelmed and anxious.
If she starts pawing and scratching at the sweater, or stands dead still and stares at you, stop whatever you’re doing and comfort her.
Some cats aren’t meant to wear sweaters, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Sooner or later, Instagram and TikTok are going to come out with a different trend you can try out with your furry friend!