It may not be October yet, but meow is the purr-fect time to get started training your kitty to wear Halloween costumes so it's fun for them and you, too!
While dressing your kitty up as a round li’l pumpkin or a sweet little bumblebee is admittedly adorable, it’s important to make sure that your cat isn’t stressed by the experience. After all, we want the howl-iday to be fun for everyone, pets included!
So if you’re going to dress your kitty up this Halloween, here are some tips to keep your kitty happy – even if they’re dressed up like a cowboy!
Shop the cute cat costumes featured in this article in our Halloween Shop!
1. The Purrfect Fit
Make sure anything you put on your cat is properly sized to fit – this includes collars and harnesses, too, not just clothes or costumes! A safe rule of thumb is that you should be able to easily slide a finger under the collar or costume. This is to make sure the costumes aren't too tight and don't impede your cat’s ability to jump, move, and breathe.
2. Start Early
Be sure to introduce your cat to the costume in advance. Leave it out on the floor or near your cat’s favorite napping spot so they can get used to the sight and smell. Try sprinkling it with their favorite treats or some catnip/silver vine to get them interested. And if they lay on it, hey – that’s a bonus! They’ll get their scent on it and it won’t feel like a strange, foreign object to them.
3. Go Slow
After your cat’s used to the sight and smell of the costume, try laying it across your cat’s back for a few minutes to get them used to the feel of it. Don’t try to stick their paws through the armholes or cover their heads at first. And be sure to give your kitty plenty of treats, pets, or playtime in between so your cat associates the costume with a positive experience.
Once your cat is used to the feel of the costume on their back, it can help to slowly walk your cat through the steps of putting on the costume, all the while rewarding them with praise, treats, and breaks for playtime.
4. Observe Their Body Language
Pay close attention to your cat’s body language when dressing them in the costume to make sure they’re not stressed or frightened. While your little kitty pumpkin might look cute as can be, a lashing tail, lowered head and flattened ears can be a sign of distress; and the usual signs of hissing and swatting are all good indicators that your cat is just not feeling the costume. It’s important to understand your cat's needs and never push them to wear a costume if they are experiencing stress or discomfort.
When the costume is finally on, bring on the photos – and treats! If your cat seems to be unsure of what to do, try teasing them with a feather toy to lure your cat to stand up and follow. This will show your kitty that, no, they aren’t paralyzed by the cute bumblebee sweater and that yes, they can easily stand and walk around!
6. Photo Time!
Always keep an eye on your kitty when they’re dressed up in their Halloween best. And when it comes time to snap some photos to capture the sheer adorableness of your kitty in a costume, just keep in mind your cat's comfort and mood, again paying attention to their body language.
With these tips in mind, we hope you and your kitty (whatever their costume may be) have a safe and Happy Halloween!
Planning to dress your kitty up this Halloween? Check out our Halloween Costume Ideas for both you AND your cat!