In general, cats put up with full Halloween costumes even less than dogs. Most cats don’t do silly. But you can have some fun with your kitty Oct. 31.
Cats who receive regular grooming tend to tolerate more elaborate costumes since their pet grooming sessions help them become accustomed to handling and touches. If your cat wears a collar or tolerates a harness, work with that as a “base” for the costume. You’ll have your cat sitting pretty in no time!
For instance, a black-and-white tuxedo cat needs just a snazzy bow tie clipped to his collar to look even more debonair. He may even go for a collared shirt front hanging down on his chest. A super hero cape that attaches at the back of the collar can also offer an easy way to get kitty into costume without hissing.
For cats who will wear a harness, sew a scale-sized, plush cowboy doll to the strap on his back. Get along, little kitty!
If you’re thinking of putting anything on your cat’s head, do not flatten his ears. Or the fur around his ears. Cat grooming dictates that ears are to be left strictly alone! Most cats don’t like the feel of unkempt fur. Hats with large ear openings or small hats that rest between the ears may work, but some cats won’t tolerate any kind of head gear long.
Play into your cat’s coloring. Orange cats are most of the way there for becoming pumpkins, if they’ll tolerate wearing a pumpkin stem hat on their heads. A fluffy, brown kitty is a shoe-in for a tiger costume with the addition of a “mane” on his collar. Costume your white cat as Hello Kitty or orange tiger kitty as Puss in Boots. Of course, black cats are nearly always ready for Halloween. Affixing something spooky to their collar is all they need!
It’s also fun to go the ironic route with costumes that go against your cat’s appearance, such as dressing your cat as a dog or mouse, or dolling up your dignified Persian as a cheeseburger.
For safety, don’t leave your cat costumed if he’s unattended. He may chew off small parts or get hung up on it trying to remove it. If you practice with kitty in advance and offer plenty of treats in the process, he will tolerate his get-up better. Have fun!
by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant