In just a few weeks we’ll be celebrating the most festive time of the year where everyone gets together, exchanging gifts and good laughs and relishing on memories of the year that is soon to pass. And while everyone will be in their best attire as they feast on whatever is on the Christmas table, why not include in your list these best cat Christmas costumes this Holiday season? We can bet not only will your feline friend feel like the star of the gathering, you’d have plenty of opportunities for some wonderful snapshots of the holidays with your pet, too. So, check out what we have in store for you this coming Holiday season.
Cat Christmas Costumes Buying Guide
Buying clothes for your pet cat is not really difficult. However, there are certain things that you really have to keep in mind if ever you do wish to dress them up for the holidays. Here are a few considerations you will have to think about before hitting that “Buy Me” button.
An ill-fitting wardrobe, no matter how elegant and stunning it may look, will significantly decrease the overall value of the cosplay experience. For your pets, a really tight-fitting outfit can restrict their movement, hamper their senses, and make them want to take it off which can expose them to a host of other problems. An outfit that is too loose will also have its own set of consequences. So, size, in this case, really matters.
Your feline friend is not SuperCat. And even if it were, it would still be utterly foolish to think that your feline pal will be okay wearing an outfit that is as heavy as its body weight. No one in its right mind will want to move around in a heavy costume, unless the reason for doing so is to limit movement and to turn your pet into a life-sized statue for everyone to have a decent photo op with.
We cannot stress this enough. Like our children, our pets are dependent on us when it comes to choosing products that are safe for them. In addition to the usual harmful chemicals we have to be wary about, you’d also have to check at the construction of the outfit. Make sure it will not get torn easily and that it doesn’t have small parts that can be considered as choking hazards. These outfits should also not restrict blood flow and should not be adorned with spiky things or sharp objects that can injure your feline pal.
How to Pick the Right Size for Your Cat
Whether the costume is for you, your cat, or any other pet that you may have in your household, knowing the right size is the very first thing that you will need to establish. A costume may look dashingly stunning and totally out of this world, but if it doesn’t fit, then it will only end up in the trash bin. Of course, you can rip it apart and then add a few inches or so to increase its size. But that will already ruin the beauty of the outfit. So, even before you start looking for a costume for your purring pal, you have to take very accurate measurements of its dimensions.
Most cat costume manufacturers have specific sizes for their creations often ranging from small to extra-large and everything in between. Many of these size measurements are based on breed categorization wherein they group kitties according to their breed size. For example, they can have the Singapura, Munchkin, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, American Curl, and Siamese grouped together in one size classification of small. Maine Coon, Egyptian Mau, Burmese cat, Savannah, and the American Bobtail can then be clustered into another category for large. There are certain drawbacks to using this system though.
As far as everyone knows, there really is no such thing as a standard in the feline world. As such, you may have a Devon Rex which ultimately fits in the ‘small’ category, but owing to individual differences, your tabby happens to be larger than usual. So what do you get? A tight-fitting costume that looks more likely to snuff the breath out of your feline friend. As such, if you really want a nice-fitting outfit for your meower, don’t look at generalized manufacturer sizes. The size small in one company may already be medium in another.
The good news is that there is now an ongoing movement towards using specific ranges of measurements to define size classifications. For instance, an outfit classified as small may have a length of 5 to 6 inches, a neck circumference of 4 to 5 inches, and a chest circumference of 7 to 8 inches. This is just an example, of course. The point is that for every size classification, many manufacturers now put the range of measurements that will fit into that size classification. So, you might have a pet that is considered as a small breed but can be classified as medium because of its body dimensions.
In our example there are three parameters that you need to measure in your cat: neck circumference, body length, and chest circumference or the girth. To take these measurements, you will need a flexible tape measure, preferably a cloth version used by tailors and seamstresses.
Place the tip of the tape measure at the base of your pet’s neck, usually located just above the shoulder blades, and run the tape all the way towards the tail. Note the junction between the back and the tail. This is your cat’s body length. Some cat owners measure only about two-thirds the length from the base of the neck. Others would only get the half-way distance marker. But, you do get the idea.
- Neck circumference
Locate your cat’s shoulder blades and gently feel for its throat. The junction between the movable joints of the neck and the immovable areas of the cat’s torso is technically its neck. Wrap the tape measure about an inch above this junction and take the measurement. Now add another inch or even 1.5 inches to your final measurement to give allowance to the collar. What you’re looking for is a collar that you can fit about 2 fingers in.
- Chest circumference
Look for the widest section in your cat’s chest. This is typically located just behind the forelegs. Wrap the tape measure around this region and take the measurement. Add an inch or two as allowance.
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Safety Tips for Pet Costumes
Safety is always an important concern among dedicated pet owners. And while you may think that a kitty costume is not inherently dangerous, there are certain things that can expose your pet to risks. As a pet parent, this is one thing you don’t want to face. As such, we’ve gathered some of the most helpful tips on how to exercise safety whenever you’re working with pet costumes.
- Train your pet to love the costume
Just as there are fanatical cosplayers among humans, there are also those who absolutely hate it. Remember, your pet doesn’t really want to wear any kind of costume. It is basically your idea that they should dress up in something fancy. As such, the first thing that you need to do is to train your pet to love its costume. It will take time before it warms up to the idea, but if you’ve spent all your life butt-naked with the only covering is your fur, then you know how it feels if someone suddenly decided to put something on you besides your fur. So, be patient enough in teaching your pet to love whatever it is you want it to wear.
- Steer clear of choking hazards
Many costumes come with accessories or adornments that can get loose and be swallowed by your pet. If these are large enough, then your little friend will not be able to take it into its mouth and swallow. On the other hand, smaller objects like buttons and studs can be easily swallowed and be lodged into your pet’s throat. This can lead to choking which can make it difficult to breath.
- Always supervise your pet
Always consider your pet as your baby who needs your supervision every step of the way. There are a lot of things that a pet can do with a costume. Its paws can get entangled in loose thread or it can swallow smaller objects. Its costume might get snagged onto objects, too.
- Understand that extremes of age are not good candidates for costumes
Normally, experts don’t recommend dressing up juveniles and seniors. Juveniles have yet to learn proper ‘pet behavior’ while seniors may already have their mobility and senses greatly diminished. As such, if you have a kitten or a senior cat, you might want to go for simpler accessories instead of a full-blown costume.
- Ensure freedom of movement
It is important to make sure your pet’s movements are not hampered or restricted. They should still be able to walk and run effortlessly, stretch their legs, jump up the table and onto your window sill, and the like.
- Be mindful of pet body language
Our pets don’t have the faculty of human language and as such they may not be able to communicate their needs, or distress, in words that we understand. However, they do display telltale signs of distress. So, learn this body language and be on lookout for its occurrence.
- Keep it light
Nobody wants to wear something that is as heavy as their body. If you have to provide a costume for your pet, be sure that it is of lightweight material. Otherwise, it will simply be too uncomfortable for your pet. This is especially true if you’re looking at a complete wardrobe that includes clothes, headpieces, and even accessories like capes and others. While these may look great on your pet, you’re essentially burdening them needlessly.
- Don’t limit their senses
It’s imperative that your pet’s outfit doesn’t get in the way of the full functionality of their senses particularly their sense of seeing, hearing, and smelling. You might want to include their sense of taste, too. The point is that any outfit should not interfere with the functioning of these organs as your pets are quite dependent on these.
The wardrobe we choose for our kitties for the Christmas holidays should reflect our understanding of the safety implications of using such items. Training remains an important aspect of pet safety, even when talking about the use of such specialty wardrobes and accessories. Equally important is choosing the correct size of such wardrobes so that these will not interfere with basic pet physiology. And once we understand these things, we can begin shopping for the most amazing outfits for our kitties this Christmas. Or, you can just choose one or two from our list of the best cat Christmas holiday costumes and you’re all set for a Merry Christmas with your feline friend.
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