This is true of both collars and clothes. Start Early Get your cat used to the idea of wearing a costume early by leaving it out on the floor. Be sure to reward your kitty with treats or playtime so he associates the costume with positive things! After your kitty has had time to get used to an article of clothing or costume, now you can try dressing her in it. Immediately after you put something on her, let her play with her favorite toy or chase after some high-reward treats. Cats should only wear clothes under your supervision to make sure nothing happens. A cat left alone in clothes might try to get out of them and end up wearing a shirt around his waist or pulling his leg out of an arm-hole.
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But again — is it worth the risk? Just imagine how much better your relationships might be if you enjoyed playtime and treat time without the manhandling involved in dressing them up. As hard as I will try all my life I will never be able to completely understand my cats, but I respect them for what, who and how they are.
And cats are not humans. As mentioned before - dressing up your cat for no other reason than because you find it cute or funny or want to impress your social media following selfish, vain and serves no purpose than your own with no positives for the cat.
The smell and feel of these costumes against their pristine coats that they have spent so many hours grooming is enough to tip some cats over the psychological edge. They will need to spend hours cleaning their fur to get rid of that hideous smell on their coats. When you dress up your cat, he or she has no choice — you literally dominate their world whether you force the costume on them or condition them to allow you to do it and they are completely dependent on you. So yes — I despise the time leading up to Halloween because all of the above goes through my head now every time I see another cat looking at me with big sad eyes out of a costume on Instagram.
I do hope after reading this or before! If so - I thank you and encourage you to tell your friends, family, followers and neighbours. Feel free to share this blog or write your own. Only by speaking up and educating each other we can effect a change — no matter the subject.
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There are no scientific studies on the effect of costumes and clothing on cats that I could find. Thankfully, in my opinion,because it would mean dressing up cats for the purpose of science. However most cat behaviourists will be able to tell you that no cat "loves" being dressed up, but can be made to accept it via positive conditioning. Positive conditioning, as mentioned above, is a powerful tool often used to train service animals and is, in my opinion, a tool that should be used responsibly.
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Using it to make a cat accept something that has no other purpose than to amuse us is simply selfish and vain in my view. As stated in the beginning I am aware that a lot of people will have dressed their cats up in the past never aware or considering these aspects.
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