There’s no denying your cats are cute! Of course it’s tempting to amp up the adorable factor and outfit them in stylish pet clothes, but there’s some important considerations when selecting shirts for cats. 

Knowing the right materials to keep your cat comfortable is key. After all, they do already wear a fur coat every day! Are you dressing up your feline friend for a special occasion, warmth, or just everyday cuteness

Regardless of the reason, make sure you’re choosing one of these three cat clothing materials

Reasons to Dress Your Cat

The most obvious reason to select some stylish attire for your fur-baby is for special occasions. A halloween costume or tacky Christmas sweater that matches yours makes for a truly memorable photo opportunity!

Aside from just-plain-fun, there are practical reasons to dress your cat. Some cats might require extra warmth if they are a breed with short-to-no hair. Perhaps you live in a cold climate and they spend a lot of time outdoors.

Cat clothes can also be helpful after a medical procedure, to prevent them from accessing any stitches or wounds. But remember that in these cases, safety and fabric considerations are even more important than the cute costume they wear once a year.

Considerations When Choosing Shirts for Cats

Perhaps the most important thing when choosing shirts or clothing for cats is your cat’s temperament. If you know your feline is already persnickety or gets overwhelmed easily, an all-out costume is probably not the best choice for them. 

The last thing you want to do is make your pet uncomfortable, or worse, scared. Selecting a simple accessory, like a bandana or bow you can add to their collar, might be a better option.

Age is also an important factor. Kittens or senior cats are more likely to get tangled up in clothing, since they lack some of the agility of an adult cat, but if you know your cat is perfectly fine with donning apparel once in a while (or even likes it!), consider the factors below when picking their clothing.


Safety is key. Make sure there are no loose parts, wires or threads on the shirts for cats that could get caught. Check for any small choking hazards as well.


Many costumes for pets probably weren’t designed with comfort in mind. That’s okay if your pet is wearing it for a quick photo and then taking it off. If you plan to keep your cat in their clothes for a while, however, comfort is really important. 

Consider the material (more on this below!) and the design of the item. Would you consider wearing it yourself? If the answer is no, your cat probably isn’t going to want to wear it either. 


Make sure your cat can move freely and unobstructed in their clothing. You want items that aren’t too loose or too snug. Also, any items that risk covering their eyes, ears or bottom aren’t safe. It’s better to just pass on those.

3 Best Materials for Cat Clothes

Unfortunately, a lot of clothing for pets is made with cheap material. Synthetic fabrics tend to be itchy, more constricting, and less breathable. They might even make a crinkly sound – which can scare your cat

The best materials for cat clothes are high-quality, breathable fabrics, like the ones used in t-shirts for humans. Although it’s nice for your sweaters, steer clear of wool too. It can be itchy for cats, and generally provides too much warmth for animals’ coats. 

  1. Cotton

Cotton is the clear winner as a pet clothing material. It’s natural, breathable, versatile, and easily washed as well. It comes in multiple weights, so look for items made with lightweight cotton. 

  1. Spandex

Spandex on its own is probably too intense for your cat’s clothing items. They aren’t planning on attending any exercise classes with you, after all! 

However, a touch of spandex with another fabric like cotton can make for a great blend. It offers a bit of stretch that keeps your pet comfortable while allowing them to move freely.

  1. Polyester and Poly-Blends

Although some 100% polyester items can get quite warm, a poly-blend can offer your cat some nice warmth without getting too hot. Polyester is often used in pet costumes and is a versatile fabric that handles washing well. 

The Purr-fect Fit

Once you’ve found the perfect clothing material and item for your feline friend, flaunt it! Organize a fun photo shoot, or dress them up for your holiday party. But don’t forget that the best thing you can do for them when choosing clothing is to prioritize their health

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