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Why I Stopped Dressing Up My Cats for Halloween

I once put my cats in costumes for holidays, but scratches and frustrated felines made me look for other ways to get funny cat pictures.

Angie Bailey  |  Oct 30th 2014


I’ve never been one to regularly dress my cats in cute or funny clothing, but I do admit to slipping on a vest or fairy costume for a photo op. Do they enjoy it? Not really, but sometimes it feels like they don’t mind it, especially if it’s an item that doesn’t make them freeze in place and then drop to the floor.

Last Halloween, I wrote a post that featured my cats modeling costumes. After the crankiness and bloodshed that went along with it, I decided I’d no longer subject my cats to wearing outfits … well, aside from the occasional tried-and-true items that don’t appear to piss them off or leave me with a shredded arm.

Before the Halloween debacle of 2013, I always cruised the Target pet aisles for adorable holiday-wear for my kitties. I nearly always bought something festive for them to don while I snapped a few photos. I tried to catch them when they were just awake from a nap, lessening my chance of a rabbit-kick to the face.

I could typically slide the garments onto their bodies, but it eventually seemed to be a mental health and care issue: They looked pretty miserable after the fact. They’d never even look at the camera. I’m pretty sure they were embarrassed their friends might see the incriminating pics on Facebook.

Cosmo is the king of the “freeze and drop” move when he’s wearing an article of cat clothing. Phoebe slinks low to the floor, and Saffy just looks like an emo kid, morosely staring into space in the corner of some hipster coffee shop.

By the time I’ve taken a few pics and begun removing the outfits, the cats become irritated — this is when the claws come out and I’m at risk of bodily harm. Are the Ginsu claws-to-the-arm worth the funny photo of Cosmo in the shiny purple vest? My arm and I no longer think so.

Instead of sliding shirts and tutus onto my kitties, I’ve decided to doll them up in less painful ways. For example, Photoshop works wonders when it comes to wigging out my cats. If Photoshop feels too complicated, PicMonkey is a fun and easy alternative. In fact, I use PicMonkey way more than Photoshop.

I’ve also found that if the cats are pretty relaxed, I can easily plop a hat atop their heads and they don’t seem to care one bit. My tiny sombrero has gotten a real workout lately.

Because I value my arms and don’t want to irritate my cats any more than I already do, I’ve decided to nix the full-on costumes and find other methods for securing hysterical cat photos. I do, however, still have a little prairie skirt that I’d like to slip onto Saffy sometime. I couldn’t bear to part with that one. Laura Ingalls with whiskers? Yes, please!

Do you dress your cats? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

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About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (birthed right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.