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8 DIY Christmas Sweaters for Cats To Make Today (With Pictures)

Written by: Brooke Bundy

Last Updated on January 10, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Woman knitting with a gray cat on her lap

8 DIY Christmas Sweaters for Cats To Make Today (With Pictures)

Christmas is a time for festive decorations and thoughtful giving amongst friends and family, perhaps even to those you don’t know through charitable donations. Many of us surround ourselves with the joy that the holidays bring. They only come once a year, after all.

We might even dress nicely for end-of-year celebrations and wear our best Christmas sweaters. Now, you can easily DIY an adorable Christmas sweater for cats so your feline friend can also share the excitement of the season.

Whether your crafty skills stop at no-sew or you already know how to knit or crochet (or are ready to learn), there’s a Christmas sweater pattern you and your cat are sure to love below.

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The 8 DIY Christmas Sweaters for Cats

No-Sew Patterns

1. DIY Sock Sweater by Lene Eik

Materials: Sock, thread
Tools: Scissors, needle
Difficulty Level: Easy

This DIY Sock Sweater is the easiest one we’ve found. It’s probably best for a kitten or small cat, and you’ll need to find an appropriately sized sock. With so many cute holiday-themed socks available in all sizes, this can be a great way to keep a litter of Christmas kittens warm on a budget or allow you to change up your kitty’s look more often.

After you’ve made the appropriate cuts in the sock shown in the video, you don’t necessarily have to sew around the cut edges. However, it makes for a cleaner look and will stop them from fraying if you use one made from a knitted material. Frayed yarn may pose a hazard for small kitties, so this extra step is recommended.

cat paw dividerSewing Patterns

2. DIY Cat Hoodie by acetually

Materials: Fabric, iron on fuse tape, thread
Tools: Measuring tape, scissors, clippers, sewing machine
Difficulty Level: Advanced beginner

This DIY Cat Hoodie is designed for those with little experience with a sewing machine. If you at least know how to operate one, this could be a great first project for you, especially as Ace walks you through the pattern from beginning to end, including how to measure your cat for the best fit. She includes a link to the templates in the video description so you can print and cut the fabric according to those measurements.

You and your cat can now step out in a similar fashion with matching hoodie styles. When shopping for fabric, choose a jersey knit or fleece, as most commercially made hoodies are made from these materials. They are available in many colors and prints, including festive holiday styles, giving you plenty of options.

3. TheTailoress Cleopatra Pyjama by The Tailoress

Materials: Fabric, thread
Tools: Scissors, pins, sewing machine
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

The Cleopatra Pyjama is also designed for hairless or nearly hairless cat breeds but is an excellent way to bring the kitty into the family “matching pajama” holiday photos. Just like the pattern featured above, the designer offers diagrams, videos, and email support to help you along as you create this adorable cat sweater. You can also use many fabric types, making this a versatile pattern. A link to the printed pattern is in the YouTube video description.

Because this is designed as a one-piece suit that covers the belly, you may also want to talk to your vet about this being an option post-surgery or if your kitty is recovering from an illness. It could be a way to keep them comfortable and looking their best through the paw divider

Crochet & Knit Patterns

4. DIY Santa Dog/Cat Sweater by Cricri Biewer

Materials: White and red yarn
Tools: Knitting needles, scissors, yarn needle, measuring tape
Difficulty Level: Advanced beginner

With only basic knitting skills, you could make an adorable DIY Santa Cat Sweater. While you should feel comfortable working with basic knitting stitches and have even tension as you knit, the pattern is quite simple, and the designer walks you through the process step-by-step in the YouTube tutorial. The original video is in French, but there are translations in English added to the video so you can follow along.

There aren’t any instructions for changing the pattern size, but the one given would fit most medium-sized cats. The pom-pom used on the hood is made from yarn, which would be okay for dogs. However, since cats would love to play with this and the yarn may come loose, you may want to consider one made of faux fur or another safer alternative.

5. Simple & Easy Basic Dog/Cat Sweater by Maria’s Blue Crayon

Image Credit: Maria’s Blue Crayon
Materials: Yarn
Tools: Crochet hook, stitch markers, tape measure, scissors, needle
Difficulty Level: Advanced beginner

If crochet is more your thing, you might try the Simple & Easy Basic Cat Sweater. You should be able to work basic crochet stitches, like single crochet, and be comfortable working in the round. However, if you haven’t attempted working in the round before, this may be a great project to learn a new skill. It’s also a great introduction to learning how to size clothing for pets and any items made for humans.

The designer walks through each step of the pattern, including how to measure your pet. While her design is focused mainly on her dog, Milo, this can be easily adapted to fit a cat of any size. Many who have followed the customizable pattern have left comments about how easy it was to follow. Use a festive yarn, or feel free to add seasonally themed patches or crocheted appliques to the finished sweater.

6. Easy Fit Button Up Sweater Crochet Pattern

Materials: Festive-colored yarn (the tutorial used 5 weight acrylic 80% wool 20%, but choose the weight based on your preferences and size of crochet hook)
Tools: Crochet hooks (the tutorial used 5.5 mm and 4.5 mm), darning needle, scissors, measuring tape, stitch markers (optional)
Difficulty Level: Intermediate or enthusiastic beginner

As chestnuts roast over an open fire, your cat can stay warm snuggled inside this posh turtleneck sweater. To add a creative touch, you could use different colored yarns for the body and neck pieces or keep it calm and simple with a cozy cranberry red or dark evergreen. As long as your cat doesn’t mind wearing clothing, this sweater can actually be a practical accessory to keep them warm through the bleakest days of the year. Just be sure to supervise them while they’re wearing it so they don’t catch themselves on the neck piece.

Catventurous Crochet hosts this free YouTube tutorial complete with sizing guides and chapter marks in the video so you can find your spot if you need to take a break. An enthusiastic beginner could easily learn how to crochet using this project as a guide since it teaches you basic skills as you go. You’ll also receive a simple crash course in sewing since you attach the button at the end.

7. DIY Cat Shirt From Old Leggings

Materials: Stretchy leggings
Tools: Scissors, an old sweater that still fits your cat to use as a pattern
Difficulty Level: Easy

Do you have a pair of stylish patterned leggings that have an unfortunate rip? You can repurpose them into a sweater (or two!) for your small cat. Alternatively, you can head to the dollar store and purchase a pair of holiday-themed leggings for under $5. This video is geared toward dogs, but using an older cat sweater as a guide, it’s easy to size this project to fit your cat.

This project only takes minutes to make. You’ll need to line up your cat’s sweater along the leggings and cut to fit, leaving about three inches to roll into a turtleneck. Using the sweater as a guide, cut armholes to fit and then you’re done! Since you won’t intentionally cut the old sweater, you can use a new one as well. The tutorial simply recommends an older piece of clothing in case you accidentally snip it.

8. Holiday Cat Collar

DIY cat christmas sweater
Image Credit: Favecrafts
Materials: 4 medium weight skein of yarn (tutorial used multiple colors)
Tools: 5mm crochet hook, yarn needle, removable stitch marker or safety pin, sewing needle, thread, 2 sets of ½” (13 mm) sew-on snaps
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Some cats need to skip the sweaters. Whether it’s because of a morbid fear of clothing or it feels more like Mele Kalikimaka outside than a white Christmas, this cat collar allows your cat to stay in the spirit without feeling confined. Plus, your little Christmas angel will look adorable in the stunning poinsettia pattern. Of course, you should keep your kitty away from the real poinsettias, since they’re toxic to pets.

While the project shouldn’t take long to make, it does require a general knowledge of crochet terms. The instructions include multiple sizes, and the snap-fit collar accommodates most felines.

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FAQs About DIY Christmas Sweaters for Cats

Is it OK to put a sweater on my cat?

Yes, it’s okay to put a sweater on your cat as long as they tolerate it. Some cats don’t like clothes because they are hypersensitive to them. It may cause anxiety or stress. If you have trained your cat from a young age to enjoy clothes or if your adult cat tolerates or enjoys clothing, it is perfectly fine to dress them in sweaters and other clothing. They may even enjoy the warmth as much as you enjoy seeing them wearing cute things!

Why do cats fall over when you put a sweater on them?

There are a few theories about why some cats fall over when wearing clothes. It may be simply a sign of protest or that they feel constricted and unable to move. Others think it’s a fight or flight response because of the anxiety caused by something they aren’t used to. If your cat responds this way, remove the clothing, reassure them, and respect their boundaries.

Can my cat wear a sweater after surgery?

If your cat has been shaved to have surgery, they may feel cold, and having a sweater could help them stay comfortable as their fur grows back. However, depending on the type of surgery, a sweater could impede healing. The best bet is to discuss this with your pet’s vet before placing your cat in a sweater.

Should my cat wear a sweater outside?

Cats are not made to wear clothing outside, even if it’s cold. They are unaware of this extra “fluff” around them as they run, jump, and hide. It can easily get caught in a tree branch as they jump, getting caught in midair. If they try to hide or slide their bodies underneath a fence or bush to get away from something, they may get stuck and be unable to escape whatever is chasing them. Cats should never wear clothing unsupervised.

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Final Thoughts

Dressing up for the holidays is fun for many of us, and you may want to include your feline in the festivities. If they enjoy wearing clothes, there are many ways you can do this, from modifying a Christmas themed sock that takes just a few minutes to take several hours knitting a classic cable sweater. Whatever your dedication to their outfit, we hope you’ve found just the look your kitty needs to celebrate the season.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Sam Lion, Pexels

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