For the most part, I am so obsessed with my cat, Keith, that I rarely get jealous of the good looks, behavior, or attitude of other people’s animals. This changes around Halloween, when the bizarre compulsion I share with many humans to dress up animals and babies is most active.
You can see from the mad shade I am being thrown in the photo below just how uninterested Keith is in being dressed up:
My sister’s cat, Annabelle, on the other hand, is a pro at costumes. She has never minded getting dolled up for Halloween and other special occasions. Even though there is very little on the market for cats to wear at Halloween, repurposed baby, puppy, and stuffed animal clothes or DIY creations make Halloween a great opportunity to show off your precious pet.
Here she is as a baby graduating from Kitten College in a graduation teddy bear’s cap:
Her costumes have gotten better each year. Just in time for Halloween, here’s a short retrospective of her best costumes to serve as inspiration for those of you whose cats are game for outfits. For those of us with pets who won’t let us deck them out, it’s a bittersweet look at what can never be.
If we used online videos as the measuring tool for what animal is the greatest enemy of the cat, dogs would be the assumed choice. But don’t trust the Internet; it will only let you down. The true enemies of cats are fish, which are surprisingly good fighters when they encounter cats.
In a fisherman’s costume, your cat can take out its natural aggression toward fish and be part of the food movements that ask us humans to consider where our food comes from. Taking your cat back to the source of their nourishment may awaken in them an appreciation for nature’s splendor and abundance. Plus, you get to have a cat in a fishing vest. So there’s that.
This "costume" is something of a stretch, as it’s really just a piece of costume jewelry that was sitting around and happened to look amazing on a cat, particularly one with such a disapproving face. It is best for photo ops rather than all-night cat partying, seeing as it is most comfortable when the cat sits still and looks glamorous. Also, it seems that it would be hard to keep on and walk at the same time.
This costume (and really all the others) can be worn at any time of year, depending on how strong the impulse is to play dress up with your pet pal.
In this homemade get-up inspired by Gone With the Wind, your cat will surely be the belle of the Halloween ball. Though the material here is a bit more shiny than the original velvet curtain fibers at Tara, it is important to shine on Halloween!
The little hat will stay on for approximately three photo opportunities and then fall off or be taken off by your cat, but it is well worth it for this trip down South and back in time with your feline friend.
In this homemade dinosaur costume, Annabelle channels her inner reptile and delivers a classic Halloween costume with an attitude that non-felines can only hope to replicate. The spikes on her back give this costume an edge, but her inquisitive little face reveals that she has retained her childlike wonder and charm. There are about 457 dinosaur/cat puns that I am tempted to use right now, but I will spare you.
While it is generally unacceptable to wear a Halloween costume to a Christmas party, it is pretty a-okay to dress as a Christmas-themed character for Halloween. This Santa Claus outfit can be worn twice for good reasons. For the less compelling (but still completely understandable) desire to dress up your cat in adorable little Santa booties, use it as many times as you want.
An alternative holiday get-up if your cat will not tolerate the booties (and many won’t) is the candy cane winter sweater. Though it is unconventional to dress your cat up as a Human Grandfather, there is no rule book when it comes to dressing up your cat in costumes; people already think you’re crazy, anyway.
I used to be under the impression that babies dressed as lobsters were the apex of cuteness and that nothing could possibly beat them. Then came the day when I saw Annabelle buzzing about in a bee costume in her backyard. How could I have been fooled for so long by babies dressed as lobsters?
This costume is easy to find around Halloween, as people are strangely okay with dressing up their dogs and babies and inanimate toys as some of society’s most-feared insects. (What can I say? Bee fur is just so much cuter on a fur baby than a real bee.)
These are just one cat’s forays into the fun and glamorous world of finding and rocking Halloween costumes. What have you dressed your cat in that wasn’t meant for a cat? What will your cat be for Halloween this year? How often do you dress your cat up in the off-season? We’re all friends here.
Read more by Alana Murray and about cats in clothes: