It is always tempting and a happy moment to include your cat in the celebrations of the festivals by purchasing a merry outfit or elegant attire ensemble – after all, there are copious images on the internet of adorable cats decked up in Santa suits or as fairies or elves. While it might be enjoyable for an owner, however, it can start your cat feel very stressed and disturbed at the same time.

Cat Protection measures strongly advise against dressing cats up in any form of clothing or accessories, whether that means putting them in a fancy dress outfit, Santa hat or antlers. Ensembles like this can shorten your cat’s progress, making them less able to express their normal cat behaviors, such as grooming or stretching.

On top of this, the risk of an outfit being caught or snagged can result in injury to your cat. Tinsel, ribbon or gift ribbon are all potential hazards and should all be avoided. They are all easily ingestible and can cause great harm if swallowed or if they become caught around your cat's neck or limbs. 

Putting your cat in an outfit may also have an impact on their behavior too, which might just be bad for your environment, leaving them feeling threatened or unsettled. Your cat may become distressed while having an outfit put on (they might have wide pupils, flatter ears or freeze), and this could result in a reluctance to be held or stroked in the future. Instead, enjoy the festivities without dressing your cat up and you’ll have a much more content kitty.

Stress and anxiety for cats at Christmas

Christmas can be a stressful time for cats, especially those who are sensitive. An unfamiliar ambiance with many extraordinary people arriving and withdrawing and a house filled with strange odors and noises can be unsettling for many. Others may become disoriented by leading movables and extreme cleaning that happens around Christmas time.

If you’re worried about your cat getting accentuated over the celebratory period, there are various ways by which you can make them feel safe.

  • present a hiding place somewhere quiet so they escape the chaos
  • offer a supplementary hodgepodge plate away from busy spheres
  • use a pheromone diffuser to better calm them
  • a distinctive, quiet room where they can be left untroubled

With many people reaching for the paracetamol after Christmas parties, it’s essential to learn to keep any pills and medication well out of the way of cats as they can be remarkably vulnerable. Keep medicines in a safe drawer or closet and never neglect any open packages resting nearby.

And if you’re forgetting your cat with a pet sitter or in a cattery over the celebratory period, be sure to equip them with up to date communication details as well as that of your vet, including the emergency service. Your pet will also find comfort in some familiar items such as blankets or toys if they're waiting apart from your house.