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Which cat sweater is best?

For many pet owners, the idea of dressing up their cat in a sweater, tutu, hoodie or another piece of clothing is entertaining. Clothes for dogs have been popular for ages, but cat sweaters have more recently become a trendy thing to do, especially around the holidays. That’s why so many Christmas-themed cat sweaters exist, after all. However, while there are many cat sweaters available, some of them are better than others for your pet.

Features of cat sweaters


Most sweaters for cats use knits, fleece, wool or faux fur. These sweaters are often insulated and made for warmth. A sweater made from a quick-drying material like fleece is ideal for outdoor cats who spend time in the snow. For active cats, fabrics like knit or wool are breathable enough to keep them warm without overheating.


Christmas sweaters for cats are among the most popular option for many pet owners. Holiday-themed clothes add another level to the usual festivities. But cat sweaters come in different designs, colors and patterns, including stripes, polka dots, solid colors and neutral or bright tones. Some sweaters have creative graphics on them, such as a Santa Claus face or reindeer.


When you hear “cat sweater,” you probably think of long sleeves for the feline’s legs. But not all sweaters are made the same way. Other popular options include cat vests, jackets and hoodies. There are also cat T-shirts for warmer weather.

Closure type

Many cat sweaters have a hook-and-loop closure to make putting them on and taking them off than traditional sweaters. This style of sweater is usually less stressful on the cat.


Sweaters for cats come in many sizes. The sweater you choose should not be restrictive or too tight. Your cat should be able to move around, run, sleep and play as usual when wearing a sweater. When in doubt, size up.

Coverage and weight

Some cat sweaters are heavy, while others are lightweight. For most cats, a light sweater or T-shirt that provides minimal coverage is usually best. However, a full-coverage sweater may be better if your cat needs a sweater for warmth or health reasons. Bigger cats may prefer something with a little more weight. If you’re starting with clothes for your pet, gauge their tolerance level with clothes that don’t entirely cover their stomach.

Should you get a sweater for your cat?

Cats have an average body temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit, so they don’t usually need to wear clothes to keep warm. If you put your cat in a sweater when it doesn’t need it, you run the risk of your pet overheating. The initial signs of overheating include difficulty breathing and a decreased appetite, but it could lead to more serious issues like heat stroke or even death.

To find out if your cat is cold enough for a sweater, check if they’re shivering or hiding their paws beneath themselves. For most cats, if the temperature is around 45 degrees or less, chances are they’re cold. In temperatures 32 degrees or less, they could suffer from hypothermia. If you live in a cold environment, a cat sweater may be a good idea to keep your pet warm.

If you own a Sphynx or another hairless cat, you may think they need clothes to keep them warm. But the truth is, hairless cats run at the same temperature as cats with hair.

Another time you may want to consider getting a sweater for your cat is if they’ve recently had surgery and are still in the process of recovery. A light sweater or vest is an excellent alternative to a cat cone because it can prevent them from licking, biting or reopening the wound.

Finally, suppose your cat has a health condition such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism. In that case, they may benefit from a sweater because these conditions prevent the cat from regulating their own body temperature. Speak with a veterinarian before going this route.

Ultimately, if you want to take a quick family or holiday photo to preserve a memory with your cat, it should be fine to put it in a sweater. And if your cat is often cold or has a health condition, a sweater could help.

Alternatives to sweaters for cats

While some cats do benefit from wearing clothes, some cats could overheat or become stressed out from wearing a sweater. If your cat doesn’t need a sweater, consider these alternatives.

cat blanket

Cat blanket: Whether your cat gets cold often or needs a little extra comfort, a cat blanket is a great option. It’s also valuable for elderly or anxious cats who may want to curl up or hide in it.

heating pad

Heating pad: Some cats may need a sweater to keep them warm, but that doesn’t mean they’ll willingly wear it. If you’ve tried the clothing route and it hasn’t worked, consider getting a heating pad for your cat instead.

cat house with a bed

Cat house: A cat house with a bed is good for indoor cats who need extra security and a place to hide or doze. The bed can also help keep them warm if the environment is on the chilly side. Check out the BestReviews guide for a full review on heated cat houses.

6 best sweaters for cats

A cat sweater may be a good option if you live in a cold environment, your cat has a medical condition or you want to take a celebratory photo with them. Here are some of the best sweaters for cats.

DENTRUN Hairless Cats Shirt

DENTRUN Hairless Cats Shirt

With a festive red and white striped pattern, this small sweater is perfect around Christmas time. It’s comfortable, breathable and doesn’t cover the whole body. This helps keep the cat active and prevents overheating. It’s made from soft cotton and is ideal for most hairless cats.

Sold by Amazon

Lanyar Reindeer Holiday Sweater

Lanyar Reindeer Holiday Sweater

Another great holiday-themed option, this cat sweater comes in several sizes to fit nearly any cat and small dog. Made from acrylic fiber, it’s lightweight and machine washable in cold water.

Sold by Amazon

Bolbove Bro'Bear Cable Knit Turtleneck Sweater

Bolbove Bro’Bear Cable Knit Turtleneck Sweater

This cat sweater is made from acrylic fiber, so it’s soft, lightweight and warm enough for winter. It comes in hot pink for those who want to make a statement. Plus, it’s machine washable with a tumble-dry setting for easy cleaning. It provides fuller coverage than some sweaters.

Sold by Amazon

Wiz BBQT Knitted Braid Plait Turtleneck

Wiz BBQT Knitted Braid Plait Turtleneck

Perfect for both cats and dogs, this sweater comes in a variety of sizes. It’s ideal for cold temperatures or cats who spend a lot of time in the snow. The sweater runs a little small, so you may need to size up.

Sold by Amazon

Kooltail Plaid Dog and Cat Hoodie with Hat

Kooltail Plaid Dog and Cat Hoodie With Hat

This plaid sweater comes with an adorable hood for your pet. It uses a cotton and polyester blend, so it’s thick and warm. There are also several sizes and colors from which to choose. The neck does run a little small, so it’s best for smaller, slimmer cats.

Sold by Amazon

Cat Professional Recovery Suit

Cat Professional Recovery Suit

This outfit primarily prevents a cat from messing with its wounds or stitches after surgery. It’s an alternative to the traditional cat sweater because it isn’t made for warmth. It uses breathable, elastic material that allows the recovery suit to move easily. It is durable but could start to break down with excessive chewing.

Sold by Amazon

Thundershirt Classic Cat Anxiety Jacket

Thundershirt Classic Cat Anxiety Jacket

Designed to look more like a jacket with reduced coverage, this calming vest is a great way to reduce problematic meowing and decrease stress during vet visits or travel. It’s drug-free and safe for most cats.

Sold by Amazon and Chewy

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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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