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There’s no denying that cats are cute. What’s even cuter is a cat in a cat costume. Being that Halloween is right around the corner, we decided to test out some of the most popular cat costumes on our own cats. It wasn’t easy.
We herded up a pool of four “volunteer” kitties, but only one was keen on the idea, playing along as patiently as possible. When he got fed up with dressing up, we had to pivot to plan B and reach out to friends with more adventurous kitties (and even a couple of willing dogs, which are always to be found in good supply here at Rover).
In the end, what we discovered about cats in costumes is what you might already be thinking: cats don’t really like wearing clothes. But rest assured, all models were well-compensated with treats and loves.
Our Top 3 Cat Costumes
That said, there were some types of costumes that were endured better than others. Adjustable, lightweight, one-piece costumes with Velcro fared best.
Those that involved snaps, heavy material, multiple pieces, or the insertion of body parts into arm, leg, ear, or tail holes were less acceptable. Based on our cats’ preferences and ease of use, we chose three as our favorites: bat wings, spider, and Dracula cape.
This cat costume was an all-around hit! It was lightweight and easy to put on, so Lewis pretty much had no idea it was there.
As he flitted about the house flapping his wings, the other cats took notice and he quickly became everyone’s favorite new toy. Rover rating: 4 out of 4 paws.Buy Now on Amazon
This cat costume isn’t just for Halloween. Imagine the fun of inviting some arachnophobic friends over for dinner and letting your cat loose wearing this!
Lewis gladly donned this spider costume for some time as it was lightweight and attached easily and comfortably with two Velcro straps–one around the chest and the other just behind the front legs. Beware, future dinner guests! Rover rating: 4 out of 4 paws.Buy Now on Amazon
This is another favorite from a cat’s point of view. It’s extremely lightweight and fastens with a little Velcro tab just under the bow. It can be put on in one fell swoop so your cat may not even notice it.
Beso, who finds cat clothing extremely offensive, either didn’t know it was there or just thought he looked mighty fine. Which, as you can see, he did. Rover rating: 4 out of 4 paws.Buy Now on Amazon
15 More Cat Costumes to Consider
From food items to scary pirates, these top cat costumes were patiently tested by our kitties and a few willing dogs, when the cats needed a break.
Verified review: Even though it had three strips of Velcro, Lewis didn’t mind this costume too much. One band attached around his chest while the other two, less popularly located, bands went under his tummy.
This costume also came with a little sombrero but the elastic chin strap was too loose so he immediately shook it off. Besides, tacos are supposed to wear hot sauce, not sombreros! Rover rating: 3 out of 4 paws.Buy Now on Amazon
Verified review: Out of the box, this cat costume seemed too big but it proved to be super lightweight and, therefore, acceptable to our gracious volunteer, Alley Cat. The pizza is constructed to stay put with what amounts to a pair of pet Spanx attached to its underside.
Obviously, Alley Cat has no need for shapewear, so we just slipped the pizza part over her head. While she looked super tasty, this is probably a costume that would work best on a dog. Rover rating: 2 out of 4 paws.Buy Now on Amazon
Verified review: Marmalade seriously rocked this cat costume; a lightweight headpiece with a Velcro closure under the chin. While it was simple, and obviously among the cutest things ever, most of the cats (and dogs) we tried this on weren’t fans.
We guess that’s because it covers ears and decreases peripheral vision, which obviously would be a bit of a shock to any cat or dog. Rover rating: 2 out of 4 paws.Buy Now on Amazon
Verified review: “Make Ameowica Great Again” is, thankfully, the actual slogan on this double-take of a cat hat. While this little red topper is small and lightweight, it was a highly undesirable costume for most every cat who tried it on. There are the obvious reasons. Then, there are the cat-specific reasons.
Namely, one must first get the cap on the kitty’s head, then get both ears into place in the little kitty ear-holders, and then adjust the Velcro chin strap accordingly. None of our test cats would allow for that much face time, so we resorted to placing it upon heads for pictures, after which it quickly became an item for batting and bunny-kicks. Rover rating: 2 out of 4 paws.Buy Now on Amazon for $12.95
Verified review: Lewis is getting a lot of presents this year for being such a good boy. While he tolerated this costume, he only did so on his terms: “No legs in leg slots, guys.” Perhaps better suited for a dog, the right way to don this costume is to pull the whole thing over the subject’s head and then insert each of the front legs into an individual leg slot.
Lewis put up with the over-the-head part, and even the little Santa hat (which had an adjustable Velco tab for comfort), but the leg slots were a “no go.” Good thing he’s such a jolly guy. Rover rating: 3 out of 4 paws.Buy Now on Amazon for $12.99-$13.99
Verified review: Cat hats are perhaps the easiest of pet costumes to pull off and this one is no exception. All you have to do is slip the hat on to the kitty’s head and make sure the elastic chin strap is in place.
Once that’s done, count the seconds until the cat pulls it off and tries to kill it. Being that it costs about the same as a cat toy, it seems only fair to let it become one. Rover rating: 3 out of 4 paws.Buy Now on Amazon for $3.78
Verified review: “Put it on me!” said no cat, ever, to this costume–which is why we tried it on a dog. The two-piece costume (in this case, an extra small) is really cute, but it requires the putting of ears and legs both into and under, things. As previously noted, these requirements fall into the “unacceptable” category for cats.
The suit is also thickly padded, making it a little too bulky for a kitty to put up with. It is very lightweight, though, and model Olivia was more than happy to strike a few poses in it. Rover rating: 3 out of 4 paws.Buy Now on Amazon for $27.53-$29.99
Verified review: Being a pirate requires cattitude and, obviously, Lewis has plenty. So much so that we couldn’t get this outfit on him properly. This costume, in particular, had very complicated leg sleeves. Each had a couple of different elastic bands inside, barriers to sliding dagger-tipped feet through really fast.
The hat was also a cat conundrum, with a strange rigging inside, assumably meant to hold on to ears, but it didn’t come close to matching up with Lewis’ so we just placed it on his head. Lastly, there was a little cape with two strings that we think is meant to be tied around a cat’s neck. Not gonna happen. Unless you are a dog. Rover rating: 2 out of 4 paws.Buy Now on Amazon for $9.17-$10.99
Verified review: Another of the “legs in” type of costume, this one was pretty easy to manage getting at least one of Lewis’ front legs into. He wasn’t so cooperative with the other so we just left one leg in, one leg out, and popped the little cowboy hat on his head.
While the hat has an adjustable elastic band, the adjustment thingamajig didn’t stay put too well, which allowed Lewis to just pull it off whenever he wanted to go hatless. Which was immediately. Rover rating: 2 out of 4 paws.Buy Now on Amazon for $13.99-$16.99
Verified review: This costume was way too much for the average cat to accept. While it’s a very nice costume with cute snap-on wings, it’s more like a cat sweater (or fleece) and is a lot of material for a little kitty to pull off with style and dignity. Instead, we tried it on a much more adventurous soul: a six-month-old golden retriever puppy named Molly.
Molly was more than happy to be dressed up as a dragon but unfortunately, while the costume was too big for a kitty, it was a bit too small for Molly, leaving her looking like she had a dragon attached to her back. While the costume also has a small hole in the back of the neck for a leash, we also noticed its packaging said “cosplay costume” making us think perhaps it’s an all-around better option for…small humans. Rover rating: 2 out of 4 paws.Buy Now on Amazon for $16.99
Verified review: Alley Cat wanted nothing to do with this costume. While it was easy enough to get on, and seemed to fit her comfortably, she was not a fan of the sparkly little leaves that framed her face. The hat was also unpopular and we could not get her to keep it on. It is strangely flat, which means to get a kitty’s ears in it, you have to flatten them out to the sides to pull them through the little ear loops before adjusting the chin strap.
It was all too much for Alley Cat (and around this time she decided to stop cooperating with kitty dress-up entirely). Rover rating: 1 out of 4 paws.Buy Now on Amazon for $13.99
Verified review: If you had a very tolerant hairless cat, this would make a perfect cat sweater. The costume is a super soft one-piece with snaps on the underside. Though we managed to get one of our kitty’s legs through the little arm-holes, rolling him over to secure the snaps proved an impossibility.
Thankfully, Olivia, the Halloweiner dog was still on deck. There is nothing funnier than a little wiggle-tailed shark circling around your ankles cruising for a treat. Overall, this costume is probably best-suited for a dog and comes in very specific sizing to ensure a pooch’s comfort. Rover rating: 3 out of 4 paws.Buy Now on Amazon for $13.99-$18.99
Verified review: This multi-piece costume was a “FAIL” according to the ever-patient Alley Cat. The body piece was fine enough but when it came down to trying to tie the tail on around her hindquarters, plus velcro on two turkey booties, then cram her ears through the two holes in the head of the costume, she finally laid down the law.
It was the last part that did her in because after repeatedly stuffing her ears in the earholes, the costume still kept slipping onto the back of her head. This is probably a better dog costume but our guess is its myriad pieces would still be problematic. Rover rating: 1 out of 4 paws.Buy Now on Amazon for $12-$15.99
Verified review: We really thought this was going to be a winner but 100 percent of the kitties we tried it on despised it, including Caillou. Ultimately, we think it was the whole smooshed ears/loss of peripheral vision combination that made the unicorn cat hat a loser.
The flowing rainbow mane and horn proved great “handles” for claws to dig in and pull the hat off. As you can see from the picture, the gold thread that once gave the unicorn horn some definition was immediately torn loose and became a snag hazard for kitties running for cover. Rover rating: 1 out of 4 paws.Buy Now on Amazon for $12.99
Verified review: Like the other Trump-affiliated cat costume we tried, this combo was met with much resistance. While the too-wide red necktie was acceptable enough, the (spot-on) hairpiece was an absolute no go. Even though we offered each cat secret payoffs to keep it on, they all declined.
We are sure they had their reasons for not wanting to be dressed up as Donald Trump, but our guess is that the elastic band of the wig, which was not adjustable, was just too tight. SAD. Rover rating: 1 out of 4 paws.Buy Now on Amazon for $14.95