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My cat is quite dapper and handsome, so when we sit down for a candlelight dinner, he should have the proper attire. Therefore, I would like for my cat to wear a tuxedo.

What is the best way to get my cat to wear a cat-sized tuxedo or tuxedo costume? I plan for him to be dressed this way for several hours. I may expect him to wear the tuxedo for consecutive days, but generally only for special occasions.

He will not have a cane, but answers should consider that I will potentially give him a top hat. Bonus points if you can figure out the monocle.

Of note, Mr. Pickles is going to be sharing a nice candlelit dinner with me, and consuming food on his own; therefore he cannot be restrained or otherwise rendered incapable of doing so. Valid answers must take this into account.

To summarize, what's the best way to keep a semi-complex costume on my cat?

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This sounds like an A/B problem. What are you really trying to get your cat to do? – wingedsubmariner Apr 1 '14 at 2:28
O.o I would recommend double-sided tape and perhaps a strategically-placed staple or two. – Omegacron Apr 1 '14 at 13:09
Why not be more sensitive to cat culture and strip naked yourself when you and Mr. Pickles sit down to eat? – user1075 Apr 2 '14 at 14:24
A hat at dinner is kind of gauche. He would feel more comfortable wearing it if you took him to the opera. – Ian Mackinnon Apr 2 '14 at 18:15
@MrLister no; he refuses to learn swordplay. – JoshDM Apr 3 '14 at 18:35
up vote 22 down vote accepted

You will first need to condition the cat to like the clothing. Your goal is to get the cat to associate the clothing with good things. This can include food and petting. You can use wet cat food on a spoon to reward the cat for sniffing and generally being near the clothing. Once the cat is comfortable with that, you can drape the clothing over the cat while letting the cat have the food on the spoon. If your cat loves petting then pet the cat with the clothing. It will be important to take small steps and condition the cat over time. You should do this when the cat is calm and in an environment where they feel safe. You also want to make sure the clothing you choose fits the cat comfortably and is easy to get on and, more importantly OFF.

Once he is comfortable with the tux then you can start the process over with the hat. It will be more difficult because they tend to dislike things on their heads. I would suggest finding a way to attach it to his collar with a stiff enough wire that it can sit lightly on his head.

You can attach the monical to the underside of the top hat.

Do know... some cats will just want to be naked so don't force it but some cats will be cooperative. Good luck

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Nice solution to the whole top hat / monocle combination. – JoshDM Apr 2 '14 at 4:18

Cats look perfect without any clothing. Dressing a cat is just about as sensible as throwing a blanket over a statue.

If you really want a cat to be in a tuxedo, may I suggest a "tuxedo cat". I have a tuxedo Manx who is always purrfectly groomed.

The main difficulties with dressing a cat is that cats have a strong aversion to being put in things by external forces, so I'd say dressing a cat is not terribly nice to them.

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A tuxedo cat would still be naked. I can't have that at dinner! Plus, I want my existing pet to join me. – JoshDM Apr 1 '14 at 2:37
I have a better suggestion. One way to dress a cat that your cat won't mind is to use imaging software. Take a picture of your cat and insert it into the clothes you want. I've inserted my cats into "zero wing" images (by odd coincidence the cybernetic foe in that was actually named "Cats") – Dan S Apr 1 '14 at 11:09
But @DanS, then how would he have supper with me in his finery? – JoshDM Apr 1 '14 at 13:11
@JoshDM Insert yourself and the supper into the picture as well. – Michael Apr 1 '14 at 14:52
here's another alternative: if your food contains the right kind of mushrooms and/or cacti then your cat will have dinner with you in a tux (and all the other finery) without you having to dress the cat. Quite possibly its garments might even morph into other garments, and it might engage in some truly witty banter with you. – Dan S Apr 1 '14 at 22:40

I would suggest that the best way to get your cat to wear a tuxedo is to practice cat hypnosis. Fortunately, hypnotizing a cat is much easier than hypnotizing people. It only requires three easy steps.

1. Establish a connection with your cat.

The first step to hypnotize a cat is to to become its friend. Feed it, play with it, stroke its fur and talk to it smoothly with a calm voice. Build friendly communication with the cat and gain its trust. If the cat doesn’t accept you as a friend, it will be difficult to apply hypnosis techniques on it.

2. Lay The Cat Down

Now that you have gained the cat's trust, gently lay it down on its side. Stroke it for several minutes and keep it in a laying position with your other hand. But if the cat wants to get up, don’t force it and continue building trust through friendly communication. If you build enough trust, then the cat will easily comply when you lay it down.

3. Induce the Hypnotic Trance

As you continue to stroke the cat, begin softly speaking quiet affirmations, such as "You are such a good kitty", "Let your mind drift away", "Your paws are getting soooo heavy", and "The sun is so warm on your fur you just want to lie still forever". Try to form a mental image in your mind with each statement, as if trying to telepathically project your thoughts onto your cat. As your cat becomes calm and limp, slowly remove your hands from the cat.

Once your cat is in the trance, you can proceed directly to giving the cat suggestions as to how you want things to proceed. Do not give the cat direct commands, just suggest that it would look good wearing a tuxedo, and how much it would enjoy the monocle. Then suggest that you will be helping the cat to put these on after it wakes up, and that it will be calm and still while you are doing this. When you are finished with the suggestions, be sure and suggest that when you snap your fingers the cat will wake up remembering nothing.

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Holy canole! Can you reference any supporting evidence to back up kitty hypnosis? – JoshDM Apr 1 '14 at 15:38
Just don't try the traditional human induction technique of waving a shiny object in front of his eyes... It will have an effect, but it won't be hypnosis! – RBerteig Apr 1 '14 at 17:40

Purchase the appropriate quality tux and ask him nicely to dress for dinner. Nothing helps get a request met like politeness. As for the hat, I would go with something like this. I would stay away from the monocle, while some cats wear them, unless he already has a prescription eye piece. Using someone else's prescription could be problematic.

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This answer does not address any potential difficulties with the act of dressing him. – JoshDM Apr 1 '14 at 0:19
He suggested asking nicely. What more do you need? – BenM Apr 1 '14 at 2:21
Well, what if he is ambivalent? – JoshDM Apr 1 '14 at 13:11
Cats are ambivalent, no what if! – vaxquis Apr 1 '14 at 19:39

Firsty, you need to consider the fact that psychology is the easiest way to achieve with cats - and reverse psychology is the best psychology.

Tell your cat you don't want to eat dinner with him, preferably with cold, metallic voice. Tell him you don't want him to wear tuxedos nor top hat either, and that you will hate him for doing so.

Go out to bathroom to give him five minutes to change. Works most of the time, especially with females. Sadly, since it's a male, you may need to put additional effort in it.

In case it doesn't work indeed, simply get him drunk, preferably with red wine, and then tell him he looks good in top hat and tails; if that doesn't work, get him drunk enough so he won't resist your attempts at changing his dress code too much. In case he drinks too much, simply say you won't give him more wine if he doesn't behave properly. I do it every time I want my more stubborn dinnermates dressed properly, and this method hasn't failed me once.

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It's a tail-less tuxedo. I don't want to give him a complex. – JoshDM Apr 1 '14 at 22:54
You can always say it's for his own good. Also, what's wrong with giving your cat an arbitrary set of elements of a group or a collection of simplexes having specified properties? Of course, if by "I don't want to give him a complex" you meant that you don't want to give him a coordination compound, then I wholeheartedly agree and understand you; if he's less than 18 years old he'd probably use the chemical ingredients just to make some firecrackers, blow up a neighbour's house or make some meth; and that's just too bad. – vaxquis Apr 1 '14 at 23:10
Besides, cats ain't good at chemistry in general; yet while I decided to convince mine to focus on quantum mechanics, after full two months of tutoring he still can't do more than calculate a Hamiltonian for a finite set of particles... – vaxquis Apr 1 '14 at 23:12
I just didn't want him to think I was implying his tail was inadequate. – JoshDM Apr 2 '14 at 2:35
This won't work, because most cats don't know what reverse psychology is. So you'd first have to educate him on what it is and how it works, before you can try it on him. Oh, wait... – Mr Lister Apr 2 '14 at 8:04

Clearly the cat is waiting for you to be in a sensible state of attire yourself. Put on a dress. One with a nice neck line. Not too plunging, but enough to hint an the bounty below. Make sure you have a strapless push-up bra that is not visible. This will present your sweater cows more attractive. Wear very sparkly earrings and a butterfly broach. This will help keep his attention through dinner and will be of use to reacquire his attention if he becomes distracted. When it comes time time for the main course, be sure to order something avian. After the main course suggest desert back at your palace. Slip into something "more comfortable" at the first opportunity. When you come out, be sure to strut. Make cats particularly lie that. Do all of this even if you are male.

Do this enough times and he will become conditioned to wearing a tux.

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I have not the "sweater cows". – JoshDM Apr 2 '14 at 18:03
There's your problem. Fake it until you get implants. – jason Apr 2 '14 at 18:31
@JoshDM That's ok, cats are usually "butt-men" anyway... – Dryden Long Apr 2 '14 at 18:36
@DrydenLong - that's how I understood it. – JoshDM Apr 2 '14 at 19:30
  1. Photograph the cat.
  2. Create a cardboard cutout out of the photo.
  3. Dress the cutout in the tuxedo.
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This works for dinner with humans too. – David Wallace Apr 1 '14 at 18:38
This answer only creates a proxy, incapable of consuming a dinner. – JoshDM Apr 1 '14 at 18:48
+1 This is the only answer. – starsplusplus Apr 1 '14 at 20:37
@starsplusplus why? I see this as a cheap trick, nothing compared to eg. hypnosis or psychology. – vaxquis Apr 1 '14 at 22:44
@vaxquis Having read your answer, which wasn't there when I posted my comment, I retract my comment. – starsplusplus Apr 2 '14 at 7:58

You should have dinner in freezer big enough for the occasion. Your cat will happily stay in the tuxedo after the first half hour, and eat ravenously.

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Why would he eat ravenously? Also, I don't have access to a freezer big enough for this. – JoshDM Apr 1 '14 at 20:14
i see from your replies to suggestions that you are missing the essential cat-do attitude. Without this, your task is impossible. – user1063 Apr 2 '14 at 3:20
I'd be more "cat-do" for you if you elaborated on your answer. – JoshDM Apr 2 '14 at 11:39
Cat-do? Are we talking about a litterbox here? – Mr Lister Apr 2 '14 at 11:47
That'd be "cat-doo". – JoshDM Apr 2 '14 at 11:57

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