Do cats need dressing clothes when weather is cold?

If so, what is the temperature in which cats start to need clothes?

3 Answers 3


Cats generally have sense enough not to go outside/stay outside when it's dangerously cold unless they must. So unless you are forcing the cat outside, or your house is colder than most and you have a furless breed or much colder than most, this shouldn't be a problem.

Basically, most cats never need to wear clothes other than their fur. Remember, feral cats manage to survive in a wide range of climates.

  • 6
    I'd add that most cats simply will not wear clothes, and its something you'll probably only try once!
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 20:21
  • 2
    It is worth noting, however, that feral cats tend to have much shorter lifespans than pet cats, and most barn/feral cats never get to an age where they are less active and suffering from arthritis. Elderly cats do feel the cold and may appreciate additional help to stay warm. A heated bed is usually an easier way to keep a geriatric cat warm than making him wear a sweater, however. :-D
    – Victoria
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 20:38
  • If you have a Sphinx cat -- the hairless breed -- then a vest might make sense occasionally. Be prepared to spend a long time getting the cat used to the idea; it took me several years to convince my cats that being under blankets was warmer than nesting on top of them.
    – keshlam
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 1:36

Cats probably don't need a jacket or boots, since they probably don't want to stay outside in the cold for long.

But if it's cold enough where you would want to wear a hat & gloves outside (definitely below freezing) and if your cat wants to go outside, then your cat would be a lot warmer & more comfortable wearing a jacket or sweater. A small dog jacket would work, some have a hole for a leash attached to a harness (worn under the jacket) to pass through too (I probably wouldn't clip a leash just to a jacket, I think cats are better at wiggling out of a jacket than dogs). And if they want to walk around in the snow or ice for a while, little boots/shoes would be a good idea too if they will stand wearing them (I wouldn't want to touch ice or snow for long without boots or gloves.)

Kind of like this one from here (with instructions to make it too) but not many cats like to wear hats/hoodies:

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Some cats have trouble walking when they're wearing a jacket too, and especially boots, so definitely stay with your cat if they're wearing them, and a leash is highly recommended too.
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Without a jacket on in below freezing weather a cat can get chilly pretty quickly, and start shivering and progress to more problems if they don't get somewhere warm. This site has lists a few cold weather safety tips too:

Cold weather problems

Sometimes owners forget that their cats are just as accustomed to the warm shelter of the indoors as they are. Some owners will leave their cats outside for extended periods of time, thinking that they are adapted to live outdoors. This can put their pets in danger of serious illness.

Hypothermia, or a body temperature that is below normal, is a condition that occurs when the cats are not able to keep their body temperature from falling below normal. It happens when they spend too much time in cold temperatures, or when cats with poor health or circulation are exposed to cold. In mild cases, your cat will shivers and show signs of depression, lethargy, and weakness. As the condition progresses, her muscles will stiffen, her heart and breathing rates will slow down, and she will stop responding to stimuli. If you notice these symptoms, you need to get your cat warm and take her to your veterinarian.

Another cold-related problem is frostbite. Sometimes your cat may accidentally be left outside or become lost during a heavy snowstorm. Frostbite may result. If this happens, remember - frozen tissues should never be rubbed. This causes additional tissue damage. Prompt veterinary treatment is needed. If this is not possible, warm the affected area rapidly by immersing in warm, never hot, water or by using warm, moist towels that are changed frequently. As soon as the affected tissues become flushed, discontinue warming. Gently dry the affected tissues and lightly cover with a clean, dry, non-adhering bandage. If frostbite is in the later stages, gangrene may set in and cause all kinds of infections. So, if you suspect your cat has frostbite, take her to the veterinarian.
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I tried a coat made from a knitted legwarmer with holes for the front paws on my cat today, because she wanted to go out in the cold. After an hour I searched for her and she was sitting with the "coat" torn and hanging from branches. I will never use a coat again: too dangerous.

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