Cats love sweaters

Cat sweater… almost as much as they love sarcasm.

Pattern for a custom fitted long sleeve turtleneck cat sweater. Since this pattern is meant to be custom fitted to your cat using the yarn and gauge of your choice, there is a little bit of math involved. If you find that your numbers don’t work out perfectly, don’t sweat it! Just fudge them a little, don’t let math get in the way of the funny. Also, cats are bendy, squishy and generally confused by being measured, do the best you can. Close enough is close enough, the ribbing is pretty forgiving.

– Any type of yarn will do, just choose your needle size as appropriate to the yarn weight.
– Set of double pointed needles or circulars
– Tapestry needle for weaving in ends

CO = Cast on
BO = Bind off
K = knit
K2T = knit two together
SSK = slip 2 stitches individually as if to knit, then knit those 2 stitches together
sts = stitches
2×2 rib = all ribbing in this pattern is *K2, P2* repeat to end of round.

Knit a gauge swatch
CO 20 or so stitches and knit a few rows in stocking stitch then measure the gauge and jot it down.
__ Stitches per inch
__ Rows per inch

Measure the cat
__ Length from collar to start of back legs
__ Length between back and front legs
__ Distance between front legs
__ Width of front legs when looking at the cat in profile
__ Circumference of belly
__ Circumference of collar
__ Height of front legs

A little math
__ A = Circumference of belly x Stitches per inch, rounded to nearest number divisible by 4
__ B = Length between back and front legs x Rows per inch
__ C = Distance between front legs x Stitches per inch, rounded to nearest number divisible by 2
__ D = Width of front legs x Rows per inch
__ E = (Length from collar to start of back legs – Length between back and front legs – Width of front legs) x Rows per inch
__ F = Circumference of collar x Stitches per inch
__ G = AF
__ H = If G/2 is greater than or equal to E, H=1. Else H=E/(G/2), rounded to the nearest whole number
__ I = (Height of front legs – 1 inch) x Rows per inch

CO A and join for working in the round. Knit in 2×2 rib for B rounds.

Cat vestDivide for arms
Continuing in 2×2 rib, work back and forth on C stitches for D rows, this will be the material that runs between the cats front legs. It will be referred to as the chest piece. Cut yarn leaving a tail to weave in later.
Join yarn and work the rest of the stitches in 2×2 rib for D rows, this will be the material that goes over the cats back.
You should now have a tube that splits for the arms and is of equal length chest and back.

Join for neck
Resume knitting in the round in 2×2 rib, complete 1 round.
Continue knitting in rib while decreasing for neck. To decrease: K2tog right after chest piece and SSK right before chest piece every H rounds until F stitches remain.
Knit ribbing for 1 more inch, BO loosely.
You can stop here and weave in ends for a nice fitted cat vest, or continue on to the sleeves…

Pick up and knit D stitches along each side of an arm slit starting at the point closest to the cats bum (total stitches = D x 2). Knit 1 round in 2×2 rib. Continue knitting in rib while decreasing every other round by K2tog at beginning of round and SSK at end of round until (2 x stitches per inch) remain, then continue knitting in rib until I rows total for sleeve have been completed. BO loosely.
Repeat for second arm.

Cat sweaterFinishing
Weave in ends. Wrestle the sweater onto the cat. Laugh and laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.

More pictures are available on my Flickr

Crazy Aunt Purl had a cat sweater sweepstakes, see the gallery here!

Howdy to the folks who dropped by from Cute Overload! For those curious, both models in these photos are female, with all their claws, there seemed to be some discussion 😉

Words can not express how happy I’d be if you sent me a photo of your cat in a sweater:
christine (at) christinelandry (dot) com

83 thoughts on “Cats love sweaters”

  1. omg. this is officially my new favorite knitting blog. “cats are bendy, squishy and generally confused by being measured.” i think i may try to adapt this to my dogs.

  2. My daughter found this through StumbleUpon, and it’s perfect for our ancient and chill Mr. Bo, who can no longer groom himself. However, his partner-in-crime, Miss Belle, would take off my arm if I tried to wrestle her into a sweater. As a puffball of a longhair, she doesn’t need it, anyway.

    Thanks for sharing the cute pattern.

  3. your so lucky your cats wear them!
    i tried one on my cat tonight and he had no balance he kept tipping over to the point where he wouldnt try to walk anymore!
    it was a little dog sweater but i didnt think it’d make a difference.
    is there a way my cat can learn?
    thanks heaps!

  4. I made this for my ailing, geriatric kitty and he seems to love it – well, at least he’s not complaining. I made it a rollneck collar (finished with stockinette stitch for a few rounds), as I didn’t want anything gripping his neck. Can I post a picture?

  5. Hi,
    I dunno if you can see my email or reply to this or not.
    But the “divide for arms” step confuses me.
    Mind you, I’m more than a beginner, but barely.
    So I’m doing this in Stockenette stitch rather than 2X2 rib.
    could someone explain this to me better? Maybe show some pictures?
    what does it mean “work back in forth C stitches for D rows” is that like, make a flat piece for the chest? if so, how do I make the part that goes around the back, at the same time? do I just ignore everything but what becomes the chest piece, and bind it off after I finish? but then how would they connect?
    I’m confused.

  6. Purrfect sweater for those cats with very little or no hair. My Blankets loves it and pokes her head through the hole like a two year old putting on a T shirt.

  7. Our little middle-aged Siamese is tiny and really feels the cold. Does anyone know a cat that’s OK wearing a sweater? If she went out in the rain she’d need to change immediately, so would need quite a few…. Any advice please, before I start knitting? Thanks a lot!

  8. Wow Wow!
    How cute. But I can’t believe both kitties let you put them on! I tried many years ago crocheting one of my cats a warm sweater. He went berserk, running backwards, ramming into the wall t otry to get it off. How did you do it?? And did they LIKE it? Did they step into the sleeves voluntarily?

    That is very impressive, and extra cute if they liked it. :o)
    Meows to you

  9. My Lester doesn’t mind wearing clothing – he even seems to enjoy it. He was the most handsome pirate since Jack Sparrow this past Hallowe’en.

    Next project will be a sweater for sitting on the balcony in winter.

    Wonderful pattern. Thank you.

  10. HELP!!

    2 of our residents Charlie who uses a wheel chair and William a diabetic cat could both use a coat.

    “Charlie “because he often spends long periods of time sat in his chair watching the world, the birds etc and we wonder if he feels cold sometimes. As he can get out of his chair at will awe also are concerned when he lies on the grass when he has left his chair during winter and spring that he may feel cold.

    “William” has different needs, due to being very very old and skinny we feel he would benefit from a coat and also we want to put a message on him asking people NOT to feed him and NOT to take him into their homes as he needs insulin regularly- matched to his food intake.

    I am not a knitter and none of our volunteers are – so is there anyone out there who can help?I have not worked out yet how to put the words on William’s back – embrodiery perhaps?

    just to put everyone’s mind at rest Charlie has aneurological problem similar to Cerebal Palsy he is perfectly normal and intelligent – he just has no sense of balance so cannot stand up unaided.He is a very happy cat

    thank you

  11. My cat got a sweater for xmas, not from me. I dont like it very much but its so cute to see when she wears. I am mostly worried she is in anguish when wearing it. I dont have the heart to tell the gift giver that maybe this isn’t a good healthy idea for a cat.

  12. I have knitted this one but my cat thinks it is an overture for a cat-fight. Do you have one crocheted?

  13. I like the vest. I live in Norway so it gets very cold here this time of the year so im sure my cat would like it!

  14. My cat has worn a vest for nearly 3 months now. He is a compulsive scratcher and self-harms if left uncovered. We are still trying to work out the cause of the problem. The vest is an excellent deterent. To begin with he HATED the vest. Did an excellent impression a cat very hard done by. Now he just gets on with life. He is a black cat and looks very stylish in his red vest.

  15. My Catalina wears sweaters when I take her out for walks on a leash in the winter. She actually needs them for the functional purpose of staying warm. She has two store-bought sweaters which were actually dog sweaters. I bought them last winter, when she was a 6-mo-old kitten. They’re too small now, so my friend is going to knit her a new one!

  16. Hi!
    You should have a button at the top of the page so we can click there!
    Also, how the heck do I post a picture? deckertolga (at) yahoo (dot) com someone help me?

    I’ve been in search of a place to post this and hope this makes it to the web! A picture of my cat in a sweater Great Grandma knit him and my loving email to her. She was not privileged to his measurements but still swung this out of yarn….

    …You are my Grandmother and that makes Dudley your Greatgandcat. (Great Grandcat.) I am your grand and he is your great. Hence, I have deemed him Dudley Lewis the Great. I am so pleased to present you with 5 photos from my shoot with Dudley wearing your gift. He just pranced around here loving it. I have spared you the less flattering photos, but should he bite me or misbehave, I will post those pictures too!

    On my lap and irritated because when he was enjoying the rooftop for the first time ever, I had to grab his tail to keep him from running out further from our corner apartment on the third floor. Though, I know he sure knows how good he’s got it made up in here.

    Love you Granny!


  17. Thank you for the free pattern! It was quite amusing to get the measurements of my kitty, I have scratches all over my arms, lol. But I will start it tonight because it’s winter time in this side of the globe and poor kitty is freezing. I think the most challenging part is going to be to actually put the sweater on her, lol. I will most definitely send you pictures!

  18. Hi! I was so happy to find this great, well written, clear pattern – our leeetle keeeteee had just gotten spayed. Of course, the e collar was awful, but what made it even more pathetic is that our kitten only has one eye to begin wtih. So we couldn’t possibly stand the thought of her navigating our home almost completely blind. The solution? Your cats love sweaters pattern. I worked furiously for one day to get it done, and by evening time, Kiki had a brand new sweater to wear. She did try to get at her stitches and lick down in her gut, so I could have made it longer, but all in all, it worked like a charm. Oh, she licked it so much she actually felted the wool in places LOL. I’ve kept it as a souvenir. Thanks so much for your help!

  19. Thanks so much for your post! I wanted to return a favour to a friend of mine and offered to knit something for her, and she asked for a sweater for her cat. I’m fairly new at knitting, and always looking for opportunities to pick up new skills, and found your website. Will definitely try this out. Do cats have a yarn preference?

  20. Hi Christine: I have been on your website looking for a large, stuffed elephant. I grew up with such an elephant knit by my grandmother whom I named “Ezra”. He wandered off somewhere and I miss him. Any chance you have a pattern. Thanks, Juju

  21. My cat now wears a t-shirt to protect her feeding tube; she has inoperable cancer at the back of her mouth. I’d love to be able to find a soft sweater for her like this as the t-shirt does not do her justice and will need washing!

  22. Kinda late to the party..
    I’m going to try knitting this for one of my cats! So cute.
    For the naysayers– I had a cat that loved wearing clothes. We shaved him fairly regularly because he was very difficult to groom and the heat really effected him badly. It got even worse as he got older. One year we had an unexpected cold snap after we shaved him so I needed to find a way to warm him up. I found an adorable little small dog sweatshirt at the pet store and he sported that thing proudly for months. He loved wearing it, even after his fur grew back in. In my experience, cats just don’t like things on their heads.

  23. nicely done for custom made dress for cat it fitly comfortable to wear, Perfect sweater for those cats with very little or no hair.

  24. I’ve searched high and low for a pattern like this. I’m in Afghanistan and the the winters are bitter cold. Our cat (and official mascot) Deuce is an outdoor kitty so I’m eager to try this out to help keep him a bit warmer. I don’t think he’ll be too finicky but I’ll have to let you know how it works out. Thank you for the post!

  25. i just finished my first cat sweater…and the kitties LOVE it!!!!!!!!! apart from the fact that they aren’t used to it, they like it. now to begin another….

  26. hahahaha! Love it! One of my cats needs to be shaved. I will have to make this for her, though I don’t have high hopes of her wearing it much longer than a minute or two.Thanks for the laughs!

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