Can Cats Wear Diapers

Can Cats Wear Diapers?

Have you ever seen a cat wearing a diaper? It’s actually pretty adorable. But behind the adorable image is usually something more serious, as cats generally only wear diapers for behavioral or medical reasons.

While this may surprise you, there is a whole corner of the pet market dedicated to diapers for animals.

While some people put diapers on their cat for fun (to each his own?) the vast majority of diaper-wearing kitties wear them because they are elderly or having problems with incontinence, or, in the case of male cats, to stop territorial marking.

In this article, we’ll cover the following: 

  • Can Cats Wear Diapers?
  • Why Would a Cat Wear Diapers?
  • Can Kittens Wear Diapers?
  • Tips for Cats Who Need Diapers 

Can Cats Wear Diapers?

If the need arises, cats can absolutely wear diapers. While you can’t simply use diapers intended for infants on your kitty (cats are anatomically different and require special diapers), diapers are an excellent last-ditch remedy for a host of feline-related issues.

Cat diapers are a little more complicated than diapers for human babies. This is because cats are very flexible and many of them will take off a diaper made for humans pretty quickly.

Luckily, there are a variety of different diapers available on the market especially for cats, from reusable cloth ones to disposable diapers that you use once and throw away.

If your cat is recovering from surgery or experiencing temporary incontinence, you may just need to pick up a pack of disposable pet diapers, like SunGrow leak-proof diapers. These are great if you only need a few diapers and don’t want the hassle of having to wash them.

If your beloved kitty will need diapers in the long term either because of their age, incontinence issues, or behavior problems, you may want to invest in something a little more eco-friendly.

Reusable and washable pet diapers can be a lifesaver if you will need to use diapers on your cat for a prolonged period of time. Pet Magasin is a great brand because they don’t leak, don’t shrink in the wash, and are easy to use and put on.

Whichever you choose, be sure to have enough diapers on hand at all times, as cats urinate pretty frequently.

This old guy wears a diaper due to age-related incontinent issues…but he doesn’t seem to mind!

 

Why Would a Cat Wear Diapers?

Cats may need to wear diapers for either behavioral or health reasons.

If you notice that your cat is having trouble using their litter box and have exhausted all other solutions, you may decide that diapering your cat is the best way to protect both your cat and your belongings.

There are a variety of medical conditions that may lead to incontinence or reluctance to use the litter box, such as:

  • Bowel or bladder incontinence: Cats who have trouble getting to the litter box on time may benefit from the periodic or permanent use of diapers.
  • Blindness: Cats who cannot find the litter box due to blindness may need the help of a diaper.
  • Kidney Disease: Kidney disease can result in either temporary or permanent urinary incontinence.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes can also lead to temporary or permanent urinary incontinence, and cats suffering from diabetes may need to wear a diaper for a time or for the remainder of their lives.
  • Old age: Elderly cats may have a hard time making it to the litter box on time, and a diaper can be a safe and dignified solution.
  • Paralysis: Cats who are paralyzed may be unable to use a litterbox and may require the use of a diaper.
  • Dementia: Cats with dementia may not remember how to use the litterbox or be unable to find it in time to use the bathroom.
  • Arthritis: If your cat has a hard time moving around due to arthritis, they may not be able to get to the litter box in time and may benefit from the use of a diaper.

Marking in male cats is the most common behavioral reason for cats to wear diapers. While neutering your cat will likely greatly reduce their urge to “mark their territory” by spraying urine, some male cats still try to do it on occasion.

Cats may also start “marking” due to an upsetting change in their environment at home or a conflict between them and another cat.

Because cat urine is so potent and very hard to wash out, some owners may decide to diaper their cats when they’re in the house to keep their belongings from being peed on.

There are many ways to curb marking behavior, such as setting out more litter boxes and scooping the box more frequently. However, if all other remedies fail you may want to consider diapering your cat to prevent them from spraying all over the house.

Can Kittens Wear Diapers?

Kittens should only wear diapers for medical or behavioral reasons.

Kittens with special physical needs or who are exhibiting undesirable marking behaviors may be diapered, but you should exhaust all other remedies before resorting to kitty diapers.

It is not a good idea to make your kitten wear a diaper just because it “looks cute.”

Kittens are taught to use the litter box by their mother at a very young age and should be encouraged to do so once they’ve joined their human family. Most kittens won’t particularly enjoy wearing a diaper and it’s unfair to diaper them unless it’s for a good reason.

If you need to diaper your kitten for a medical or behavioral reason, you will need to find a very small size diaper, such as Planet Urine Disposable Pet Diapers. The extra small size is perfect, as it fits animals from 1-5 pounds.

This kitten is paralyzed and is used to wearing a diaper. See how good she is while her owner changes it?

Tips for Cats Who Need Diapers

You and your veterinarian may have determined that diapering your cat is the best way to either assist them with a medical problem or curb unwanted feline behavior such as marking.

In these cases, there are a few tips to make the process as painless as possible:

  1. Find the right size. If the diaper is too small your cat will be uncomfortable. If the diaper is too large they will likely slink right out of it! Measure your cat carefully and consider their weight before purchasing diapers.
  2. Go slow. Forcing your cat to wear a diaper will likely make them very unhappy. Introduce your cat to the diaper slowly, praise them and speak to them softly while putting it on, and give them plenty of time to adjust.
  3. Make sure your cats tail isn’t inhibited by the diaper. Cats use their tails to communicate and should be able to wag and move freely, even with a diaper on.
  4. Check periodically to make sure the diaper isn’t rubbing on their legs or creating any sort of irritation. If the diaper is uncomfortable your cat will hate wearing it and every diaper change will become a battle.

So, Can Cats Wear Diapers?

Cats can wear diapers for medical or behavioral reasons, but it’s not a good idea to put a diaper on your cat just because you think it looks cute. Cats naturally want to use their litter box and bury their business, and preventing them from doing so without reason is unkind and unfair.

You can choose disposable diapers like SunGrow leak proof diapers or washable cat diaper like Pet Magasin. Whichever you choose, make sure the diaper is comfortable for your cat and easy for you to put on.

Most importantly, make sure to make the process as pleasant and pain-free as possible for your cat.

Have you ever had to diaper your cat? Did your cat cooperate? Have any tips for making the process as easy as possible for both you and your feline friend? We want to hear about it. Let us know in the comments!

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Amanda K.

After moving to New York City from Rome, Italy, I began working in the nonprofit world. Despite my day job, my passion has always been animals, especially dogs and cats, and writing. What better way to combine the two? I've been a pet owner for 15 years, and my menagerie includes dogs, cats, hamsters and the occasional hermit crab. My beloved cat, Mozart, who I found as a newborn kitten, sparked my love for felines and is now nearly 15 years old. I am an enthusiastic volunteer at the local ASPCA, where I enjoy spending time with the cats and cleaning up after the dogs. I've been writing about pet ownership and care for the past five years.

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