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Home & Garden Dressing cats up in novelty outfits at Christmas can cause them stress, experts say

16:35  14 december  2019
16:35  14 december  2019 Source:   countryliving.com

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The RSPCA said it advises pet owners to avoid dressing their cats and dogs in Christmas jumpers, reindeer antlers and RSPCA is urging pet owners to avoid dressing animals up in novelty items. They may look adorable in a cute Santa hat or with a festive woolly jumper on, but dog owners are being warned against dressing up their pets in Christmas outfits as they could cause them harm.

Christmas can be a stressful time for cats , especially if they are particularly nervous. Sometimes cats won’t show they are stressed – but other times they may do so by embarking upon unusual Cats Protection strongly advises against dressing your cats up in any form of clothing or accessories

a close up of a cat: According to the experts at Cats Protection, owners should avoid dressing up their cats as it can heighten their levels of anxiety. © Carolyn Lagattuta / EyeEm - Getty Images According to the experts at Cats Protection, owners should avoid dressing up their cats as it can heighten their levels of anxiety. For some pet owners, dressing up dogs and cats at Christmas in novelty outfits has become an annual tradition. But do they actually enjoy it or is it causing them additional stress?

According to the experts at Cats Protection, owners should avoid dressing up their cats as it can heighten their levels of anxiety — and means they can't act normally. 

  Dressing cats up in novelty outfits at Christmas can cause them stress, experts say © Getty Speaking to Country Living, a spokesperson from Cats Protection said: "We strongly advise against dressing up cats at Christmas as it can cause them stress. Putting cats into clothes restricts their natural movement and makes them less able to express normal behaviour, such as grooming."

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Christmas can be a particularly stressful time for our pets already, without the added fuss of novelty outfits. From crowded spaces to loud noises and unfamiliar faces, our four-legged friends don't cope very well with the change Christmas brings.

It's not just clothing the experts advise you to avoid: any accessories, such as antlers, elf ears, hats and bows can also cause discomfort to our pets — and it's certainly not worth the cute snap many share across social media.

a close up of a dog lying on a bed: Portrait of Greyhound wearing deer antler headband © Westend61 - Getty Images Portrait of Greyhound wearing deer antler headband Last year, the RSPCA also told owners to step away from dressing up their pets for the festive season. Dr Samantha Gaines from the RSPCA told The Telegraph: "Dogs use signals to tell us what they're feeling, they use their ears, their tails, body positions and their eyes.

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Cat walking was on the rise as many cats were cooped up in apartments or houses all day with no garden space, she said . "One out of five times he gets a bit stressed and snarly but he settles down after that. "He leads the way and it's not like a dog so you can't drag them around."

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"If we start to cover those up it makes it very difficult for them to communicate with us and other dogs. The RSPCA's general position is not to put costumes on dogs." 

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a cat eating from a bowl:     Pet owners may be accidentally    feeding their pets improperly.         Giving your cat or dog treats might    accidentally train them to beg for food.        Cooked bones may be       dangerous for dogs to chew on.               Visit      Insider's homepage for more stories.           Taking care of a pet is a lot of work, but there are     a few things you could be doing improperly when it comes to    your animal's diet.       Insider spoke with veterinarians to pinpoint a few of the biggest    mistakes    people make when feeding their pets and how to avoid them.
Our Christmas Together Appeal proudly supports Age UK and The Children’s Society who are providing vital services to society’s most vulnerable this festive season. Because no one should feel alone. Together we can make a big difference. Join us here.

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