Why do cats need diapers? There are many reasons to consider using cat diapers. Older felines or those with an illness often miss getting to the litter box on time. Cat diapers keep your home clean from urine and feces while allowing your cat the freedom to move around the house.
Another everyday use of feline diapers is to deter behavioral issues. If your kitty is spraying or “marking” their territory, diapers are a way to keep your home clean while you work to discontinue the habit.
While incontinence and spraying are the two most common uses of cat diapers, there are many other reasons to consider pull-ups for your feline, including arthritis, blindness, diabetes, dementia, kidney disease, or neurological disorders.
Can Cats Wear Diapers?
Yes, cats can wear diapers. You may consider using pet diapers for the following:
- Female cat in heat: Once a female cat reaches sexual maturity (around six months), they will experience a heat cycle if left unspayed. This cycle averages six days, and you might notice your cat spraying during this time. When female cats spray, they emit hormones to attract male cats. Your cat may also bleed while in heat, and diapers are a way to prevent blood stains on your carpet, couch, and more.
- Gastrointestinal disorders: Cats struggling with gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), may struggle to reach the litter box in time.
- Incontinence: Cats experience involuntary urination and defecation due to weak muscles, infections, and other conditions (diabetes, dementia, kidney disease, etc.)
- Paralysis: Cats with mobility issues or paralysis may struggle to use a standard litter box. While there are low-entry litter boxes for disabled pets, diapers may be a more successful option.
- Postpartum: After a cat gives birth, they experience spotting, called lochia. During the several stages of lochia, your cat will discharge a mix of blood, mucus, and uterine tissue, lasting about six weeks.
- Pregnancy prevention: Diapers provide a physical barrier to prevent unwanted pregnancies. You can use diapers on both male and female cats.
- Spraying: Cats may spray for various reasons. Female cats may spray during their heat cycle. Cats may also spray if they feel anxious or threatened. Unneutered male cats are notorious for “marking” their territory to make them feel more secure.
- Surgical wounds: Diapers offer a layer of protection to surgical wounds.
- Travel: If you’re traveling and your cat doesn’t have access to a litter box, diapers can offer protection from accidents.
Felines with mobility issues also benefit from diapers, especially those with weak rear legs. If your cat scoots around on their bottom, diapers will stop bacteria from entering the urethra, causing a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Our Personal Experience With Cat Diapers
A cat wearing diapers is not as unusual as it may seem. My cat, Snowflake, was deaf. He was very adept at staying safe but liked to escape outside. One afternoon he managed to get outside and into the road. Unable to hear the cars, his tail was run over as he tried to escape the busy street. This caused severe injury. His tail was fractured, as well as suffered nerve damage. He also lost control of his bowels and urination control. Because of that, he needed to wear a diaper.
We treated him with painkillers from the vet, and the tail was wrapped to heal. Snowflake wore diapers for several months and was unable to walk or run properly for a long time. Eventually, his body healed, even most of the tail. He held on to some nerve damage and never regained complete movement in it. He did not need to wear a diaper all the time, but we always had them on hand, as he never fully regained his bowel or urine control. As he aged, this problem worsened again, and he needed diapers more often, especially overnight and when he was home alone. His quality of life was very good after recovery, but when he aged, it got worse. He lived until he was ten and had a very good life, but he required a lot of extra love and care.Danielle DeGroot, Love Your Cat Writer and longtime cat owner
Do Cat Diapers Work?
Yes, cat diapers work. In certain situations, they can greatly improve an animal’s quality of life. (Take, for example, Instagram-famous Aoife—a disabled kitty who wears diapers due to incontinence.)
Cat diapers keep your kitty from making a mess around the house, saving you from a messy cleanup. The key to successful diapers is the fit. Ensure to measure your feline before purchasing diapers and secure the diaper for a snug fit without discomfort or leaks.
Types Of Cat Diapers
Depending on your feline’s needs (such as condition and how long they need to wear diapers), you may choose between disposable or reusable diapers.
Disposable Diapers For Cats
Single-use disposable diapers, like those for human babies but with a tail hole, are effective at capturing leaks and can be tossed after use for easy cleanup. A quality diaper will focus on the following:
- Absorbency: Prolonged exposure to moisture leads to skin irritation (diaper rash). A diaper made with a super-absorbent core will wick away moisture to keep your kitty feeling dry.
- Feel: A soft liner prevents irritation to your cat’s skin. The liner should feel soft and fluffy without any roughness.
- Fit: A well-fitted diaper means fewer leaks for you to clean up. A snug diaper also ensures your furry friend won’t break free.
While disposable diapers can be used for your feline, the cost can add up if your cat needs diapers for an extended period.
Reusable Diapers For Cats
Cloth diapers are eco-friendly and softer on your pet’s bottom. While they may have a higher cost initially, reusable diapers save you money in the long run. Throw them in the wash to get repeat uses.
Depending on the style, cloth diapers may be more difficult to adjust than disposable ones. Plus, you’ll likely need to change them more regularly to prevent diaper rash.
Cat Diapers For Incontinence
Many of our furry companions experience incontinence from old age, sickness, or other conditions (such as bladder stones or spina bifida). A quality pet diaper can give your feline comfort and independence to move freely. Diapers also let your kitty urinate frequently, helping prevent bladder infections.
Pet Parents Reusable 3-Pack
- Available in 3 sizes
- Hook and loop system for more adjustability
- WickQuick® proprietary fabric to prevent diaper rash and urine burns
- Elastic tail hole
- Machine washable
- Pack of three for $24
Pet Parents reusable diapers feature sewn-in pads and triple-stitched edging to prevent leaks. The machine-washable material is sturdy enough to last use after use (reviewers say they’ve used the diapers for 2+ years). The design also includes a Velcro belly band to adjust for the size of your pet. These diapers can be used for urine, feces, menses, and more.
The disposable diapers by Hartz are designed for a cat’s anatomy and feature adjustable waist tabs and tail hole. The diapers use FlashDry technology, turning liquid into gel to reduce the risk of leaks. Disposable diapers are also an excellent option for those needing diapers for a short time, such as after surgery or during travel.
Pet Soft Disposable
For an extra-comfortable, secure fit for even the smallest cat, consider Pet Soft’s disposable cat diapers. These diapers have 360-degree leak-proof protection with a breathable outer layer to keep your cat comfortable no matter the season. The elastic waist uses fur-safe tape, and the adjustable foam tail hole prevents leaks.
Cat Diapers For Spraying
Consider a stud diaper for those struggling with a male cat spraying around the house. These diapers prevent male cats from spraying without obstructing bowel movements.
U:Me Washable Cat Diaper Pull-Up
The U:Me cat stud diaper from My Happy Pets Boutique is a 100 percent cotton, pull-up diaper with a snap back to secure the diaper in place. The flexible fabric doesn’t affect your feline’s movement or obstruct bowel movements. This is an excellent choice for long-haired studs or felines with skin conditions who can’t wear full-body suits.
Barkertime Stud Pants
Barkertime makes various cat diapers, including a pull-up stud diaper. This diaper features a hook-and-loop closure for customized fit and double waterproof layers for leak protection. Use this diaper to prevent spraying while allowing your cat to defecate normally in the litter box. The design makes it easy to put on and take off and doesn’t require you to insert your cat’s tail through a small hole.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Should I Change My Cat’s Diaper?
Change your cat’s diaper every few hours at a minimum. If your pet has a poopy diaper, it should be changed immediately to avoid diaper rash or infections.
Can I Use Baby Diapers On Cats?
Sure you can! Remember that you’ll need to make some adjustments to the diaper so that it properly fits your pet. You’ll likely want to start with a newborn-size diaper for your kitty, and you’ll need to cut a small hole for your cat’s tail.
While it likely won’t be your cat’s favorite accessory, cat diapers help your cat live fully while preventing accidents around the house. If accidents do happen, make sure to have cleaning products and cat-safe shampoo on hand.