No one likes the dreaded “Cone of Shame”, especially the poor fur-baby wearing it. But what do you do for your kitten who weighs in at a measly 2 pounds? They are big enough in the United States to be spayed/neutered…but the cone is half the size of their little bodies! Without this, they can cause issues to arise after surgery. So what are the options? For all those kittens arriving during kitten season, this alternative sock onesie may be just the way to go!
*Special shout-out to Ru and Zig Zag for modeling the fashions and allowing us to help them heal in style =)
With the foster kittens currently residing in the Cole and Marmalade household hitting that milestone, we’ve seen firsthand the plight of the young vs. the cone.
What’s even worse is that female kittens undergo a bit longer recovery period for spaying than the neutering of males.
The recovery time for either sex is still a recommended 7-10 days after the surgery and you should be aware of the following:
- No Licking the incision – This could cause the wound to open and become infected. This is where the cone, inflatable collar or even bitter tasting gels or sprays are suggested. But the inflatable collars are many times too big or heavy for kittens.
- No Grooming or Bathing – Both of these go back to not wanting the incision to get wet and open.
- Keep your pet inactive – No jumping, running, playing or strenuous activity. The best thing would be to keep them confined in a small pen, cage or carrier to ensure they rest.
- Keep them indoors – This way their bodies and the wound can stay dry and clean. You can monitor their recovery for any additional attention that is needed.
During this period of absolute misery, when your beloved pet looks at you with the sadness and pleading in their eyes, what are you to do for them?! Tough love is a must but we’ve found the best solution (after a few failed ones), that seems to be a happy middle ground.
It’s the Sock Onesie!
In the CaM house, we are blessed to have the crafty skills of mom Jessica, or “JessiCAT”. When kitten Ruth, or Ru, of our fosters refused to relax during her spay recovery, the vet didn’t have a collar that would fit her. We were worried that she was going to open her wound fighting something too large for her body.
Our first attempt was with a lightweight foam cone which worked for a couple days. It was still laughably heartbreaking watching her maneuver around in it.
Having 2 sisters that were healing well though, it was just torturous to see her caged or battling the cone while her sisters were able to walk free. Jess researched and found some vague DIY tutorials online or stores where we could purchase post-surgery clothing, but we didn’t have the time (or patience) to wait for delivery.
So Jess ran to a dollar store and picked up some regular woman’s knee-highs socks. They are perfect in a 2-pack since the sock onesies do stretch a bit and you may need to make a replacement if the first doesn’t last the full recovery period.
They are also in the purrfectly adorable kitten patterns! Nothing too serious =p
Just today, Zig Zag had her spay surgery and is doing great. She is also sporting an adorable onesie now that allows her to have movement of her limbs, bathroom freedom (with no messy cleanup) and to ditch the cone that made the petite kitten look like a satellite dish!
Here are the instructions and some photos to help you make your own DIY Sock Onesie.
Lay your sock flat. There is usually a natural fold down the center/front of the sock.
Open the sock so the fold is now on the top and bottom. The heel should be on top when it lays flat.
The tip of the toe is where the “seat” of the onesie will be so we need to cut leg holes first. BE SURE TO LEAVE AT LEAST 1/2 INCH from the toe seam and the leg holes you cut.
Fold the sock in half along the seam. This allows you to cut once, but makes 2 holes. THE HOLES WILL STRETCH!
Cut a half circle through both layers that is no bigger than 1 inch! it’s easier to make it bigger if it’s too tight.
Now when you lie the sock flat again, you should see two matching holes on either side.
Trim the entire tip of the sock off JUST next to the seam – cutting the seam off.
Next you need to measure (rough estimate is fine) the distance between the kittens back and front legs. This should be at least on the far side of the heel, opposite from the toe.
Flattening sock with heel up again, fold the sides inward for the next cut.
Make the half circle cut again through both layers of sock, no bigger than the inch.
Here’s what the flattened sock should look like at this point.
The last cut needed is for the neck of the onesie. This can be a bit long so it can be folded over like a turtle-neck and keeps the onesie in place.
I usually like to go about 3 inches from the front leg holes. Cut straight across the entire sock. I suppose this means you can use a shorter sock too as long as there is enough material!
And that’s it! Easy does it =)
The hardest thing about this is putting it on your kitty, especially if they are squirmy.
Slide your hand through the entire piece, squeezing it so it’s a thin ring. Place over kittens head and gently pull each front leg through, the heel on the bottom by their belly.
Slide the rest over their body and around one leg at a time. You may have to pull and shift during wear and be sure to trim any loose strings that fray while it’s worn.
Be sure to take lots of pictures and share on our Facebook pages! =) Happy Crafting and always spay/neuter your pets! ~ Jess