Crochet Pattern: Mock Turtleneck Sweater for Cats

I mentioned in my last post that I started making sweaters for our Siamese mix, Coco, because she seemed to be perpetually cold for most of this past fall and winter. Despite having very efficient indoor heating and piles of blankets to snuggle into, she’s a California kitty at heart and is having a hard time adjusting to our new Nordic environment. Having a pathetic-looking furball with ice-cold extremities trying to burrow into your armpit at 2AM every night is both sad and extremely annoying. Cat sweaters it was.

The problem I found with most crocheted cat sweaters I tried, however, was that they seemed to be made for medium-sized cats of stockier builds — I had to make lots of adjustments to get them to fit Coco, who falls somewhere between the oriental and foreign body types. That means long and lanky, with much more surface area than mass, legs like a deer and a tubular torso. By the time I finished sizing a typical garment down for her, she’d look like she was wearing an early-career Britney crop top. This pattern is my first attempt at making something more suited to the needs of all those long cats out there.

Note — Alas, I do not yet knit, so cannot avail myself of the many adorable knit patterns for sweaters. I am an avid crocheter, though, and I’m guessing you are as well if you’re reading this.

Special features:

* Ribbed mock turtleneck expands and contracts, making it easier to slip on and off the cat while still maintaining its shape when worn. It also provides more coverage for cats with long necks.

* A bit of shaping in the first rows of the back provides widening to accommodate shoulder movement when cat is in different positions.

* One large armhole instead of individual sleeves allows more freedom of movement for the front legs. It also makes it tons easier to put on the cat. This seems to be the only style of sweater that Coco will tolerate for long periods of time.

* A bit of shaping in the lower half of the sweater widens the “belt” to better accommodate full bellies ;-)

* The uniform single crochet background is great for attaching decorative appliqués, should the mood hit you.

Sizing:

This was made to fit an 11-pound long cat. Will probably work for a 10-14 pounder of similar body type. Adjust according to your animal — I find that the top-down approach makes it easier to try on the cat as you go so you end up with fewer sizing errors at the end. Larger hook for a bigger cat, smaller for a wee one, etc.

Materials:

* around 164 yards (150 meters) of Aran-weight yarn (10 ply/8wpi) — or, y’know, whatever you want as long as you adjust the pattern accordingly. I used a 75% Wool, 25% Nylon blend, since I figure she’ll probably ingest some of the fibers at some point and I’d prefer they be mostly of animal origin.

* size G-6 (4mm) crochet hook — or whatever you need for the size of your animal and your personal gauge.

* yarn needle for finishing

Gauge:

I did 19 sc = 4″ with the 4mm hook. I crocheted on the tighter side for this sweater, since I wanted it to be thick, sturdy, and insulating. However, since I typically run towards loose, my idea of “tighter” probably isn’t quite as extreme as some other people’s.

Abbreviations:

Standard stuff. ch = chain, sc = single crochet, ss = slip stitch. All instructions are in US terms.

SWEATER

Ribbing

Chain 11.

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each chain across (10 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Rows 2-42: Sc in back loops only, working in each sc (10 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Row 43: Align beginning and end edges to make seam and sc through both loops of both layers to attach them (10 sc total). Ch 1. Do not finish.

Body

Row 44: Turn piece 90 degrees clockwise so you are now working perpendicular to the ribbing. Sc at the end of each row for the next 34 rows (34 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Row 45: Sc in the first 15 sc, 2 sc in the middle 4 sc, sc in the last 15 sc (38 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Rows 46-48: Sc in each sc across (38 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Row 49: Sc in first 18 sc, 2 sc in the middle 2 sc, sc in the last 18 sc (40 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Rows 50-60: Sc in each sc across (40 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Row 61: Sc in each sc across, ch 15, ss to connect with beginning of round on other side of arm hole. Ch 1, turn.

Row 62: Sc in each of 15 ch, sc in each of 40 sc, ss closed (55 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Rows 63-67: Sc in each sc across (55 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Row 68: Sc in first 47 sc, 2 sc in the next sc, sc in the next 7 sc, ss closed (56 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Row 69: Sc in first 7 sc, 2 sc in next 2 sc, sc in next 47 sc, ss closed (58 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Row 70: Sc in first 44 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in next 8 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in last 4 sc (60 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Rows 71-75: Sc in each sc across (60 sc total). Ch 1, turn.

Row 76: Ss in each sc across (60 ss total). Fasten off and weave in ends.

© 2011 Angela Lai and Velvet Kerfuffle, all rights reserved. The content of this pattern is copyrighted. You may print out pages for your own use or to share as long as appropriate credit is included on each page. You may sell items handmade (but not mass-produced) with this pattern, but if you sell them online, you must link to this pattern.  You may not sell, publish in any form, or otherwise claim this pattern as your own.

31 Comments:

  1. So cute! Now if I could only crochet – the last time I tried to knit a simple square, I ended up with a triangle. >.>

    • LOL — the triangle effect! A bane to beginning knitters and crocheters alike. That’s a pretty easy one to fix, though — you’re just dropping a few stitches somewhere in each row, probably near the beginning and end. I had to count like a hawk and constantly redo large patches of work for my first few projects, but once you recognize what everything is suppose to look like, it becomes easier to correct as you go. I’m teaching myself to knit at the moment (with the help of some friends), so will have to have to start all over again as well :-)

  2. She is very much the fashion icon in this outfit, and looks like she knows it!

    • Hee! I am rather pleased that both of my kitties turned out to be so photogenic. And born hams to boot. Misu is only used for plus-sized designs so she probably will not make her debut for a while longer — she isn’t as needful of additional insulating layers as the much smaller Coco :-)

  3. Hello,
    I am an editor with the site AllFreeCrochet.com and I liked this pattern so much that I linked to it from our site. You can see the page here: http://www.allfreecrochet.com/Crochet-for-Pets/Mock-Turtleneck-Sweater-for-Cats
    Do we have permission to link to your projects in this way in the future, as well as use the image, with credit to you of course? Please let us know.
    Thank you.
    -Rachel, Editor for AllFreeCrochet

    • Hi, Rachel! That’s awesome! Thanks for the link, the page looks great and I’ll have to take a look around the rest of the site when I have some time. You definitely have permission to link to my free patterns, thanks for writing! Best, A.

  4. I love this. I am going to crochet it for our Italian Greyhound who is the size of your Coco. I will send you a picture of it on her when I accomplish the deed.

  5. I love your turtleneck for cats. It is actually elegant. My cat, Joe, would happily eat my hand if I tried to make him wear one, but I have a few grandkitties who are more amenable to looking good. Thanks for such a terrific piece of work.

  6. I would make this, but every time you put anything on my daughter’s Kitty, she falls down and won’t get up. She get’s very confused.

  7. I had made a a different Sweaterd esign I made up for my older cat only I put a snap on the neck and chest so it was easer to put on him. I would put it on him in the winter he really enjouyed the extra warmth.

  8. I love the design. Now to see if any of my 7 cats will wear it! Sounds like it would be great for my LIl Bit, she is only 6 pounds and 12 years old. She spends all day and night on my memory foam with the electric blanket on low. Maybe she would come into the rest of the house if she was warm.

  9. I’m working on a smaller version of this sweater for our kitten, Kylie. She’s so small that she’s always cold, she’s only a few pounds. And we have a bigger cat, Shyla, who still likes to bat at Kylie, not that Kylie doesn’t give back as good as she gets. So not only will this help when the house is a chilly 72 F, with it being 100 F+ daily, but it adds some armor too. :) I would try making Shyla one, but she’s like Joe, she’ld have my hand for dinner!
    I’ve been trying it on Kylie every so often to get the right size, with a little growing room as well. She’s got a shorter neck, so 5 sc more than cover her little neck. Also the band wasn’t 43 rows, more like 30. Still working on the body. I measured the gap by where her shoulders dropped off, that way she has full rom in her arms, but has as much cover as possible. :)
    Anyway Thank you for this design!

  10. I like crochet . This one is pretty and easy.

  11. how much bigger should i make this for a 15 – 20 il cat?

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  13. Loved the pictures. Cocoa has such a beautiful coat it is surprising she would need a sweater. I might try this for Mi Yu as she is a dainty 8 pounder with a medium hair coat and loves to be outside. The Canadian winter promises to be the coldest in 25 years so I’m thinking this would be good for her. Thanks.

    • Thank you! Both our cats do have fairly decent coats, but neither are particularly acclimated to long, northern winters. They’ve lived in Southern California for all their lives and we just moved to Finland last year, so they still look a little shocked when the temperatures start dropping in the autumn. I like to leave the windows open in the daytime to air out the house, and that tends to make them even more cranky. Hence, the sweaters :-) Good luck with clothing your little furball — would love to see pictures if you do decide to make one :-)

  14. I made this sweater for Mi Yu but left the neck open with a button attachment . I have to be with her outside though as she is a bush invader and tree climber and I don’t want her to get tangled up or lose it. She can actually slide out of it without much trouble if she does get stuck, I saw her do it yesterday. I would like to post a picture or two for you but I am not sure how to do it here.

    • That sounds adorable! I would love to see a picture. You can either upload the pictures to Photobucket or something like that and link them, or send them directly to me and I’ll post them as part of a gallery with some other pictures I’ve collected over the year :-) You’ll be able to see my email address in the reply to this comment that shows up in your inbox…

  15. help! looking for a pattern I lost, it’s a mouse bed for a cat. will pay for pattern. thanks so much.

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  17. My mom and I have been looking for a crochet patten for a sweater for a cat for so long. I cannot wait to make this. I know that after I make the first one, I will be asked to make a lot more. Thank you for posting this pattern.

  18. Was looking for sweater for my granddaughter’s yorkie and came across your pattern! I love it! Will probably try to adapt your pattern to Kacy’s size and build! Thanks so much for this pattern!

  19. I am going to try this pattern as my cat has been scratching and meds by vet has not stopped it and skin is irritated vet said to try ainfant turtle neck but she would not leave alone this will fit better and hope she will leave it on.

  20. I know this is an old post, but thank you so much for sharing this pattern! I had to take my 7 month old Siamese kitten to get spayed, and it kept her warm on the way there and back and is also preventing her from chewing her stitches while she heals up! It’s hard finding sweaters and such that will fit her so this was wonderful :) I had to make some adjustments since she’s so tiny but it fits her like a glove :)

  21. Mine turned out exactly like the Siamese cat, british, I just had to say it worked out good, was worried b/c its a turtleneck that it would be nature be too tight (have to worry cause my tabs is very old) I can put my fingers through and stretch so im ok

  22. I made this it’s adorable. My cat hates it but I gave her food do now it’s all better.

  23. This is just what i’ve been looking for to make for our Devon Rex. Our female is fine in cold weather but the make is having a hard time of it this winter in southern Victoria Australia. (My hubby is of Finnish background and would love to move there but now i can tell him the cat wouldn’t cope with the cold. :p )

    • I love rexies :-D My friend has a couple of Cornish Rexes and she made a chunky sweater for one of them as well. The indoor heating standards here are actually superb, but the poor things are need to be super insulated when they want to play on the balcony. As for moving here… well, as one Finn-marrying coastal girl to another, I’ve got to say that the most shocking thing wasn’t even the weather (which you kind of know to expect and brace for). It’s the difficulty of finding any food outside of the pork-product-and-root-vegetable range. Seriously, the obscene lengths to which I go for decent frozen prawns and scallops…

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