Do Cats Need Life Jackets? How to Make the Right Choice

Cats have spent time on the ships with the sailors for hundreds of years. They have provided companionship to hunters while acting as a lucky charm.

It is a stereotype that cats are allergic to water. However, people have been training their cat to travel on boats and the high seas in recent times. So, do cats need life jackets?

While some cats can quickly adapt to swimming, it is crucial to protect them from drowning. That’s why you need to get your cat a life jacket or even a buoyancy aid. Check this out to learn more about cat’s life jackets.


What is a Cat Life Jacket?

As human beings, life jackets for cats are everyday garments worn over the chest and aids in floatation when moving upon the water.

Most cat life jackets are made for different sizes of kitties. They include multiple colors and belly buckles, and chest straps to allow a secure fit of the cat.


Why Should a Cat Wear a Life Jacket?

According to Petshaunt, cats can be very stubborn, especially when it comes to what they should wear. For example, most kitties refuse to wear a life jacket because they feel restrictive.

However, if you need your cat to be safe in the deep water, you should consider getting a life jacket for it. Life jackets ensure that the cat remains afloat in case it jumps in to catch something.


How to Make the Right Choice?

Cat life jackets come in various quality, at different prices, and in varying sizes. Check more to get the correct information on what to consider before doing your shopping.


Arguably, the fit is the most critical aspect to consider when buying your cat a life jacket. You don’t want to pay more bucks for an oversize life jacket for your kitties.

The weight of the cat should be the primary concern when choosing a life jacket. Chest measurements are very critical to ensuring a perfect fit. You can use a tape measure to make the correct measurements of your kitty.

Check for a life jacket that matches your cat’s chest size and long enough to fit their belly. It is essential to check the adjustment of the straps and see whether they are too tight or loose.

Some reputable brands do offer life jackets of different sizes at different prices. You can come along with your cat if you don’t know its exact measurements. You don’t need any kind of cat carrier to go on boating.


Cats are more relaxed when they are comfortable. However, they get annoyed when you dress them in something heavy or of poor quality. Therefore, it is essential to check on the material of the life jacket and the weight.

Typically, it would help if you considered a lightweight life jacket to make your cat as free as possible. Also, check whether the jacket has mesh along the belly of the life jacket. Mesh allows life jackets to dry faster when your kitty is out of the water.


A life jacket should have buckles to keep it fit on the cat. Buckles are more efficient than snaps, hooks or loop fasteners and other attachment ways.

Buckles plays a more significant role in locking the life jacket in place and ensuring it doesn’t come off quickly. It would help if you considered a life jacket with adjustable buckles to achieve a more excellent fit.


Everybody knows how fashionable cats seems to be. However, the color style or the pattern of the life jacket affects the psychological aspect of your cat.

You should consider a color that matches your cat’s style and helps to make the kitty visible. Reflective color is a better choice for this case. A reflective color can remain visible even during the night.


Ideally, pet life jackets should come with a handle between the shoulder blades. Handles helps you to pull your cat to safety in case they slip into the water.

On the same note, you should be practicing how to pull your cat out of the water using the handle. This equips you with the necessary skills that are indispensable in case of emergencies.

Neck Float

Many cats’ life jackets come with a neck float or a chin pad to help keep the cat’s head on top of the water. These jackets are relatively heavy but very important.


A D-ring allows the cat owner to attach a leash on the life jacket to avoid taking it on and off, especially when a leash is used. In addition, jackets that have a D-ring are very convenient for young cats.


How to Teach Your Cat to Wear a Life Jacket

Just like you saw earlier, cats don’t like garments on their body. So, what should you do to encourage your cat to wear a life jacket?

  • Introduce Your Cat to Life Jackets at Home

It is advisable first to introduce the life jackets to your kitties at home. Could you give it a treat slowly? Start by wearing the cat some soft and light garments.

Place the jacket on your cat without fastening it and see its reaction. Then, if the cat is comfortable, fasten the jacket and let the kitty walk free for some minutes. You should repeat this process for several days.

  • Introduce the Life Jacket on a Boat

Once you are sure that the cat is comfortable with the jacket, extend the training by introducing the cat to the boat with the jacket on.

A rocking boat might shock. Therefore, it is advisable first to take your cat to a calm area and check its reaction.

  • Swim Test

Start by taking your cat to shallow waters and let it swim while you hold on to the life jacket’s handle. This could be in a bath or a pool of shallow water.

Don’t let the cat panic. Instead, be calm and encourage the cat to try harder. Then, you can start taking the kitty to larger bodies of water when you are sure of its safety and reactions.



Cats are very delicate creatures, and they require careful attention. Cat life jackets allow you to be in control of your pet when you take an adventure to large bodies of water.

Cats’ life jackets prevent the kitties from drowning in case they accidentally jump on the water. Choosing the right type will provide your cat with comfort and safety.