As an active volunteer for a local cat rescue and a cat mamma for over 40 years, I can tell you that there’s nothing worse than dealing with a cat who has feline incontinence or a male cat spraying. So after dealing with a senior cat who was having issues peeing on my carpet, I decided to talk to a veterinarian professional about what causes feline urinary incontinence and get the inside scoop on the best cat diapers on the market.
My top choice right now is the Paw Legend Reusable Diaper. This cat diaper works for cats of various sizes and comes with a Velcro closure so you can easily adjust the fit. I’ll explain why fit is so important in just a second. Plus is made of several waterproof layers and has the best protection against kitty accidents.
Read on for the pros and cons of using cat diapers, when a diaper for cats is appropriate, and why it might be a good choice for your kitty.
The best cat diapers:
- Fun colors available.
- Suitable for big and small cats.
- Velcro closures that won’t get caught in the coat.
- Waterproof outer shell and odor-controlling inner fabric.
- Soft, comfortable fabric.
- Fully washable.
- Tail hole.
- They don’t hold in big accidents.
The reusable pet diapers from Paw Legend work for both cats and female dogs. For cats, the right size is usually XS or S. These fit cats that weigh from 3.5 to 10 pounds.
To make sure that the diaper fits, I recommend measuring your cat’s waist. XS works for 8 to 11.5-inch waists, whereas a size S fits 11.5 to 15 inches.
Each diaper features a hook-and-loop closure. This lets you customize the fit according to your cat. They sit snugly and securely without slipping. What’s great about the closures is that they don’t get caught in the fur, so even your Ragdoll kitty can easily wear them.
These diapers have several layers. First, there’s a waterproof outer shell, preventing leakage. Under this, you have a permanent odor control sheet that wicks away moisture, keeping your little fluffer dry. At the top, there’s an opening for the tail, and the fabric is soft, increasing comfort and minimizing crinkly noises.
You can wash the diapers up to 300 washes each. Just make sure you fasten the Velcro before washing.
- Works for big and small cats.
- High-quality handmade diapers.
- Easy hook-and-loop closures.
- Triple-layer leak protection.
- Machine washable.
- Tail hole.
- They may hold odors even after washing.
Whether your senior is incontinent, your female cat is in heat or your male cat is spraying everywhere, Barkerwear diapers are worth a try. These diapers for cats are available with and without tail holes. You can choose between six sizes ranging from XS to XXL. This makes them suitable for a variety of breeds.
The Barkerwear diapers are designed and handmade by Barkertime diaper in Huntington Beach, California. They’re fully authentic, promising high-quality and exceptional craftsmanship.
The diapers are effortless to put on your kitty. They include hook-and-loop fasteners, offering a snug, customized fit.
Each diaper provides triple-layered protection. The outer shell is a high-quality polycotton fabric, a soft lining underneath, and a waterproof barrier sitting in between. It offers excellent leak protection. Barkerwear also offers reusable liners (sold separately), which increases the diaper’s leak prevention.
I personally love these diapers because they are machine washable and won’t fall apart in the dryer. Plus there are so many colors and prints to choose from.
- Leakproof core and edges.
- Holds poop and pee.
- Provides a secure, comfy fit.
- Suitable for various applications.
- They don’t hold enough liquid.
Yes, you can use dog diapers on cats! If you’re looking for cat diapers for poop, I suggest the Paw Inspired disposables. These come in sets of 32 diapers. They’re available in sizes ranging from XS to Medium Plus. For cats, I recommend XS and S.
The disposable Paw Inspired diapers have a leak-proof, super-absorbent core that works to catch all the liquids and solids. When your cat pees, the center converts it into a gel using its Advanced DrySpeed Technology.
A unique feature is the comfy, secure fit, with breathable bottom layers and waterproof edges. They work for most situations, from spraying male cats or female cats in heat. Paw Inspired warns that the effectiveness depends on the tail hole position on your kitty.
The Pet Parents washable pet diapers are great for large and small cats, male and female. They come in a bundle of three different colored nappies. These are excellent diapers for spraying since they sit snugly around the waist. They’re ultra-soft, made of fabric that won’t create any annoying crinkly sounds.
On the inside, they have a proprietary WickQuick inner lining, which consists of soft, non-abrasive fabric. Instead, it works to wick away moisture quickly to reduce diaper rash and urine burns. They include adjustable Velcro straps to suit a range of sizes.
The waterproof outer shell, plus the moisture-absorbing inner pad, ensures a dry experience for your frisky feline. They will be able to sit on the couch or rest on the rug without accidents.
- Bundle of three washable diapers.
- Snug-fitted with Velcro closures.
- Soft fabric.
- WickQuick inner lining prevents rashes and urine burns.
- Waterproof outer shell
- Absorbent padding.
- The Velcro fasteners are small.
Another disposable option is this multi-pack from Simple Solution. These are excellent options for containing liquid and solids. They come in various sizes, but for cats, I recommend an XS, suitable for 15 to 18-inch waists.
The Simple Solution disposable diapers are super comfy. They feature stretchable fabric that hugs your furball just right and moves with them without feeling constrictive.
To prevent accidents, they have leak-proof barriers that keep all the messes inside. The core consists of an ultra-absorbent material, soaking up all the moisture.
A great feature is the Fur-Friendly Fasteners that prevent the coat from getting stuck, this makes them a good choice for long hair breeds like Maine Coon Cats. They’re easy to attach, even when your kitty isn’t cooperating.
- Easy-to-use disposable diaper with Fur-Friendly Fasteners.
- Stretchable fabric, which allows for movement.
- Super-absorbent core.
- Leakproof barriers.
- The fit might be tricky to get right—sizes may vary from descriptions.
When should I use a cat diaper?
Cats aren’t natural diaper wearers. In other words, they may put up a fight when you try to put them on. Also, cat diapers are not a solution to all accidents. For example, don’t use a diaper as a way to skip out on litter box training your kitten. And remember, diapers are not a long-term solution.
That said, there are valid reasons why as a cat owner you may sometimes need to put your cat in a diaper. These include:
Urinary incontinence is one of the most common reasons I use to put a kitty in a diaper. Experts define incontinence as the involuntary passing of urine. This can mean pee anywhere but in the litter box.
But, it’s essential to understand the condition and the possible causes to give your cat the right kind of help.
Signs of urinary incontinence
First, identify why your cat is peeing outside the litter box. It’s important to distinguish between incontinence and behavioral issues, like spraying.
Kitties suffering from incontinence often don’t register that they’re urinating. They can start peeing out of the blue and in unusual situations. Like while they’re resting or playing (1). A cat with behavioral issues will intentionally walk over to a vertical surface and pee on it or spray.
Other indicators of incontinence could be the smell of urine on your kitty’s fur. Their skin might be irritated from the excess moisture and their hind legs are likely to be wet.
Causes of urinary incontinence
There are many causes of urinary incontinence in cats and as a cat lover, it’s important to know the signs (2). Here are some of the most common causes of feline urinary incontinence:
- Spinal cord lesions.
- Injuries in the brain.
- Urethral sphincter incompetence (most common in large-breed, female dogs after spaying, but can occur in cats) (3).
- Disturbance of the nerves surrounding the bladder.
- Overactive bladder syndrome.
- Underdeveloped bladder.
- Mass pressure on the bladder, like from a tumor.
- Urinary tract infections.
- Bladder stones.
- A chronic inflammatory illness.
- Old age, senior cat
What do you do with an incontinent cat?
Because there are so many possible reasons why your cat is incontinent, it’s important you schedule a visit with your vet so they can give you an exact diagnosis and treatment.
You can use cat diapers as a preventative measure while you get an appointment set up but don’t use them as a permanent solution to the problem.
Surgical or illness recovery
Following a surgical procedure or a debilitating illness, your cat may need to wear a cat diaper for some time. This is often due to a lack of mobility, which prevents your kitty from reaching the litter box in time and controlling its bladder.
This is usually short-lived and your cat should be peeing back in the kitty litter box in no time. Diapers aren’t always necessary under these circumstances. Many cat parents opt for confining their cat to a room that’s easy to clean, like the bathroom, until they get better.
I suggest talking to your veterinarian about what’s best for your cat during their post-operative recovery.
Cat diapers for spraying
Having your cat repeatedly marking or spraying your walls and furniture isn’t fun (4). When it becomes a long-term problem, you need to intervene.
Diapers for cat spraying should be seen as a last resort to spraying or marking. Consult your vet beforehand for other possible solutions.
Cat diapers for travel
If you’re about to move or embark on a road trip then using a cat diaper for travel has its benefits. My best friend moved her older cat from Austin to Idaho and we had to stop every few hours to let the cat out of his crate to use the litter box. Yes, in the car!
I sure wish we had had some disposable cat diapers because they would have made our lives so much easier!
Types of diapers for cats
There’s a variety of cat diapers to choose from. Here’s an overview of the different kinds:
- Disposable diapers: You use them once and then throw them in the trash afterward. Disposable cat diapers are less economical but super convenient.
- Reusable cloth diaper: A reusable cloth diaper has an outer fabric shell that you can wash and reuse. Most come with an inside pocket for an absorbent liner. Liners come as disposable or washable. Cloth diapers cost more upfront than disposables but are a better value over time. They’re also better for the environment.
- Belly wrap band: These don’t cover your kitty’s butt and, instead, only catch urine. They’re a great alternative for an incontinent senior cat.
- Cat pants aka stud pants: This type was initially developed to prevent male cats from spraying and used as stud pants. But they’ve proven to be great as female cat diapers. Useful for female cats in heat who may be prone to spraying. They’re similar to reusable diapers in that you use an absorbent liner.
Health and hygiene tips
When your cat wears a diaper, you have to be vigilant about hygiene. Having a diaper around their waist isn’t natural. It can cause skin irritation and rashes if you’re not careful. I’ve gathered some tips below.:
- Change the diaper often: Just like a baby, you should try to change the cat diaper as often as possible. The trapped moisture in the diaper can wreak havoc when pressed against your cat’s body. If there’s cat poop, change it immediately! Never leave your kitty in dirty diapers.
- Clean your cat’s skin: Use unscented, alcohol-free wipes to remove dirt, feces, and urine from your cat’s skin and fur.
- Treat rashes: If a rash develops, consult your veterinarian about a cat-approved ointment that you can apply. Avoid using any cream from your medicine cabinet because it could contain ingredients not suitable for felines.
- Keep your cat groomed: Trim or shave the diaper area. This makes maintenance much easier. Take your kitty to the groomer if they resist sitting still for you.
Cat diaper buying guide
Although a diaper is a straightforward design, there are a few crucial things to consider. Also, it may take some trial and error to find what works for your cat.
Make sure that whichever diaper you choose fits your cat’s tail. It should be wide enough and sit slightly at the top so that it won’t rub against the base of the tail. Also, opt for a soft material here, softer fabric is less likely to chafe and cause issues for your kitty’s hindquarters.
If your kitty doesn’t have a tail, like Manx Cats, or from an injury, you can use a diaper without a tail opening.
Disposable vs washable cat diaper
What type will suit your lifestyle the best? Disposable cat diapers are convenient and can be used without much planning. Picking reusable diapers is more economical but means you have to clean them after use. If you choose cloth diapers, make sure they’re machine washable. Hand-washing is time-consuming and inconvenient.
Choosing the right size is crucial for your cat’s comfort. It’s always better to buy one size too large than one too small.
Once your cat is in the diaper, don’t pull it too tight. If you’re worried they’ll paw it off, consider using baby diapers like a onesie. These are cheap and will fit most cats as long as you cut a tail opening.
A leaking diaper defeats the purpose. An ill-fitting diaper will affect how well it catches cat pee.
Disposable cat diapers are very efficient at keeping liquids inside the diaper. They use a special resin that reacts with the urine, turning it into a jelly-like substance.
Cloth diapers, on the other hand, need an absorbent layer between the shell and the inner fabric. Using it without a liner won’t work.
Can you put dog diapers on a cat?
Yes! You can put dog diapers on a cat. Both cats and dogs have two hind legs and a tail so almost all extra-small or small dog diapers will fit on a cat. In fact, most of the disposable pet diapers out there that I’ve used are marketed as dog diapers. Why? Because the market for dogs is a lot bigger. So just ignore the cute little Chihuahua on the cover of those xs pet diapers and grab them for your Siamese instead.
Diaper duty calls
Whether your kitty suffers from urinary incontinence, spraying, territorial marking, or is recovering from surgery, a pet diaper will keep your home accident-free. You won’t have to worry about pee on the rug, and your kitty can still join you on the couch to Netflix and chill. As always, please consult your vet before opting to use a cat diaper.
- 5 Best Low Carb Dry Cat Food Options 2021 [Review] - October 28, 2020
- 5 Best Hypoallergenic Cat Litter [Review] 2021 - October 16, 2020
- 5 Best Cat Litter Boxes [Review] 2021 - October 7, 2020
Last update on 2021-03-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API