DIY Baby Onesie/T-shirts Cone of Shame Alternative

DIY Baby Onesie/T-shirts
Cone of Shame Alternative

( For Future Tri-kitties this is what we did)

How to make a baby onesie for recovery for a front leg amputation kitty.  Please ask your surgeon before the surgery if this is allowed and get the ok from them!  We did, and we got approval.

The first challenge was what size do I buy?

We looked at weight charts for baby onesies, and I got 03-06 months based on the size chart for Purrkins.  These worked, but they were way too big, they shifted all over. 
Don’t go by the weight chart this was not accurate for cats;)

I ended up getting a smaller size 0-3 months onesies and t-shirts. These fit better and shifted less.

I checked the incision 2 x  a day & changed the onesie or t-shirt daily.

I would say 0-3 months size for the average kitty. Under 10 lbs I would look at the newborn size!  (Like human clothes size differs depending on the manufacturer)

The onesie’s I cut the bottom off, I cut both arms off, the limb that was amputated was sewn shut.  The one arm I cut to allow no restriction to Purrkins.

The t-shirts I cut some off the bottom and both arms off and sewed the amputated limb shut.  They both did the job & kept Purrkins from getting to the incision.

Fair warning these stretch like crazy!  Sewing and cutting and writing may not be purrfect.  I promise your kitty doesn’t care & will be happy they are not in a cone!

Amazon has them for cheap or your local Walmart or Goodwill.  If you shop Goodwill make sure to wash them first;)  If you shop Amazon start your search on Tripawds you will be supporting Tripawds to keep us online;)

You will need

  • Baby onesie or baby t-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Needle & thread
  • Optional sewing straight pins

I outlined what I did below – I hope this is self-explanatory

I turned them inside out, and hand sewed the amputated arm shut.

The non amputated arm is optional if you cut it.

I found Purrkins did better with cutting both arms off!

Nothing is perfect as you can see😉

Baby Onesie
Baby T-Shirt

See why I cut the one arm out? Purrkins has no restriction in the DIY onesie

Now I have an excuse to Post how cute Purrkins looked again;)

We recovered in a closet please excuse the bad lighting:)

Hope this helps you and your recovering tri-kitty!

Any questions? Post a comment & I will get back to you!

Author: Purrkins

Cat Diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma low grade 1 on his left front carpus at age six, now a cancer-free tripawd kitty.

26 thoughts on “DIY Baby Onesie/T-shirts Cone of Shame Alternative”

  1. Still no RSS feed, huh? 😊
    You look like a total pro, Holly! Think you could make me a shirt like Purrkins yellow and white stripey one?? I love it!! 😊
    And did you put a post in the forums linking to here?

  2. Holly this is FABULOUS! I totally missed it too because of the RSS feed but I know Admin and the uber geeks are working on fixing the issue.

    The detail you put into the directions is so purrrfect and I too loved seeing Purrkins in them! I like that both arms were cut so it looks like a badass muscle shirt 🙂

    Oh and thanks for making me chuckle about washing the Goodwill finds! Too cute.

    I’m going over to update our “Tips for Three Legged Cats” news blog post with this priceless info, thank you again!

    1. The Admin did his magic & believes we have it fixed!!😀

      Glad you liked it! Hopefully this will help future tri-kitties, one less thing to think about when dealing with the amp!
      Purrkins did not mind being dressed up, such a cutie!
      Glad you got a chuckle, well you never know 😉

  3. I wanted to thank you so much for this tutorial! I recently adopted a tripod kitty who had just had his leg amputated (the tripod in our family before him had been born that way, so this was all new to me!), and he was just MISERABLE in his cone. The surgeon was fine with a onesie and it really made the difference.

    Now I’m a medical foster for a local shelter, and I have another sweet newly tripoded cat who’s also adjusting quickly now that he doesn’t have to worry about the cone. 🙂

    So thank you again!

    1. I am so happy to hear it helped you with the recently adopted tripawd kitty. I know the onesie is a great alternative to the cone, you have to wonder what they are thinking a cone on 4 legs is bad enough isn’t it? UGH Let alone on 3 legs!

      I am glad you asked your surgeon ours was fine with it also “as long as the incision is protected”. I was not putting a cone on Purrkins on 3 legs to learn on 3 legs, it was not an option to me. He wobbled with a cone on 4 legs!

      You are wonderful to take in another tripawd kitty. They are very special kitties, not special needs kitties after they heal.

      I wont be surprised to hear you have a failed foster (as in you keep this tripawd kitty too;) Think about doing a blog we would love to see all your tripawd kitties.

      Thank you for taking the time to post and letting us know this helped you!

      You are very welcome and again thank you for taking the time!
      Holly & Purrkins❤️

      1. That’s the truth! RR Jake was thrilled to be out of the cone, as he also had a URI so the poor dear was sneezy on top of everything else. Link didn’t have to worry about that, but it was definitely getting in the way of figuring everything out.

        Yup, the shelter surgeon essentially said to use our discretion about whether the cats’ behavior would put the incision at risk or not if we replaced the cone with the onesie. Both of them have been very good at not trying to scratch or bite through the cloth, thankfully!

        Link is a super sweet boy, all he wants to do is cuddle and purr. 🙂 While it’s tempting to adopt him too, we only have two resident cat slots here and I want to be available to help more kitties in need. Not going to lie though, having a herd of little tripods would be the most adorable thing ever.

        I actually did set up a blog for our resident and foster tripods. 🙂 Going to start posting to it today, hopefully! 😀

        Thank you for all of the work that went into this post and the others you write. I’ve been following along for awhile before signing up here, so. 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

        1. That is great on the blog and be sure to post in the forums if you put Link up for adoption;) I hear you😉
          You will get more exposure for the adoption on the site and they can post on facebook, twitter and get the word out when you get to that point.

          Yes, we have to go by each cat and see how it goes. We were lucky Purrkins was good with his onesie, some cats escape the onesie? Again never happened with us!

          Thanks again for your kind words and taking the time to post, for taking all these sweet kitties in and giving them a chance to find their furever home. Your a good soul !

          I will look forward to your blog!
          Have a great weekend !


    1. No, not at all. I checked the incision twice a day and changed the onesie every day. We had no trouble with Purrkins incision or checking it.

      Always check to see what is going on under the onesie. It is there to cover and protect our kitties from getting to it. Beats the cone any day!
      Holly & Purrkins❤️

    1. Hello & Welcome,
      We have had a few members try to use them for rear leggers, but I don’t know what the outcome was. I can only speak for the onesie on a front leg amp.
      I cannot visualize how it would cover the incision enough – not to say it will not work I do not have any experience to share.

      They do sell recovery suits VetGood Recovery Suits /made to cover the rear here is a link to check out. I know we had one member use it with success here is a link to her blog

      If you do try the onesie and succeed let us know, please.
      We wish you the best of luck in recovery. If you have other question, please don’t hesitate to ask!
      Hugs and scratches to your kitty
      Holly & Purrkins❤️

  4. Hello! I just had to say thank you so much for sharing the onesie idea and instructions! I altered 5 tonight. My 18 yo tuxedo, BooBoo (aka The Baby) has front right amputation surgery tomorrow morning. She was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma. I’m so happy I found The Tripawds site, it has been a blessing as we prepare for this. I was wondering if Purrkins chose the closet or did you…I’m trying to figure out the best spot for her….

    Thank you for sharing. Hugs to you & Mr. Purrkins
    Me & The Baby

    1. Hi Donna,
      I’m sorry you are dealing with SCC and had to find us.

      I’m happy to know the instructions helped!

      We set up a spare room for Purrkins and gutted everything in the room but a mattress on the floor for me. Purrkins chose the closet to recover in. I set up a little bed in there after he said I like it in here;)

      Most cats like a little nook to tuck into in recovery. This made Purrkins feel extra safe, I think.

      We wish BooBoo an uneventful surgery and recovery.
      We know how stressful this time is. Make sure you come home with pain meds and more than 3 days’ worth ok.
      Let us know if you have other questions, ok.
      Give the Baby a smooch for us, please

      Big Hugs
      Holly & Purrkins💝💝💝

  5. Hi Holly, Thank you again for all your help 💕. The vet just called and said she did great, hardly any bleeding and we probably can take her home later today. Sending us home with bupronex for two days administered by a squirt on the gums and then gaba for two weeks. I can’t wait to see my Baby!

    She has actually been tripawding for over two months as we had been bandaging that foot and she was no weight bearing. We caught her SCC early (15 months ago), but three vets misdiagnosed. I expect she will still have an adjustment to the foot being really gone, but it smelled so awful I know she won’t miss that at all. I’m off to make her a safe recovery spot!

    I will certainly give her a big smooch 😽 from her new Tripawd Family!

    From the bottom of my heart ♥️ thank you for being here; this TriFam has been a great resource and a big comfort.

    Hugs right back at you Holly and smooches to Mr. Purrkins 💋
    Donna & BooBoo

    1. Hi Donna,
      Thanks for the update always a massive relief to hear our furmily did well thru surgery. I remember anxiously waiting for that call.

      Bringing BoBoo home the first night can be challenging. I don’t want to scare you; many people do it but be prepared for a very restless kitty & have an emergency contact number to whom you call and where you go if needed.

      I would also highly encourage you to insist on more Bupronex or the very least know you can get more if needed asap.

      Purrkins was on Buprenorphine for 12 days. Gabapentin for 14 days. They originally only sent home three days of Buprenorphine. Purrkins was in pain, and we had to get more thankfully, it was not an issue! I would have rather had what we needed initially and for Purrkins not to have suffered. Too many cats have gone thru the same, not enough meds sent home. I don’t want you and the baby to have the same fate.

      Amputation is a massive surgery, and we need the pain managed., It makes all the difference in recovery for BooBoo and you!

      Stock up on some yummy wet foods for BooBoo if she does not have diet restrictions. They can become fussy on the meds, and we have to pull out all our tricks to get them to eat. Wet food is best as you don’t have to worry so much about keeping them hydrated.

      I’m sure Boo Boo will feel much better in a few weeks w/o that painful foot. I’m sorry you had 3 vets miss this! Good for you for not giving up.

      I think it might be a tad easier on Boo Boo since she has not been using that leg for a while but will likely still need to adjust to being a senior kitty. BooBoo will show you either way.

      Please keep us updated; We will be thinking of you both!
      Big Hugs🫂
      Holly & Purrkins💝💝💝

  6. I bought a sweater meant for hairless cats and DIYed it up for my Finn. I thought buying something made for cats would fit a bit better in the chest and such. They are pretty cheap on Amazon!

    1. Hi Alysse
      Brilliant idea & I bet it does fit better than a hooman onesie;)

      Thanks for sharing!

      Scratches to Finn, please!
      Holly & Purrkins 💝💝💝

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