DIY Baby Onesies for Dogs and Cats After Surgery 

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DIY Baby Onesies For Dogs and cats After SurgeryWhile your dog is recovering from surgery, your vet may give you an Elizabethan collar or an inflatable collar to stop your furry friend from scratching or biting near the surgical site. Using a plastic cone or inflatable pillow might be a good deterrent, but some dogs will find it miserable to wear them and may have difficulties adjusting to these awkward devices. In this article, we share the best DIY baby onesies for dogs and cats after surgery using just an old T-shirt, baby clothes, or socks.  

DIY Baby Onesies for Dogs and Cats After Surgery

After doing research, we were able to gather practical alternatives for dogs and cats who wish to recover in peace; most will take less than 1 hour to make. A simple alternative to the dog cone is a onesie made to fit your cat or dog — this is a good idea for pet owners who wish to give full coverage of the torso. As a result, it will prevent them from reopening your cat or dog’s wounds and help with the healing process.   

1. DIY Cat Onesie

Using just a T-shirt, markers, and a pair of scissors, this is a pretty easy DIY alternative to a belly band or inflatable neck pillow that was made when the author’s cats were spayed. Unlike the other designs here, this option replaces the neck hole with straps; you won’t need an expensive sewing machine or have experience with patterns. Be sure to measure your cat for the correct size of its leg holes — when you’re done, the whole project will have been finished in less than 30 minutes.     

Check the instructions here. 

2. Kitten Sock Onesie 

If you’re looking for an affordable yet effective cat recovery suit, all you need are two knee-high socks and scissors. This option is great for smaller dogs and cats but may not be suitable for hefty canines and felines, so you may need to use a bigger garment. This is the simplest design on this list, and you’ll only have to do three cuts on your sock so you’ll be able to finish this DIY cat onesie in under 15 minutes. 

Here are step-by-step instructions.

3. Post-Surgical Dog Onesie

With this plan, you can use an old T-shirt (or a toddler onesie if you want to save time), safety pins, markers, and scissors to create a surgery recovery suit for your cat or dog. According to the author, it’s best to use “Jersey-style” shirts to achieve the best results since they’re more comfortable and flexible compared to other styles. However, you can also look into a stretchy fabric that won’t harm your dog or cat’s skin; this is specifically made for medium-sized cats, so you will have to make adjustments according to your pet’s size. 

Because it won’t be worn for more than 10 days, this design uses pins instead of Velcro or ties and will only take 30 minutes to make. 

Dog onesie instructables here. 

4. Shirt Sleeve Onesie 

This DIY surgical recovery suit is great for a small dog and only calls for a pair of scissors, markers, and a long-sleeved shirt. This design can also be used on cats of a similar size but using a leg from a pair of sweatpants will work on bigger cats and dogs. Making precise measurements won’t be needed for this design, but you will need to make the right spacing for the legs of the onesie. 

You can do this by putting your cat on top of your sleeve to create marks — you should be able to make a nice suit in just 20 minutes to help with your pet’s smooth recovery. 

Here are the instructions for this onesie.

5. No Sew Onesie

Using just scissors and an old sweatshirt, this option is extremely easy to make and should only take 5 minutes of your time. It offers a great way to protect your pet’s incision site and offers a quick way for pet parents to eliminate the need for a traditional cone. Simply cut out a few sections for your cat or dog’s neck, legs, and tail — if your best friend has an incision on the abdomen, you can have the back of the onesie longer than the front. 

Instructions for this onesie here. 

6. Dog Clothes Pattern

With just a few pins, kraft paper, scissors, thread, a needle (or sewing machine), and two old shirts, this option is moderately difficult to make but is perfect for cat and dog wear. With a PDF of each step that can be downloaded in the link below, this design can be used on pets that weigh up to 12 pounds. While you can make your own pattern from scratch, you can use the sizing chart as your guide for a basic outline. 

You can use color fabric for the hind and front legs if you want an inexpensive winter coat, but you can skip this step if you only want a surgical suit. If you already have experience with sewing, this is the best option for you and can be finished in just 2 hours. 

Instructions for this pattern here. 

7. Lightweight PJs for Pets

Human clothes like a newborn onesie are a great option to use for this design that provides both a snug fit and extra warmth for your pet. You will also need to gather these items: a ruler, scissors, needle, thread, sewing machine, and a pencil for this pajama design. Because pets will often outgrow their clothes fairly quickly, and big families can accumulate clothes in just a few years. 

These two factors will help you make great body suits that will help you cover sensitive areas and neuter sites for your cats or dogs. The author of this project was made specifically for a dog but can be adjusted for cats as well; be sure to cut out holes for the legs and neck while keeping the bottom of the shirt unobstructed.  

Check the instructions here.


The good news is that you don’t always have to look for DIY options, and there are many ways for you to give comfort to your disabled dog or cat.  

What Can I Use Instead of Cones? 

If you’re not necessarily looking for a creative way to replace your cat or dog’s cone, there are plenty of alternatives that you can buy from pet stores, such as:

  • Fleece onesie
  • Donut collars
  • Soft collar
  • Inflatable collars
  • Fabric collars
  • Clothing 

Can I Use a Baby Onesie for My Pet? 

If your pet has just been spayed or neutered, you can use a onesie to protect your dog or cat’s incision from the possibility of infection. All you need to do is cut out the tail, leg, and arm holes so that they can’t lick or scratch the site of the incision. This solution also provides them protection from hard floors, and the litter box while being machine washable. 

Why Use a Onesie for My Pet?   

They are usually made from a soft material that helps to prevent hot spots and can protect your pet from a hard surface while they lie down. Even if you use a comfy cone, it will still irritate the base of the neck of your pet. On the other hand, onesies provide an inexpensive and comfortable way to keep after-surgery wounds safe.


While cats aren’t as tolerant of wearing clothes as dogs, using onesies is the best way to keep your pets as comfortable as possible along with pain meds during their recovery. Slip your pet a treat before placing their onesie on them and be sure to contact your veterinary technician to get the help you need. As a cat or dog owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your furry friend is healthy and happy at all times.