Do cats need pants? Do horses need goggles? Pet clothes and accessories symbolize the close relationship we have with animals. We want to make our pets as “comfortable” as we are. We want to make them as fashionable as we are – or as fashionable as we perceive ourselves. To these ends, hardworking inventors have been striving for new ways to make pets and animals happier and more stylish. Some of their inventions have utility, and some are just about looking cool. Here are a few.
An early entrant, not so much for a pet, is H.W. Rieck’s “Goat Coat.” Observing that “tender, high strung, and nervous” Angora goats might be happier if they could wear a nice coat after their twice-yearly shearings. Rieck set forth to invent a “Goat Coat” that might protect them from the “inclemencies of the weather.” That’s very kind. And it rhymes!
Flashforward 67 years to a new era, the Go-Go 90s, when we’re thinking less about utility and more about fun and fashion. Neidling’s Cat Garment presents a cute, pajama-like outfit for your cat. When I look at this cat garment, I think something’s amiss. Cats are smart. They can be trained to use a litter box. In some cases they can even use a toilet (I’m looking at you, Mr. Jinx!). But is a cat smart enough to figure out buttons? On its back?
There is a time for pets to chill, and there is a time for our pets to be forcibly restrained. No, I’m not talking about just putting them on a leash or into a travel crate. I’m talking STRAIGHT JACKET. Inventor Ip makes the case for bagging up hysterical pets with this Animal Restraint for Vets/Pet Owners. The “frustoconical” design represents a major improvement over the common practice of just wrapping unruly cats in a towel.
The cat depicted here makes its own case for confinement. Those piercing, psychotic eyes are saying, “I will not forgive you, and I will not forget this!” It may be time to discuss having this cat permanently institutionalized. Also, I know the “A” on the cat’s forehead is a part letter, but it looks downright Manson Family!
And moving along from cat to dog, we see here the Pet Sunglasses System from Ramirez. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Secret service dog! (Do you get the pun?). The inventor mentions in the application that these sunglasses will help to prevent cataracts. According to my veterinarian friend Ami, dogs do indeed get cataracts, so good work, Ramirez, in providing a novel solution to this problem. Now we just need a PSA on Animal Planet to get the word out.
Back to dogs, I just think this dog looks like a big shot, sporting the Pet Garment from Dzamon and Souza. It looks like it might be a Fonzi jacket, or perhaps a varsity jacket. Sure, this is already a big dog, but now it’s a big dog on campus.
For the Katty Perry/Nikki Minaj pooch, we have the Garment with Attachable Accessory by Sternlight. The attachable accessory has utility as a cooling pack, but that’s no reason why it can’t be fun. Here, it’s in the shape of a teddy bear…holding on for dear life.
And let’s not forget that some dogs are out there risking life and paw. For those brave K-9s, we have Slater’s Bullet Proof Canine Vest. A bulletproof vest is probably a good investment, too, when you consider what it costs to train a service dog.
With these and many more inventions, it looks like we may be heading into a future where our pets will be more decked out and stylish than us.