Cat Hat Challenge: it’s not as easy as it looks

Cats in Hats – Hats on Cats.   It’s quite a challenge to make a cat hat and not as easy as it looks on screen!

You’ve probably seen them online: adorable cats wearing beautiful, tiny hats.  There are all sorts of hats. There are the delightfully lightweight, paper hats of Tiny Hats on Cats.  There’s an Etsy seller named To Scarborough Fair, who does a remarkable job of making these cuties from wool.  I believe that she uses a combination of wet and needle felting.  Both makers have calm cats, who happily model hats.  Scarborough Fair even gives tips on how to encourage your cat wear a hat, which may be the biggest cat hat challenge.

Well, you may already know from this blog that I’ve made hats with cat patterns and trims for humans: my FE_Line Collection.  Cat lovers and hat wearers certainly seemed to appreciate cats ON hats.

Not surprisingly, my children wanted to put one of my new series of Forest Elf hats onto our cats. That seemed a cute, but less-than-ideal concept. While we love our pets, FeltHappiness customers might not want to share hats with my cats.

Postponement of hats_ON_ cats was accepted. I’d would make a hat like this for one of our cats.

Wet Felted Elf Hat with Holly Leaf 

This blogpost can be considered a tutorial on how to make a wet felted hat. Nice thing about making for a cat hat is that the small size speeds up the process. Very delightfully!

How I made my cat hat – a quick, step-by-step, wet felting tutorial

I took a tape measure to one of our cats (not literally). Accounting for the shrinkage for the felt, 6 inches seemed like a good resist size because the base of the triangle for a small human hat is 13 inches. Silly me!  Cats have a lot smaller heads!  And I ended up needed to shape the hat and pinch it so it would fit a cat head.

Figuring out the size of a cat hat.Then, I proceeded to make a hat the way I usually do, laying out the Merino wool in a shingle pattern. I did four layers in reds and greens to make a Christmas colored cat hat.  Probably could have stopped at three layers. It’s not as if my cat needs a hat to keep warm!

Laying out red Merino wool for the cat hat.

Then, I dampened the each side with soapy water made from dissolved olive oil soap. Sorry not to have a photo of this stage.

Next, did a quick rub through netting to get the wool fibers to stay in one place – prefelt. I tend to stick my hands in plastic bags. My hands can slide more easily and I spend a bit less time with wet hands.

Rubbing stage of feltmaking for wet felted cat hat

Once the wool adhered, I began to roll in bubble wrap. That green is SO photogenic!

Rolling the cat hat felt in green bubblewrap

Feeling impatient, I used my spare sushi mat to quicken the felting.  There are kits that sell large sushi mats.  One day….

Using a sushi mat to make cat hat

Picture of cutting the part of the felt where the cat’s head will go. Then, the resist if removed.

Removing the plastic resist from the shrunken felt for the cat hat

Smoothing the cut edges of the cat hat and inside of the felt with soapy fingers.

Smoothing the inside and cut edges of the cat hat

No picture for the shaping and drying of the cat hat. But, here’s one of the trimming.

Trimming a felted cat hat using green felt

Tah dah!  Here is the completed elf hat with our less than delighted Kiwi Cat. This photo was taken using a self-timer. We may have gotten more feline cooperation with extra camera crew members.


So, I don’t think that I will become a feltmaking milliner for cats.

Although, I can see the appeal of grownups dressing up their pets. Who didn’t put the cat in the baby stroller when they were a child?  What do you think? Is it like coloring books for grownups? That we forced-to-be-boring-grownups now have the opportunity to participate in our childhood pleasures?


Additionally, this week I’m participating in Style Crone‘s November Hat Attack.  Please go over and see what Judith Boyd wears and writes at her popular blog. Style Crone is not just about the externals; she causes me to think and see new connections between beauty, age and family.

—————————————————–See you next week.


P.S.: Here is the complete Forest Elf Hat collection which can be found in my shop —  Elf Hat Collection in Green and Red

6 Responses

  1. The Style Crone

    A cat hat!!! Very creative and I enjoyed reading about your process. Your work is gorgeous and I am honored that you displayed your beauty and your headwear on Hat Attack. Kiwi Cat added to the fun! Thank You!

    • jgorman

      Judith, Thank you for taking the time to write and comment on my Cat Challenge / Hat Attack post. I truly appreciate this and all that you do to create your wonderful community. You are truly a special person!

    • jgorman

      Thank you Shirley for taking the time to write! I tried to see your dolls on your website, but they must have been feeling shy 😉 I particularly wanted to see if you made doll hats. I’d imagine that they would be even more fiddly than cat hats. But at least they would cooperate for photos.


  2. Sheila (of Ephemera)

    I had to come visit you from Judith’s “Hat Attack” (I miss participating this time, aw)! I love your kitty’s face as he/she tolerates your lovely cat-hat! So fun!

    • jgorman

      Thank you Sheila for coming by FeltHappiness. And moreover taking the time to write; it’s truly appreciated!!!

      Yes, poor Kiwi was kindly tolerant. Probably, she was surprised because the grownups, don’t usually bother so her much! Interestingly, our kitten, Pickles, will tolerate my teen putting a hat on her….but not me! Cats must have expectations of how we are supposed to act!

      Hopefully, you will catch Judith’s next “Hat Attack”!