When it comes to the creatures we share our homes with, few are as hotly debated as cats - some people love them, some people hate them and some people…find them sexy. Wait, what? In case you’ve some how missed it, we really, really sexualise cats - or at least women dressed as cats - as a society.
Don’t believe me? Just look at the reaction Twitter had to the trailer for the film version of Broadway show Cats. Or go to a college Halloween party to check out all the sexy cats. Hell, even watch any of the Batman movies where Catwoman features. Seems like we’re into cats in a big way.
While it’s not difficult to present theories as to why people find cats (or women dressed as cats) sexy, it’s significantly harder to ascertain what the correct one is. There are elements of both empowerment and oppression in how we represent women dressed in ears and a tail.
And it is women that we associate with cats for the most part (hands up if you ever believed that cats are girls and dogs are boys!) The first instance of the cat/woman connection I can find is the Egyptian goddess Bastet who had the head of the cat and the body of a woman. This goes without saying, but as a literal goddess, she was powerful af.
Cats continued to be closely aligned with powerful women throughout history. During eras with bouts of witch-panic, cats were actually killed in large numbers as they were believed to be familiars (which in turn contributed to the spread of The Black Plague in London, by the way). We know now that the fear of witches has a lot to do with a fear of female independence and sexuality - something that unfortunately still rings true to this day - so cats being associated with these things does give them a sort of illicit sexiness. (And I haven’t even mentioned how many of the ‘sexy cat’ costumes we see are pretty slinky and revealing in nature anyway!)
The prevailing feeling about cats (and owners will endorse this a much as anyone) is that they are never really owned. They live their life in your home, but at their heart they’re still wild. They live a secret night-time life after you go to bed and honestly, there’s nothing you can do to stop them. It could be this unapologetic confidence that makes them appealing to some people.
On the other side of things though, there is the potential that people find women dressed as cats sexy because they enjoy the idea of possessing women as though they are pets. Although they are wild at heart, they wear a collar that indicates a certain level of submission - yeah, they seem like they DGAF but they can be won over by a bowl of warm milk.
This is obviously an inherently misogynistic viewpoint, but we do see the equation of women and cats a lot from this point of view too. Just look at the amount of cat oriented phrases we associate with women: being catty, having catfights, being a cougar, being a pussy, having a pussy, being a crazy cat lady. Cats present a level of mystery that a lot of men associate with human women - just like human women cats are also demonized when they aren’t obedient.
My theory (or perhaps my hope?!) is that to men cats represent the perfect inbetween of both these extremes. They’re wild but if they choose you, you can share in that wildness with them. The attraction to girls in cat costumes is not about idolising their perceived promiscuity or trying to make them submit - it’s about sharing in that wildness with them, as equals. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, cats and cat costumes are hella slinky so that might be the simple answer to the attraction.
All the above aside, wearing a sexy cat costume can be empowering whether you wear it purely for you, or as part of some kind of submissive sex play. Ultimately if you’re a woman wearing a cat costume because it makes you feel good it’s empowering - regardless of how its perceived by those around you!
If you do want to give the whole sexy cat thing as try (minus all the over-thinking I’ve done above) PlayBlue can help. We’ve got the tail. We’ve got the ears. We’ve got the suit. And we’ve got the collar (if you’re that kind of cat.) Purrrfect!