Cats and collars–though quite the catchy phrase, the two are less commonly associated than, say, dogs and collars, right? You might be asking yourself the question, “Should I put a collar on my cat ?” The answer is simply: it depends!
While there is no one-rule-fits-all here, many pet owners do choose to put collars on their cats while others don’t. Putting a collar on your cat truly depends on you and your feline’s needs.
In this article, we will discuss whether or not you should put a collar on your cat. We will also offer some suggestions to help your cat adjust to wearing a collar (if necessary).
Top Cat Collar Concerns
Just like you, other pet owners worry about putting a collar on their cat. Collaring a cat isn’t as straight forward as we may think. Here’s a few reasons why cat moms and dads hesitate before collaring their fluffy friend.
“My cat is an indoor only cat.”
The number one reason why cat parents do not collar their cat is because they claim their cat is strictly indoor only. Though your cat may be an indoor cat, it is possible that one day kitty escapes outside. If your cat gets startled and runs off, and if he’s not wearing a collar with an identification tag, then it’s very likely that the person who finds your cat will think that its a stray (unless by chance they take your cat to the vet and they find his microchip).
We got our Yoda microchipped when he was a kitten. Even though we knew Yoda would be an indoor cat, accidents do happen. When we travel with Yoda, or when we take him to the vet, we put his collar with his identification tag on him. This way if Yoda does get lost, the people who find him will immediately see his name and our contact information. If ever he loses his collar (which is a breakaway safety collar), Yoda will still have his microchip as a backup method for identification.
Suggestion: Though your cat may be an indoor cat, it is not certain that your cat will never escape. We recommend having a collar with an identification tag handy for your cat. Having a collar with an ID tag nearby will be useful to at least put on your cat when you plan to have guests over (who may leave doors and windows open). It’s also useful for when you take trips to the vet or plan to do any type of car travel.
“My cat doesn’t like wearing one.”
Lots of pet owners decide to not collar their cat because their cat responds wildly. Cats may dislike the feeling of something new and strange around their neck which can make them scratch excessively at it, try to bite off, walk strangely, or else.
Suggestion: Cats are much more likely to adapt to a collar if they have one at an early age. If you want to collar your adult cat who is not used to the collar, reward him with treats each time you put it on. Put the collar on for 15 minutes everyday. Reward your cat each time so that little by little s/he will positively associate the collar with treats. This will help your cat adjust to the feeling of wearing it.
Why Collaring Your Cat is Wise
Here’s our two cents on whether or not your cat should wear a collar.
If your cat is an outdoor cat, then we recommend getting your cat a collar.
Collars are easily identifiable which helps neighbors and strangers alike notice that your cat belongs to someone. Your cat’s collar let’s people know your cat is safe and taken care of. It’s most likely that once your neighborhood recognizes your cat, they’ll start to look out for him to make sure he’s safe. Most often, neighbors will notify you if they’ve seen your cat somewhere or if he’s been getting into some trouble (too much pawtying).
Collars are replaceable, our fluffy babies aren’t!
In addition to collars, we recommend microchipping your cat. This is an extra preventative measure. Just in case your cat gets lost and his collar breaks off, your cat will still be identifiable once taken to an animal shelter which will first check if the cat has a microchip identification.
If your cat is an indoor cat, then we advise you to make the best choice for you and your feline friend. The choice is yours! If your cat doesn’t mind wearing a collar, then getting a simple, cute breakaway collar will be a nice addition to your kitty’s fur coat.
Just don’t forget that though your cat may be an indoor cat, it’s possible that your cat will one day wind up outside somehow. If and when this happens, you’ll at least feel better knowing your cat has a collar with your contact information, just in case!
We always aim to make the best choice for Yoda and since he’s already got an anti-flea collar on his neck, we choose not to put his collar on everyday. It’s usually when we travel or take trips to the vet that we put on his collar.
Best Cat Collar Practices
When putting a collar on a cat, do make sure that you can fit at least two fingers between the collar and your cat’s neck.
Putting a collar on that is too tight can cause trachea damage to your cat. Not to mention this is very uncomfortable and will make it painfully difficult for your cat to breathe, eat or drink! So please be attentive. Always check your cat’s collar after sometime just to make sure it hasn’t tightened up on it’s own.
Also make sure your contact information is readable on the collar or ID tag. This is very important for others to help identify your cat and contact you in case of emergency.
When first introducing a new collar to your cat, always observe your cat’s behavior. Your cat may also try to bite it off. It’s really hard for them to get their jaw unstuck, so make sure to always observe your cat’s new collar. Yoda once got his jaw hooked in his collar, but thankfully I was watching him at the time and immediately went to his rescue!