Why does my cat need a collar?
By putting a collar around your cat’s neck, you immediately let people know that your feline has a loving home, so there’s no need for others to “adopt” them. If you write your address and phone number on your cat’s collar, Fluffy might be back home before you even know they went missing. Cat collars come in all colors and sizes, and some even improve your cat’s visibility in the dark. However, make sure to always put function over fashion.
Which collar is safe for my cat?
Before buying a cat collar just because it looks pretty, have a look at the buckle. Standard belt buckles don’t break away when your cat’s collar gets caught onto something, potentially causing your cat serious injuries. If you insist on getting a collar with one of these buckles, make sure that part of the band is elastic, so your cat can escape to safety if needed. Most cat collars nowadays feature a buckle with a special release mechanism that forces the collar to open under stress. This is definitely the safer option, though your cat might come home missing their collar after a fight or a wild chase.
Collar with or without a bell?
Regardless of what some people would like you to believe, the bell on your cat’s collar does not cause hearing loss. Sensitive or anxious cats might get annoyed by the constant noise though, while to the wildlife in your garden, the bell on your cat’s collar has a huge benefit: it warns them about your feline’s presence. Studies show that the amount of small prey caught by your cat is reduced by 50% when they wear a collar with a bell. Do you want to warn the birds in your garden without forcing your cat to wear a bell? Try attaching a colorful bandana to your cat’s collar. Birds are excellent at spotting bright colors and your cat will look fancy, too!
How do I help my cat to get used to their collar?
Most cats accept a collar straight away, but if your cat is more finicky, we have some great tips! First of all, give your cat the chance to get their scent on the collar by placing it in your cat’s basket for them to find and explore. Next, when your cat is relaxed, try draping the collar over their neck while leaving the buckle open. If your cat accepts this, close the buckle. If your cat isn’t comfortable with their collar yet, take it off and put it back on later. Never force the collar on your cat as negative associations will make your cat wary of collars altogether.
How do I adjust the collar to my cat?
When you put a collar on your cat, especially when it’s a kitten that is still growing, check the collar at least once a week to make sure it didn’t get too tight. If you can slide two fingers in between the collar and the cat’s neck, the size is just right. A collar that is too tight could restrict breathing, while a collar that is too loose could cause your cat to get stuck on something, like a branch. Cats that dislike their collar might try to remove it by forcing their paw in between the collar and their neck. To prevent them from succeeding, stick to the two fingers rule.
Don’t forget the microchip!
Since the safest cat collars become undone when your cat gets itself into trouble, chances are that your cat will come home without their collar one day. Once your cat loses their collar, the only way for people to trace it back to you is a microchip implanted in your cat’s neck, between their shoulder blades. This sounds painful, but the chip is only the size of a grain of rice. Once in place, your cat will quickly forget it’s even there!