black cat wearing a gold collar

Should Cats Wear Collars?

It is common for dogs to wear collars, but when it comes to cats, many owners do not bother.

However, there are many reasons why putting a collar on your cat is a good idea.

Collars help find missing cats, minimise the chances of your cat being hit by a car, indicate that your cat has a home (so someone doesn’t ‘adopt’ them), help you tell similar looking cats apart and much more.

Yet, there are also some things that owners need to look out for to ensure that the cat collar they pick out for their cat is safe and effective.

Collars can be a very dangerous strangulation hazard so you should ensure that any collar your fit on your cat is a quick-release collar that will break away if it gets caught on something.

Positives of Cat Collars:

There are numerous benefits to putting a collar on your cat. Here are the main reasons why they are a good idea:.

1. They Help Find Missing Cats

Collars are extremely useful if your cat escapes and gets lost, as you can have them personalised, such as your contact details or address engraved on the tag or written on the band.

This way, if anyone finds your cat far from home, they will easily be able to get in touch with you and have your cat safely returned.

Even if your cat is microchipped, you should still have a collar.

Microchips can only be read by a scanner, so a collar makes your personal information easier to access, thus more likely that your cat will be brought home quickly.  

Collars can also be used to attach a cat tracking device to, these can tell you exactly where your cat is at any given moment so you need never fear losing your cat again.

2. Indicate Your Cat Has a Home

Additionally, seeing a cat with a collar lets people know that it does already have an owner and a loving home.

Often, people will feed stray cats and take them into their homes, assuming that they live on the street and need a new family.

Although these individuals mean well, this could cause your cat to stay with these people instead.

3. They Help You Tell Kittens Apart

Collars are also useful if you have two cats that look alike, especially if your cat has just had a litter of kittens.

two kittens in hands

Kittens can notoriously be difficult to identify until they grow older and start developing stronger features and personalities.

Using different coloured tags can help you tell them apart, which is extremely useful when taking them to the vet, as well as ensuring new cat owners will receive the kitten they previously reserved.

4. Locate Your Cat & Reduce Hunting

Additionally, many cat collars come with a bell attached.

This is great for letting you know your cat’s whereabouts without having to hunt around the entire house searching for them.

Moreover, if your cat is an outdoor cat and often brings you back unwanted gifts of mice and birds, having a bell can help reduce this.

The noise will alert the prey that your cat is nearby, giving them a head start at an escape and making them more difficult to catch.

5. Protect Against Fleas

Some cat collars are made to provide natural protection against fleas and ticks.

These collars emit a toxin or odour that is harmless to cats but repels these parasites, providing effective protection without the need for purchasing flea treatment tablets and sprays.

a cat with fleas

If your cat already has fleas, using a flea collar in combination with other treatments can be an effective remedy as well as offering prevention in the future.

6. Protect Against Road Accidents

Road accidents are one of the biggest dangers for cats, especially at night when it is dark.

You can purchase reflective collars that make your cats more visible on the road to both drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians by reflecting headlights back towards them.

This can help to protect against road accidents and make it less likely they will fall victim to road traffic disasters.

7. Stylish Accessory

Cat collars are also a great accessory and are a fantastic alternative to dressing your cat in clothes that may cause them distress.  

white cat with collar

You can purchase collars in a range of different colours, materials, and designs to find one that matches your cat’s personality.

Will A Collar Cause My Cat Pain?

If the collar you purchase does not fit properly, then it can be too tight and cause your cat discomfort and difficulty breathing.

Cat’s that have uncomfortable collars will try to take them off, which could further cause them to hurt themselves trying, and will mean you need to end up buying a new one each time.

However, as long as you choose a collar the right size for your cat, there will be no pain or discomfort.

As a general rule, you should be able to comfortably fit two fingers side-by-side under your cat’s collar, which will ensure they have enough room for it to be comfortable without sliding off.

Also, using collars that can be adjusted by sliding usually offer a better fit than a traditional buckle, as they can be adjusted to any size, rather than only where the holes of the buckle are.

Buckles can also dig into your cat and cause further discomfort, so are best to avoid.

It is especially important to upgrade your kitten’s collar regularly as they are growing and will frequently need a different size until they are fully grown.

Will A Collar Trap or Choke My Cat?

Collars can also get caught on fences, trees, or anything else when playing outdoors.

This can trap your cat if they cannot work out how to escape, which is especially dangerous if they are playing in a remote area as it is unlikely someone will find them and help them out.

In a worst-case scenario, cats could also choke and suffocate themselves when trying to wiggle free.

However, while these situations may occur, they are extremely unlikely, and in a study by The Humane Society of The United States (HSUS), only 3% of 538 cats got their collars caught, and all without any harmful effects.

Moreover, it is more likely that a cat will get lost, end up in a shelter, and be euthanised due to there not being enough homes because it wasn’t wearing a collar, than it getting caught by its collar and dying this way.  

Thankfully, if you are overly concerned about this, you can purchase break-away collars that have a safety buckle that automatically releases if your cat gets stuck on something and starts choking.

This offers a safe way to ensure your cat gets returned to you if they do go missing, without the worries of them getting entangled and hurt.

Do House Cats Need Collars?

Many owners think that if their cat is an indoor pet, that they do not need a collar.

However, no matter whether your cat is a house cat or goes outdoors, a collar is still a good idea as it is easy to accidentally leave a door open, allowing your cat to escape.

British Short hair cat with bright yellow eyes sitting on the sofa.

If your cat did get out by mistake, you will wish you had put a collar on it to give it the best chances of being returned to you quickly.

What’s more, is that house cats are not streetwise and so are even more likely to become disorientated and scared, ending up in more trouble than if an outdoor cat was to wander off too far.

Often, owners will only realise the need for collars after it is too late, so do not let this be you!

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