It seems like a no-brainer that as a pet owner, putting a collar on your cat is the responsible choice. It’s a great form of identification (not to mention a prime opportunity to make a feline fashion statement).
While there are several benefits to putting a collar on your cat, it’s important to be sure that you’re choosing the right collar for your cat. Otherwise, that well-intentioned collar could pose some surprising dangers to your kitty.
Do Indoor Cats Need Collars?
Even if your cat is strictly an indoor cat, a cat collar is generally a good idea. (Plus, some rental agreements require pets to wear them.) Regardless of your intentions, your kitty has a mind of her own; you never know when she may slip out the door or window out of curiosity, or even as a response to separation anxiety.
A collar helps others identify your cat, making it clear that she’s not a stray and doesn’t need to be taken to an animal shelter. While we always recommend microchipping your pet, it’s also a good idea to have an ID tag on your cat’s collar for a better chance of being reunited.
Simply put, a collar with an ID tag could make all the difference when it comes to your cat coming home safely.
Choosing a Safe Cat Collar
When picking out a cat collar, it may be tempting to buy the cutest, most affordable option. However, there are more factors to consider than just style and price.
There may be a variety of cat collars to choose from, but more and more experts are urging pet owners to limit their options to high-quality breakaway or quick-release collars.
The quick-release function on a cat collar is crucial. Let’s say your outdoor kitty gets her collar caught on a tree branch or fence post, or even gets a leg stuck between her collar and her neck. When she tries to pull away, the buckle on the collar will open up, allowing her to safely return home.
Even if you lose a few collars here and there due to the quick-release function, a breakaway collar is well worth it. After all, those lost collars are just a reminder of how often they do end up getting caught—just be thankful your kitty isn’t still stuck somewhere out there with her collar! If you’re worried about your cat losing her ID tag, it’s a good idea to get her microchipped with up-to-date info as a permanent precaution.
A flea collar may seem like a good two-for-one option, but we suggest staying away from flea collars, elastic collars, or any collar without a quick-release buckle function. Stay on the safe side by applying your cat’s flea treatments another way.
Ultimately, the purpose of the collar is to keep your cat safe. You don’t want her collar to be the reason she gets hurt or put into a dangerous situation.
Cat Collar Considerations
Picking out a collar for your cat can be a fun process: you can choose between solid colors and print patterns, and even switch it up every so often with seasonal holiday collars! As you browse your options and try to find the best fit for your feline’s unique personality, be sure to take some more practical aspects into consideration, too.
Choose a color or pattern that stands out against your cat’s fur for easy identification. You may even want to opt for a reflective collar, especially if you have an outdoor kitty that likes to explore at night.
If your cat tends to hunt small animals, you may want to consider adding a bell to her collar to warn birds of her presence. Plus, the bell can make it easier for you to find her when it’s time to come inside.
Some collars have an option to add a cat tracker in addition to an ID tag. If your cat loves to explore the outdoors, a tracker can come in handy. (Of course, it’s also worth reiterating the importance of a microchip!)
- Make sure the collar comfortably fits your cat. You should be able to slide a few fingers underneath the collar so you know it’s loose enough to be comfortable, but tight enough to stay on and avoid getting caught on other objects.
If you have a growing kitten or a cat who’s actively gaining or losing weight, regularly check the fit of the collar to make sure it’s still the right size. Plus, some collars can lose elasticity over time, even if your cat stays the same size.
In addition to prioritizing your cat’s safety, you’ll also want to prioritize her health. Try Pet Honesty’s Daily Essentials Cat 3-Pack, which includes a winning combination of our best-selling Digestive Probiotics+ Powder for Cats, Lysine-Immune Health+ Powder for Cats, and Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Cats.