The world can be a dangerous place for a feline on the loose, so even if your cat is strictly an indoor cat, a cat collar is a must. Today, we will share with you why you should consider having a collar for your cat, regardless of their indoor/outdoor status, and share with you your different types of collar options. We will also give you a quick look into how to introduce your cat to a new collar effectively.
Collars Help with Identification
The number one reason for a cat owner to get their cat a collar is to be able to attach an identification tag to it. These tags hold vital information about your pet, such as a pet name, home address, and an emergency phone number. If your cat ever escapes, this information will help strangers return your lost pet to you. However, even if you choose that you do not want an identification tag on your cat, having a collar is still a wise idea.
Even without a tag, a collar can indicate to strangers that your cat already has a home and does not need to be rescued. This will help ensure that if your cat ventures away from home, it will not be mistaken for adoptable.
Collars Increase the Visibility of Cats
If your indoor cat gets out and the sunsets, this could pose a risk of danger for them as they navigate poorly lit streets and busy roadways. You can increase your cat's safety in this situation by having them wear a colorful cat collar. This will help ensure that passing vehicles will see your kitty, keeping them safe from accidents. This is mainly because a bright collar will reflect any street lights or car headlights, something that your cat’s fur would not do (especially for black, brown, or grey cats).
The Different Types of Cat Collars
There are loads of different types of cat collars on the market. Today, we will only focus on 3 of the most popular ones: standard collars, breakaway collars, and reflective collars. Let’s take a look at each of these three collars individually; what makes them different, what are their pros, and what are their cons:
Your standard collar is going to look like a miniature belt. There will be a metal prong and a number of holes to allow you to adjust the collar's size. Although these collars are standard, they are among the least safe on the market. This is because cats like to squeeze through small spaces; however, this can be an issue if the cat's collar gets snagged on a railing or fence post.
If a cat gets caught by its collar, it could be in danger of remaining trapped or choking. Cats with standard collars will be unable to free themselves if caught by the collar. Due to the design, there is no way for the cat to break free quickly, and any sudden struggles could cause the collar to tighten more.
Breakaway collars, on the other hand, are designed with the potential dangers of standard collars in mind. A breakaway collar’s clasp is intended only to be able to handle a small amount of pressure before it pops open or “breaks away.” The breakaway design protects your feline friend if they get caught by the collar. With just a good tug or two, your cat can free itself from the collar, preventing potentially fatal injuries.
Reflective collars are collars with a shiny coating that reflects light. This reflective coating will drastically improve your cat's visibility at night, protecting it from passing cars. These collars often come with a breakaway clasp, giving you a two-in-one protection measure.
How Do You Introduce a Cat to a Collar
Many cats have no issue wearing a collar. So, if you are able to slip your cat collar around your feline's head without any problems, consider yourself lucky. For the rest of us, it may not be that easy, and guidance may be necessary. Fear not, because today, we will share our two top tips for introducing a cat to a collar.
#1 Allow Your Cat to Familiarize Themselves with the Collar
The first step is important. You want your cat to feel comfortable around the collar; the best way to achieve this is to allow them to investigate it. They may even want to play with it, which could encourage them to associate the collar with fun. So, before putting it on them, let them smell it, check it out, and bat it around.
#2 Put It on Temporarily
Once your cat is familiar with the collar, you can try to put it on them. Your intent would be to leave it temporarily and observe your cat's behavior. You should also monitor the fur and skin around the collar to ensure no irritation is occurring. If your cat does not seem to be phased by the collar after an hour or two, you can consider leaving it on. However, if you still notice a change in your cat's behavior, consider removing it for the rest of the day.
At what age should cats begin wearing collars?
You can start to put a collar on your kitten as young as two months. The typical age is between 2 and 6 months. Keep in mind that if you start in kittenhood, your cat will most likely not fight back against the collar. Who knows? They may learn to love wearing it.
How often should you wash a cat's collar?
A: If your cat is an indoor cat, washing its collar once a month is sufficient. However, if your cat is an outdoor cat or goes outside at all, consider once a week more appropriate.