Should Your Cat Wear a Collar? Analysis

gato con collar y correa

Translated by Nick R

Haven’t you ever wondered why cats don’t wear collars like dogs? If you think it’s because cats like freedom, you’re right. But you might be interested in knowing more reasons behind why a cat shouldn’t wear a collar and I’ll tell you about them here.

Why cats don’t wear collars? 

Some cat owners think that wearing a collar is a way to protect them in outdoor environments and prevent them from getting lost. However, this may not be such a good idea. Some veterinarians say it’s better if the cat doesn’t wear a collar.

Cats have their own lifestyle and enjoy “free-roaming”. By their nature, cats will roam wherever they want, and the collar is not mandatory as it is for some dogs and can even cause problems for them.

  • Entrapment: cats like to explore and are curious by nature, therefore, they will climb bushes or trees, potentially causing them to become entangled in the collar. As the cat is hooked, he will feel threatened and panic so he will try with all his strength to get out of the collar, hurting himself. He may even suffocate if he can’t get free and put pressure on his neck.
  • If the collar, especially on the neck, stays on all the time and is not properly fitted, it will rub against the cat’s skin. As a result, their skin will be hurt, they will become sore in that area and they could also lose their fur.
  • The neck collar also brings problems for the cat itself, because the cat can get entangled with it and get hurt trying to get out of it.

In which cases cats should wear a collar 

  • Some owners prefer to use a permanent collar to identify the cat, and a leash collar is very effective in training cats. You must first get the cat accustomed to the collar to make him feel comfortable.
  • When walking your cat outdoors, it’s useful to put a leash attached to the collar. The collar avoids your cat from running away and getting into trouble, but keep in mind that unfamiliar smells and external environments can put your cat on alert. They will feel threatened and will do something about it like pull on the collar or run away. Take them to places they already recognize.

How to protect a cat without using a collar? 

There are a few ways to keep your cat safe.

Cats are given to wandering and this causes them to get lost easily. One solution to this is to have them implanted with a microchip so you can find it and bring your cat home. The tags on the collars can get lost and the cat would be unidentified.

If your cat likes to go out and explore, you can build him a catio (yard with obstacles for cats) that will keep him entertained while he sees the outside from a mesh that prevents him from escaping. This will also prevent him from fighting with other cats or taking advantage of his hunting instincts to feed on local rats and birds.

My cat must wear a collar. How can I choose a safe one? 

Sometimes medical and surveillance issues require a cat to be monitored at all times. Going out to explore is natural so it is something that should not be prohibited. If you don’t have a catio and the only option is to go outside, here are the things to take into account when choosing a good collar.

  • Type of collar: the cat must not wear a choke collar. To make him feel comfortable, it must be a chest collar that fits well to his body without causing any pressure or getting entangled.
  • Quality: if your cat is likely to develop contact dermatitis or rubbing in advance, look for a material he is not allergic to and comfortable for him.
  • Collar style: some collars come with plastic components, sharp edges or decorations such as glitter, bells, buckles or studs that can rub, itch, cause discomfort, and hurt the cat’s skin. A simple collar with no decoration is much more comfortable for them.
  • Quick release: make sure that the collar is quick release in case your cat gets caught on something to prevent him from making strong movements that can hurt him. The purpose of this is for the cat to release easily and quickly to avoid injury. You can get it at online stores like Amazon.

Now you know that your cat can be free, but with the appropriate safety. If it is your case that you must put a collar, you now know the factors to make it safe and comfortable. Remember to always think about your kitty’s health and well-being.