Cat collar: should your cat wear one?
Most cat owners find themselves in a quandary over whether or not to use a cat collar on their outdoor cats. The debate still reigns over the pros and cons of outfitting an outside cat with a collar, but many veterinarians and cat experts (including us, Wagging Tails Pet Sitters) agree that collars are the best way to go. However, before you decide for yourself, take a look at these pros and cons:
• Cat collars can hold identification and registration tags. This is critical in case your outdoor cat becomes lost or is picked up by a concerned individual. Also, collars can hold bells or other noise generating items to scare away potential prey.
• Many cat collars are equipped with reflective material. Whether the collar is made completely out of reflective material or only contains a small strip, this will help your cat to become more visible in the dark. Cats, especially those of dark color, can become invisible at night, which is a potentially dangerous situation.
• Cat collars can easily snag and cause your cat to become hung or stuck on branches, fences, or anything else in the great outdoors. Some cats have actually been strangled when their collar has gotten caught and cut off the animal’s air supply. The photo to the right is of a cat that wasn’t wearing a breakaway collar.
• Your cat may not be comfortable wearing a collar or the collar may be too heavy for the animal.
Given these pros and cons, consider choosing a collar that will maximize the positives and minimize the negatives.
For example, there are many collars on the market that are specially designed to break away or unclasp when the cat is hung. These collars are considered strangle-proof and release when approximately seven pounds of pressure is applied. This way, the cat can break him—or her—self free from any snare. The key words there are not just “break away”, they are “seven pounds”. Meaning, if your small kitten is wearing one, the collar will not work and will not break away.
Furthermore, there are many different types of collars on the market. Bring your feline friend with you to the local pet-friendly pet store and try on several different types of collars until you find one that best fits. Avoid choosing a harness for outdoor cats unless you plan on walking the cat on a leash. If this is the case, only allow your cat to wear a harness while supervised, as most are not snare-proof.
On a whole, collars are encouraged on cats that spend their time outside and inside. In addition to providing visibility to your animal, the collar will hold valuable identification information that will protect your cat and assist you in finding your pet.
Or, you could just keep your cat indoors! Indoor only cats live longer than outdoor cats. They are less likely to be lost, injured, hit by a car or attacked by an animal. However, we understand that not every cat has that option, but it’s the one we prefer! For our outdoor cat clients, Wagging Tails Pet Sitters and Mobile Groomers suggests a breakaway collar with a bell and identification.
Or, you can look into an expensive, but collarless option of micro chipping your cat. (Stay tuned for our future blog article about microchipping your cat) Whatever you choose, we hope that your pet stays safe and happy at home!
www.waggingtails.com (860) 621-7387 (Pets)