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Should You Put a Collar on Your Cat?

There are many collars available for pet cats. They come in a range of colours, styles, some can prevent fleas while others have bells to help stop cats from hurting wildlife. With so much choice it can be difficult to know the right collar to buy, but do cats need a collar in the first place?

Why Put a Collar on Your Cat?

There are plenty of reasons why a cat might wear a collar:

  1. As a way of attaching an easy to read tag informing others of how to reach the cat owner in case of an emergency. Many cats are now microchipped (and microchipping is highly recommended) but tags are still useful as they provide quick information that anyone can read.
  2. Bells attached to collars are used to help reduce the number of wildlife that are injured or killed by the cat. A collar is the obvious way of attaching a bell and RSPB research has shown that bells can be affective for hunters.
  3. There are some cat flaps that require the cat to use a magnetic key to gain access to the property. These types of cat flap are useful for those who have brave neighbourhood cats that like to enter the house even if it’s not theirs. The magnetic key attaches to the collar, but there are now cat flaps that can be activated by a microchip.
  4. Reflective collars are designed to help cats get seen in the dark. These collars are popular with urban cat owners.
  5. Flea collars are marketed to help prevent fleas on cats, but they are not recommended as they contain organophosphates or permethrin. Spot on treatments are kinder to cats and are far more effective.

Be Aware of the Risks

Some cat owners put a collar on their pet cats to look cute or handsome. Your cat might look adorable, but there are risks for cats in collars. The risks include:

  • Strangulation
  • Injuries caused by cats getting stuck in their own collar when grooming or through normal activities
  • Injuries when the collar gets stuck around the mouth and jaw
  • Sores, hair loss and other minor injuries caused by chemicals or rubbing

One of the benefits of cat fencing and cat containment systems is that collars are no longer required. However, if your cat does need a collar it’s important to ensure that it fit correctly and comes with a quick release clasp that will open if it gets stuck on anything.