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Collars For Cats
Collars And Harnesses For Cats
Although many people put both collars with tags and flea collars on their cats, I'm not sure I'm in favour of them, but here are my thoughts on them.
Some of the collars and harnessess available today for cats are really beautiful. I have to admit to being fond of a little, alright, a lot, of bling!
As I don't think cats should be able to roam freely, a cat run is the best option, but if you live in a flat, it's not always possible to have one. Many cats will accept collars and harnesses, and may be taken for short walks outside. Of course, if you do this, you should be aware of dogs and other hazards to the cat.
My little cat won't even let me rest a collar on the back of her neck, let alone wear one, but maybe one day, she'll let me dress her in one of these collars or harnesses. It would be great if I could take her round the garden in a harness while I'm working there. She'd probably enjoy being with me too. Perhaps it's time to try again with the collar and harness!
Tiger stripes for your little domestic tiger, or red. Click on the link to see the tiger striped version. It would be my choice.
Cat Collar Pros & Cons
My preferred type of collar is the easy release type with a short elastic section. This prevents injury to the cat if it get caught up on something. Cats can sometimes get their legs caught in collars and harnesses while trying to escape them. If they are not found quickly, a very nasty injury may occur.
Many people prefer the snap lock or breakaway collars to these, as there can be problems with the elastic type. It can stretch and in extreme cases, the cat can get its leg caught in the collar, and be unable to get free.
Some cats are natural born Houdinis, when it comes to getting out of their collars and losing them. My sister had a cat which seemed to lose every collar put on it at first, but finally accepted one.
Collars with ID tags are great for cat identification, if a pet roams or is hit by a car, etc. It is always better to know what has happened to the pet, rather than not know. My personal preference is for micro-chipping, as this can't be lost, although rarely, they can become faulty. Many pets have been re-united with their people due to being microchipped.
If you have a very nervy cat, a collar may not be a good idea, as the animal may become hysterical and hurt itself struggling when you put the collar on. I had this problem with one cat, and she had to held in a towel by one person while another took off the collar. She just couldn't cope with it. If your cat is like this, micro-chipping is your best option.
Does Your Cat Run Free?
If your cat has the freedom to come and go as it pleases outside, there are risks involved. It could be injured or even killed, so it's a good idea for your pet to wear a collar. Microchipping is the best idea. It isn't really that expensive, when you compare it to the possible sorrow on the loss of a pet.
My cat has never been trained to wear a collar, but I'm hopeful of teaching her that it's not a nasty animal on her neck that's going to hurt her. It's not an issue at present, because she is never outside unless she is in our cat pen, but I'd like her to tolerate a harness, so that she can be exercised outside.
One reason we don't let her wander outside is that FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) is rife in this area, and there are a large number of cats wandering freely. See my article about FIV to find out more about this disease.
The picture is my cat Magic relaxing on the bed.
Does Your Cat Wear A Collar?
Flea Collars For Cats
Another type of collar you might put on your cat or kitten is the flea collar. Personally, I don't like them, and use the monthly drops on the back of the neck option, but they are available, and they do work.
If you use flea collars, make sure they fit properly, and also check that your cat doesn't develop an allergy to the chemicals in them. Some cats can be very sensitive to flea treatments, and I have heard that some pets have even died from allergies to some of the chemicals used in these collars. Fortunately, this seems to be very rare.
Fancy Collars & IDs For Spoiled Cats
My choice for a cat collar would be something in velvety black, and covered with lots of bling, preferably diamonds and other precious stones, but the budget wouldn't stand it!
Of course, this type of collar would need to have something fancy hanging from it with the cat's name or phone number showing! Lots of bling is what I like to see, but it doesn't suit everyone or their cat.
Perhaps the collar shown below, with beads, flowers, and a bell, would be more to the taste of you and your cat? There are heaps of choices around, so there is sure to be a collar to suit everyone, and their cat, of course!
Training A Cat To A Collar
So far, I haven't even tried putting a collar around the neck of Magic, the tabby in the picture. She starts to freak out if her toy on a string goes over her neck, so when she doesn't worry about that anymore, I'll try her with a collar. After that, maybe the harness, but I can see it's going to take a long time.
It's best to start training a cat to wear a collar when they are very young, and they will quickly become used to it. When that happens, try the harness, and when they are accepting of that, attach the lead, and see if they will walk with you.
Magic is an older cat, so it's going to take a lot longer. I'll start with putting the harness an leash near her, letting her sniff them, and get used to it. Perhaps it will make more sense to see if I can get her to wear a collar first. If and when we succeed, I'll let you know!
Edited: I have recently tried to get a collar on her, but no success to date, and a harness is a distant dream. She also hates getting her claws cut, so putting a collar on may prove dangerous to our health!
Snap Lock Collars May Be Best
Unfortunately, there have been many occasions when cats' collars have been too tight, or just a little loose when the elastic has stretched.
If a collar is too tight, the fur and skin may be damaged, and the cat could choke. If the collar is too loose, the cat can get caught up on something, and be unable to escape. Also, there have been terrible injuries caused by cats getting their legs caught up in collars which are too loose, and being unable to get them out.
There are snap lock collars on the market, which are not known to cause these problems. Some collars available today have a breakaway feature which causes the collar to be released when caught up.
If you choose to have your cat wear a collar, think carefully about the type you get. It could save your pets life.