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Do Cats Like Collars?

by Lucy

Kitty parents across the globe will swear that every cat has a distinct personality. No two kitties, even from the same litter, have the same personality traits.

So, it becomes an arduous task to generalize the likes and dislikes of felines. But, looking at the population as a whole, we can at least make an educated guess. And if your cat happens to be different, then that’s fine too!

So, do cats like collars? Cats, in general, don’t particularly like having collars on their necks, but they will get used to them quickly and learn not to mind them if the collar isn’t too heavy, large, or constricting. This is especially true if you can collar train a cat while they are still a kitten.

Cats are peculiar creatures that take most things in stride. It isn’t easy to get an immediate or decisive response from your fluff ball. And sometimes they’ll give you mixed reviews.

While some cats bite and claw and kick just to get that collar off their neck any way they can, others just move on with their lives like nothing’s different. Then you’ll have cats that might be confused and uncomfortable at first but quickly settle into their new accessory.

Many cat parents don’t like to force their pets into anything that may make their beloved furballs uncomfortable. But any well-renowned vets recommend the use of collars for several safety reasons.

Before we uncover the different facets of kitty collars and how cats feel about them, let’s see why collars are considered essential for your pet’s well-being.

Why Do Some Indoor Cats Wear Collars?

It may seem strange for so many cat lovers to place a collar on their cat, especially if it’s an indoor pet. Yet, animal experts worldwide argue that there are multiple reasons to have a collar on your cat at all times, regardless of where they roam.

1. The Law

Many state laws require animal guardians to have collars with identification tags on their pets at all times. Naturally, this changes from state to state. So, it’s best to go through the laws when adopting a cat so your fluffy friend doesn’t end up in trouble with the law.

2. In Case of an Escape

Cats are curious creatures, and if they get the opportunity to go around discovering new territories, they’ll go ahead and venture outside in the blink of an eye.

Most animal shelters claim that only 2% of lost cats without some form of identification ever return home.

Sometimes, cats are even allowed to wander freely, and in such scenarios, it is exceedingly helpful to have identification on your pet so no one scoops them up thinking they’re lost.

However, even collars can come off, so it’s also important to get your cat microchipped if they’re going to be strutting around the neighborhood.

3. Fleas

Many feline parents keep flea collars on their pets to avoid an infestation in their house. You see, if you have a multi-cat household or even a multi-pet household, the chances of a flea infestation are high.

This is especially true if you have even one animal that’s allowed to roam outside, even just in your own backyard. And, of course, a flea collar is the oldest and surest way to prevent this. 

4. For the Visually Impaired

Another reason why cat owners choose to put collars on their cats is so that people can hear them coming. Cats are naturally very silent creatures when they aren’t meowing up a storm at breakfast time.

Putting a bell collar on a cat can help those who are visually impaired to know where their fluffy felines are at all times. This way, they can avoid stepping on their fur babies and can find them easily when they need a cuddle.

In fact, not only is this useful for visually impaired people, but it’s also good for visually impaired pets in the household like blind cats and dogs (they’re more common than you think) that will want to know where their pals have gone off to.

And, if you’ve ever tripped over your black cat in the middle of the night, you’ll understand why it can be useful for everyone else too.

5. As an Accessory

Now, there are pet parents who refuse to put a collar on their family member because they are such a cherished and respected member of the family.

But some animal lovers love to dress up their kitty-babies for the exact same reason. You’ll find many cats sporting designer or even diamond-studded collars.

While I and Jackson Galaxy certainly don’t support full-on costuming your poor kitty, as it can cause stress, most cats will learn to tolerate a little bit of bling.

What’s The Best Collar To Put On Your Cat?

The type of collar that comes highly recommended by most vets is the snag-proof nylon breakaway collar. These collars ensure that your cat has identification on at all times while eliminating the risk of your cat getting caught and trapped in a dangerous situation or choking.

In the rare event that your cat’s collar gets stuck on something, your kitty is going to be safe, as these collars stretch and release when your cat tugs on it with pressure.

However, they can’t be simply scratched off either, so your cat won’t be streaking naked through the neighborhood unless they’ve run into a situation where the collar really needed to go.

If you let your cat run around all night, you may want to consider a reflective collar as well, so that drivers will be able to spot them if they make a mad dash across the street.

Do Most Cats Wear Collars?

Whatever your reasons may be, putting a collar on your kitty can result in saving their life and hours of needless tears and anguish. 

Apart from a collar, an identification microchip can also prove to be most helpful when unexpected calamities occur. During hurricanes, tornadoes, or other disasters, animals often are lost. 

But, if your pet has an updated identification microchip or even a collar with some identification and your contact number or address, your pet will have a greater probability of being returned to you. 

Now, the argument most people have against collars is that their pets hate wearing them. That may be true. But, according to a study conducted by Linda Lord, DMV in 2010, 3 out of 4 cats wore their collars without any fuss for an entire six-month study period. 

The study was to see how the cats would respond. And, though the kitties might not have been happy about the situation at first, they let their collars be.

Also, many animal experts recommend that instead of forcing collars on your pets, you should get them acclimated to it. Therefore, you should start by putting the collar on for just an hour or so. And, if your pet doesn’t throw any fits, then their good behavior should be rewarded with treats. 

Positive reinforcement is an excellent approach to getting cats accustomed to collars. And, after a while, kitties become impartial to wearing a collar. But, if you try to force anything on your cat, then you’d better be ready for the consequences. 

Should You Put a Bell on Your Cat’s Collar?

Some pet parents like to believe that collars bother their kitties, so it would be adding insult to injury if you place a bell on the collar. But, many others advocate that having bells on collars is not only humane but necessary.

So, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why many vets suggest that it’s a good idea to have collars with bells on them.

1. Locating Your Kitten

If you’ve got a litter of kittens at home, it’s wise to have collars on the little ones, especially with bells. You see, kitties tend to hide out into nooks and crannies, and trying to find each and every one becomes time-consuming.

It’s actually safer to have bell collars on kittens, as they do have the uncanny knack of getting into trouble and venturing outside.

And, like we mentioned before, people who want to own cats but are visually impaired benefit from being able to tell where their cat is audibly.

2. Reducing the Threat to the Ecosystem

Many indoor cats are allowed to roam outside for short periods. In most cases, cats love to hunt or chase prey. Hence, when your cats are lurking outside, the local wildlife, such as birds, rabbits, skunks, and squirrels, are in danger.

Having a bell on your cat’s collar can save a tiny creature that’s important to the ecosystem from becoming breakfast or, worse, entertainment for your beloved pet.

It can also be unsafe for your cat to eat wildlife. Yes, I know, “But it’s natural,” you say, “How can it be harmful?” Well, the reality is that cats can contract many illnesses from eating raw wild animals and can even pass parasites like those that cause toxoplasmosis on to you, too.

A collar bell may also save you from rolling over in the morning to find a dead mouse on your pillow.

3. Keeping a Closer Eye on Your Cat

Yes, a bell on your cat can mean that its presence is made known to predators in the neighborhood as well.

But that’s only if you let them out unsupervised, and it also means that you’ll be able to keep an ear out to hear where your furball is from time to time. Doing so can save your beloved pet from all kinds of mischief.

Should I Take My Cat’s Collar Off at Night?

Cats love to lurk about at all times of the day, including nights. They may seem sleepy, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to snoop around the house the moment you fall asleep. So, no, it’s not safe to take your cat’s collar off at night. 

Related Questions

Becoming a new pet parent entails a lot of responsibility. Hence, there are several questions that kitty guardians ask to ensure the well-being of their cats. There are naturally quite a few questions related to collar and bells in particular. Let’s take a look at some of the commonly-asked queries.

What Can I do Instead of Putting a Collar on My Cat?

If your cat just won’t quit scratching at their collar and can’t stand having it on, the next best option is a microchip.

These are not tracking devices, but they each have a unique sequence of numbers linked to them. When shelters get new arrivals, they scan them for microchip IDs and run the ID numbers through several databases to find a match. Once they find that match, they contact you to tell you your pet has been found.

Microchips are as easy to insert as giving your pet a vaccination and the process is painless. You’ll only ever have to microchip your pet once.

Microchipping can cost between $30-$45, and you’ll always be able to update your contact information. If this sounds like the best option, talk to your veterinarian and they’ll walk you through everything you need to know.

What Are Other Options Besides Bells On Collars?

If you don’t want to put a bell on your furry friend’s collar, you can choose a cat collar cover. These brightly-colored collar covers come under the brand name BirdsBeSafe. They’re designed to fit your cat’s collar and alert birds to the presence of predators, as birds can easily see the bright colors moving toward them.

However, this option really only words for birds, and your cat may look a little ridiculous wandering the neighborhood looking like a colorful collared clown.

Are Collars Unsafe for Cats?

No one should risk the life of their pets. You have to understand that the statistics for collar-related injuries or deaths in cats are very minimal. A study showed that only one collar-related injury comes around every 2.3 years, and the deaths of felines in relation to collars are pretty rare. 

Beyond that, cat collars have way more potential for saving your cat’s life than hurting them. From alerting you to their location when lost to telling “kill” shelters they belong to someone and shouldn’t be put down, you’ll be doing your fluffy friend a great service.

Can the Bell Hurt Your Cat’s Ears?

No, the sound of the bell from your precious kitty’s bell collar does not hurt its hearing. According to research by Veterinary Ph.D. student, Rachel Malakani, the sound produced by bells is no more than 50-60 dB.

And, many studies have shown that cats are only negatively affected by sounds of more than 80 dB. So, if you are afraid to put a bell on your cat’s neck that may cause it harm, you can rest easy.

Up Next: Do Cats Know They Are Cute?

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