are collars safe for cats

Possible dangers

The cat can get their paw or claws caught up in the collar while trying to get the collar off or to scratch an ear. Collars can cause injury to the neck area if they are too tight and chafe. The cat’s lower jaw can get caught under the collar, which will prevent them from closing their mouth.

There are a few reasons your cat might benefit from a collar. These include identifying your cat, alerting birds and other wildlife to your presence, and increasing your cat’s nighttime visibility.

Bells, discs, and other items hanging from the collar, however, can be dangerous and increase the chance that your cat will tangle with objects or snag their claws on the bell.

Examine the type of bell on your cat’s collar to ensure that it is fully enclosed or has a wide groove to prevent your cat’s claws from getting trapped.

Unfortunately, cats can entangle themselves in their own collars. When attempting to remove them, for instance, they may get their front legs trapped through them; this usually occurs when the collar is ill-fitting or loose. Alternatively, they may get stuck or entangled on branches, gate posts, or fences, making it impossible for your cat to get away or possibly choking them.

The collar on your cat should fit snugly; generally speaking, you should be able to fit no more than one or two fingers underneath it. It’s possible for your cat to poke their leg through the collar if it’s too loose. Your cat might tense their neck muscles when you first fit the collar, so check the fit again after a few minutes.

What can I use instead of a collar?

We have some collar-free ideas that might be helpful because we understand there are many reasons why you might want your cat to wear a collar:

  • Keeping fleas at bay. Using flea collars to keep bothersome pests away can be unreliable. Many types are not very effective at all. An effective way to keep fleas away from your cat is to use a regular flea treatment that has been approved by the vet. Your veterinarian can provide you with more information on the best flea treatment for your cat. There’s also a chance that they could lose their flea collar and their flea protection. Using a tablet or spot-on treatment will help ensure that they’re protected at all times. Read more about protecting your cat against fleas.
  • Finding their way back if they get lost. The thought of your four-legged friend getting lost while traveling can be quite unsettling. Getting them microchipped is the best way to ensure that you will be reunited with them if they stray too far—just make sure to keep their information current! A microchip is a long-term method of ensuring that anyone who finds your cat can quickly reunite you with them. An ID tag on a collar can easily be lost or come off. Find out more about microchipping.
  • Keeping their cat flap private. You may have thought about installing a cat flap with a special collar to open it if you’re concerned about other neighborhood cats entering and helping themselves to your cat’s food. The advantage of a microchip cat flap is that it will only open for your cat and there’s no chance of them losing their key (well, collar, but still). But did you know that you can get microchip versions of these? ).
  • Protecting the local wildlife. Cats are natural hunters – it’s just who they are. They really can’t help themselves. We recognize that you’ll want to protect the neighborhood birds and mice from your killer cat, so it might seem like a good idea to get a collar with a bell. Other strategies to try and stop your cat from preying on unsuspecting animals include: Placing bird feeders at least two meters away from trees and bushes so that birds can see you coming; Ensuring that your cat cannot access any nest boxes (including places where the young birds may be first emerging to learn how to fly); Mounting bird feeders atop metal poles that your cat cannot climb; Keeping your cat inside during prime hunting hours (shortly after sunrise and just before sunset); Playing with your cat to encourage them to practice their hunting techniques indoors rather than on other animals See our exercise recommendations for suggestions on how to keep your indoor cat active.

What’s the problem with cat collars?

Although attaching a collar to your cat may seem innocuous, there are a few issues and risks you should be aware of:

  • They could get stuck. Because cats are inherently inquisitive and enjoy exploring, they frequently climb or squeeze through shrubs and other vegetation, which increases the risk that they could snag their collar on a branch and become stuck. Even if they are able to escape, they run the risk of hurting themselves if they become anxious or struggle to free themselves.
  • Collars can rub. Always wearing a collar may cause your cat’s skin to rub against it, especially if it is ill-fitting. They may get sore on their skin as a result, and their neck fur may fall out.
  • They could get stuck on the collar itself. Once more, if your cat’s collar is loose or improperly fitted, it may get caught in their mouth or even snag their paw, which could cause major injuries.


Is it OK for cats to wear collars?

Should cats wear collars? Generally speaking we wouldn’t recommend putting a collar on your cat. If you’re worried about them getting lost, the best way of making sure you’re reunited is to get your cat microchipped. Collars can easily come off or get lost, but a microchip will always be there to identify your cat.

Do vets recommend collars for cats?

It’s natural to want to make sure your cat is safe and can find their way back to you if they get lost, but we don’t recommend putting a collar on your cat. Unlike dogs, cats have something called a ‘right to roam’. This means, if you have an outdoor cat, they can pretty much go wherever they want.

Do cat collars irritate cats?

A collar allergy is likely an reaction to one of the materials used in making the collar such as nylon, plastic, leather, fabric, elastic, and vinyl. If it is a flea collar causing the reaction, your cat could be allergic to the medication in the flea repellent or the material it is made of.

What are the pros and cons of collars for cats?

There is a range of pros and cons for whether we should fit our pet cats out with a collar. They are useful for identification and contact information, they can increase visibility, and collars with a bell can even reduce hunting behavior, but collars have also been linked to serious injuries in cats.