Does Your Cat Tolerate A Collar?

Even indoor cats should wear collars, according to a pair of veterinarians who spoke with PopSugar.

Megan McCorkel, a veterinarian who writes for Better With Cats, said collars can make a difference if the unexpected happens and your cat gets outside:

While it might not seem as necessary to put a collar on an indoor cat as an outdoor cat, accidents can still happen, Dr. McCorkel said. Even indoor-only cats can venture out of the house unexpectedly. However, because indoor-only cats don’t have the street savviness of outdoor felines, they might be in a bit of panic when they first get out, she explained. Luckily, a collar helps people realize that your stressed-out kitty doesn’t belong outside, prompting them to return your lost cat home safely and quickly. “I think of a collar on an indoor cat like an insurance plan,” Dr. McCorkel said. “I hope I don’t need it, but when I do, I’ll be glad it’s there.”

The last time I tried to put a collar on Buddy was six years ago, and he was miserable with it on. At the time I tried the gradual approach, leaving it on him for short spurts and giving him extra treats and praise when he had it on.

Eventually I left it on Bud for the better part of a day. He whined and cried and never forgot it was around his neck.

Finally he managed to contort himself so he could get a hind paw underneath the collar and pull on it with his front paws. He trilled with anticipation, sliding it up his neck toward his ears — then lost his grip, and the collar snapped back like a rubber band.

I will never forget his shriek of unmistakable frustration in that moment. I knew he was miserable, and I took the collar off immediately.

Screenshot_2020-12-05 Cat-wearing-a-collar-Vets-Now webp (WEBP Image, 1333 × 1000 pixels) — Scaled (96%)

Right now I’m not worried about him getting outside because I live in an apartment building, meaning Bud would have to get through three or four sets of doors, and primarily because he wants nothing to do with the outdoors. As an indoor cat, Buddy gets overwhelmed by the sights, sounds and smells outside, and that’s when he’s on his harness with me as his safety blanket. He enjoys sunbathing on the balcony, but he won’t even step out there unless it’s a perfect 75-degree day.

I’ve made the determination that it’s not worth making him suffer. That could change in the future when my living circumstances are different.

What about your cats? Do they tolerate collars? Do you think they’re necessary?

16 thoughts on “Does Your Cat Tolerate A Collar?”

  1. When I was young we had a beautiful siamese cat, she used to go in the garden. She couldn’t get out as the garden had high walls around so it was safe. One day she climbed the oak tree and my mother found her hanging by he coller because she had caught it in a branch. She later died .
    I also live in an appartement building with a terrace so no danger however I would never put a collar on Jezabel.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Poor kitty. I know they make break-away collars these days, but choking is still a risk, as is getting stuck or otherwise hurt. With all the advancements in GPS and other tech, it feels like someone should have invented a functional cat tracker by now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My cats cannot get outside either. However because they’re all-black twins who are basically identical, I put different collars on them to tell who was who. This was when they were kittens, so somewhat more cooperative then they would be now, at age 3. One of the collars self-destructed, one didn’t. So there’s Fishie, who wears a collar, and Moonie who doesn’t.

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      1. It’s Fishie that has the collar. And Moonie is a boy (as is Fishie).. As their personalities have developed it’s clear that Fishie is more adventuresome and outgoing than Moonie. When I break out the laser pointer, Fishie chases it like a lunatic, while Moonie just stares at it, while quietly meditating over over invisible things.

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  3. I’ve had cats that have contorted themselves trying to get their collars off, and most of the time they get stuck. Then I have to rescue them, since they can’t walk. Eventually they learn that they have to leave the collar alone.

    My indoor/outdoor cats have managed to lose their collars in my neighbors’ yards, which I found out when my very nice neighbors called me to make sure my cat was okay.

    My cat now is indoor-only, but he wears his collar for the same reason that the vet advised: if he were to get out and get lost, someone would know that he belongs to someone. He’s now also microchipped, because I just moved to a new town.

    I’ve had him for years, so I can’t remember what struggles we may have had with getting him used to wearing a collar, but he goes along with it now.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My Holly is a little fashionista with 8 different collars, all with different designs. (Right now she’s wearing one of the holly ones to start off the Christmas season) She doesn’t mind them, but would probably prefer not to wear one. Even though she stays inside AND is chipped, she has her collars, just in case she gets out. Her collars have the safety latch, but my late girl Chelsea would ALWAYS break out of the safety latch and she lost numerous collars that way (Chelsea was indoor/outdoor and lost every collar with the safety latch) SO she wore collars with buckles and an elastic pull that acted as a safety latch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to use the ones with buckles too. The “safety” latches are just too easy to get off: they aren’t safe if they aren’t on the pet. At least, not for the safety feature for which I put them on the cat in the first place: so they won’t get lost!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Bella has a collar and is ok with it totally, the message on it reads “please do not feed me I am on a Vet diet” she is an unstoppable eater and was overweight and it’s our job to make sure that’s controlled for her own health. She honestly is fine with the collar. I am sure if she could read the message then she would not be ok with it. She does, however, kill her own food as well, ( she has just brought in 4 mice literally one after the other, she ate 3 and I rescued one) she is easily the most skilled huntress of any cat I have been a servant too. So we are thinking of changing the collar message to “please do not feed me, I kill my own lunch”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha. I guess I’m lucky that Buddy is a completely inept hunter who doesn’t even know what to do with toy “prey” when he catches it. If a rodent somehow got into my apartment, I fully expect Buddy would run screaming, but your Bella would be an efficient exterminator.

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      1. They have to be, to consume enough calories to reliably nurse their babies, and to provide enough kills as the kittens get older and start eating solids. I’ll never forget the tigress in the documentary “Tiger: A Spy In The Jungle,” who had four (!) cubs and was an astonishingly great hunter. The narrator emphasized that most tigers are lucky to succeed one in four or five attempts, but this tigress’ success rate was something crazy like 75%.

        The documentary is well worth watching if you happen to come across it.

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