Some cat owners love to accessorize their beloved pet with a collar. Cats don’t tend to be as forgiving as dogs when you dress them up, so a collar is often all you can get away with. But do cats actually like wearing collars?
Sometimes cats need collars to identify them if they get lost. Indoor cats often don’t need collars at all, then get confused when you try putting one on them for the first time.
Most cats will tolerate collars, although some who have never had to wear them before might not be happy with them. To make sure that your cat tolerates collars, you should train them how to wear them at a young age.
Today we’re looking into whether cats like collars or not, and how to make your cat tolerate their collar.
Do Cats Like Collars?
The answer to this question will differ from cat to cat. Just like not all cats will enjoy the same food, not all cats will have the same opinion on collars. Cats are unique with their own personalities and therefore some will enjoy collars more than others.
Ohio State University conducted a study on 506 cats, who continuously wore collars for six months. The results suggested that cats will tolerate a collar, even if their owners are skeptical about their feelings.
Almost 60% of cats had a higher tolerance for collars than their owners assumed they would have.
We’re sure that you can agree here if you have ever tried to put a collar on a cat that isn’t used to them. You assume that your cat is going to scratch it off, snap it, or wriggle free from the collar.
However, they’ll often surprise you. Our cat certainly did when we introduced her collar for the first time this year!
The study also showed that cats often were not subjected to collars due to their owner's feelings about them rather than the cat’s feelings. If you think that your cat will hate their collar, then you’re most likely not going to make them wear one.
However, the study showed that it’s more of a you problem than your cat’s. They most likely don’t care if they have a collar on or not.
Are Collars Good For Cats?
Now that we have got you rethinking whether you are the root cause of your household’s stress around collars, you might be wondering whether you should have been letting your cat wear a collar all along.
Don’t worry - you haven’t been doing them a disservice by not allowing them to wear a collar. Most cats don’t care if they’re wearing a collar or not, and if you don’t need one on your pet, then why bother?
Let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of cat collars.
Benefits Of Collars
The main benefit of collars, and why anyone puts them on their pets, is identification. Putting your name and number on the collar easily allows anyone to contact you should your cat go missing.
A passerby is much more likely to spot a cat with a collar on and approach them. Once they find your details on the collar, they can contact you to tell you where your cat is.
If a cat isn’t wearing a collar, they are less approachable. Even if they were to be approached, how would the stranger know how to contact you?
Many people think that microchips are a better form of identification when it comes to lost cats, but this requires a special reader for microchips.
The stranger would have to take the cat to a professional vet to get identification, and the stranger is much less likely to do this than to just read a collar.
So, collars can be extremely beneficial if your cat likes to wander off on their own.
Drawbacks Of Collars
As with anything, there are also drawbacks to cat collars as well. Many vets will discuss the safety of the common collar at length.
Collars are easily caught on things - especially when being worn by cats, who like to climb high and fast. If a cat gets its collar stuck on a fence or tree, it could get stuck itself.
However, nowadays there are collars that come with breakaway mechanisms to prevent your cat from getting in a tough situation.
Similarly, if your cat does not like its collar, it might get its paw or face stuck in it while trying to remove it. This wouldn’t be too much of an issue if it happened inside the house, as you could help them free. However, the true issue arises when this happens outside.
A study for the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association saw that, out of 538 cat studies, 3.3% of them (18 total) got their collar stuck on their paw, an object, or in their mouth.
Does Your Cat Hate Their Collar?
Unfortunately, since cats cannot talk to humans, it can be difficult to know whether a cat is happy in their collar or not. However, it is pretty obvious if your cat hates its collar, as they will continually scratch at it to get it off.
In fact, they will do almost anything to get it off. If you see this type of irrational behavior from your cat, the best thing to do is remove the collar and calm them down.
You can try collar training again at a later date with treats, affection to take their mind off the collar, or timed wearing sessions.
We hope that this article has helped you determine whether or not to give your cat a collar. Studies have suggested that it is actually humans that put such a stigma around cat collars - most cats don’t mind wearing them at all!
Just make sure that you’re listening to your cat when introducing a collar. Don’t let them get too stressed over wearing a collar for the first time!
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.