Cat Collars

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Everything you ever wanted to know about cat collars… but were afraid to ask. 

COLLARS with elastic inserts are dangerous, particularly if they are loose fitted.

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Even though the elastic is meant to stretch, cats still get their paws stuck in it or may be half hung if it catches on a branch. The elastic just doesn’t give enough if the weight is on it.

During seven years one cat rescue shelter had five cases where cats were in distress because of collars – two injured legs; one lost and emaciated; one stuck in a tree upside down with a twig between the collar and the cat from head to tail, and one hanging from a low branch quite unable to extricate itself.


Microchipping is more efficient for identification – though of course it is not visible to an ordinary person who takes in a stray. All the bigger charities check for it when a stray is handed in and most vets do too.

Flea collars are not efficient. They usually contain just insecticide and do nothing to stop the fleas breeding in the environment. Use proper flea treatments available from a vet or chemist that contain growth inhibitors for fleas or which get into the skin dander. Also treat the environment with sprays containing similar. (NEVER use over the counter flea treatments for dogs on cats. Several cats die every year from these.)


The only truly safe collars that I know are handmade and come from Grace Officer, 13 Hall Close, Farncombe, Godalming, GU7 3PW. UK. She sells them in aid of Cats Protection.

To save wildlife – RSPB suggest keeping a cat indoors for dawn or dusk to reduce casualties. Bells may slightly deter cats from catching birds but many cats learn how to catch small animals despite the bell.

If any reader knows of a safe commercial collar please let me know.

When does my cat need to see vet?

It’s not always easy to tell when an animal is in distress, pain or illness. But the following signs are indications your cat needs a veterinary check up.

• stops interacting with you and may avoid eye contact.

• stops grooming.

• matted coat.

• a hunched posture.

• dribbling or wet chin.

• incessant licking, over-grooming, or self mutilation.

• bare patches or nibbled areas of fur.

• vocalizing, which can include crying or groaning.

• hisses when approached or touched

• attacks or bites when approached or touched

• sits very still, lies rigid or is non-responsive

• stops eating. May approach the food, eat a tiny amount then back away.

• stops drinking.

• drinks excessively.

• toileting in the wrong area, possibly because of difficulty getting into litter tray.

• changed deposits in the litter tray.

• nothing in the litter tray.

• lots of small deposits.

• blood in the urine.

• reluctance to stretch or jump or a general reluctance to move.

• lameness

• weight loss or weight gain

• lumps or bumps on the body.

• sores or wounds that don’t seem to heal.

• crusting skin.

• unexplained bleeding.

• breathing difficulties.

• changed habits in general.




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