Safety Cat Collar Recommendations

A safety cat collar can be one of the most important accessories a cat owner can buy for his or her pet. A safety collar not only provides a place for your cat to wear his identification tags, it also offers him a way out of trouble in case his collar becomes caught on a tree branch or other obstacle.

Types of Safety Cat Collars

Safety cat collars come in two basic types: elastic and breakaway. As the name suggests, elastic collars stretch to provide your cat with an opportunity to escape if the collar becomes caught. Breakaway collars, on the other hand, are usually made of nylon and feature a special fastener that opens when adequate force is applied. Your cat can then get himself out of danger, leaving the collar behind.

Another safety consideration covered by cat collars is being able to be seen in low light conditions. Many manufacturers offer reflective materials on their collars, which can help you locate your cat if he should run outside after dark. Other collar makers provide glow-in-the-dark materials on their collars, which can also help you find a pet that's gone missing either indoors or outdoors.

The final safety consideration that collar manufacturers have accounted for is the ability to locate a lost cat. Collars with radio-tracking devices or with a global positioning system (GPS) locator are available for cats with a tendency to roam from their homes.

How to Measure Your Cat for a Collar

Ideally, your cat's collar should fit around his neck comfortably. If you can slip two fingers between your cat's neck and the collar, the fit is just about right. If you prefer a more precise dimension, measure the diameter of your cat's neck with a tape measure and add 2 inches.

Routinely check the collar's fit, especially if you've selected an elastic collar for your cat. Over time, the elastic could stretch and loosen, which could leave your cat collarless and without his identification tags.

How to Train Your Cat to Wear a Collar

The best safety cat collar won't do its job if it isn't on your cat. Ideally, cats should begin learning to wear a collar when they are kittens. Adult cats can learn to wear collars, too, but the training may take longer and will require extra patience by the owner.

Start by letting your cat sniff at and play with the collar when it's on the floor. After several days when he seems comfortable with the collar, slip the collar around his neck. Leave it on for a few minutes, then remove it. Each day, extend the amount of time your cat wears the collar. Within a week or so, he should be accustomed to the collar and can wear it all the time.

When walking your cat on a leash, use a harness on your cat. The harness is better designed to protect your cat's neck and throat from injury while walking on a leash than a collar is. Remove the harness after the walk and replace it with your cat's collar.