Wednesday, September 23, 2009 3:54 PM

Bling-Bling for Cats: Are Collars Safe?

Every now and then I see an outdoor cat wearing a collar. Personally, I have never put collars of any kind on my cats, even when the previous two went outdoors. What kinds of collars are available for cats? Are they safe? People put collars on their cats for different reasons, so let's take each one in its turn.

Cat flea collars are still available, despite much evidence that they just don't work. They do irritate a cat's skin, though, and since cats groom themselves constantly, they are ingesting whatever insecticide is impregnating the collar. They usually have a wimpy little buckle, not all that adjustable. Even though directions say not to put these products on kittens, some people do. We once saw a young neighborhood cat flopping around in our yard because he got one of his lower teeth caught in that buckle. Luckily we were there to help, or he may have hurt himself badly. The other problem with using these collars on young cats is that they grow so fast, people sometimes forget to keep adjusting them and they can become too snug. They also don't stretch, so a cat can get hung up and trapped by getting them caught on things.

There are a plethora of different decorative collars for cats, and almost every one addresses the issue of "stretchability" and "breakaway" capability so that cats don't get caught on branches, fences, etc. Why put a collar on a cat, knowing this propensity of theirs to squeeze under and around things? Some owners feel more secure if their cat wears a collar and identifying tag. Others like to put a bell on their little hunter, to preserve avian lives. Reflective collars supposedly prevent cats getting hit by cars at night. Some just claim to make kitty even prettier.

Are any of these necessary? I don't think so. Can you guess how all of the above concerns can be assuaged easily? That's right--keep kitty indoors!
Hazards and parasites can't touch your pet inside your home. No collar, no worries. Oh, and cats don't need bling-bling. They're beautiful enough all on their own!

Movie of the Week: Undertaking Betty, directed by Nick Hurran and starring Brenda Blethyn, Alfred Molina and Christopher Walken. Set in Wales, this very cute romantic comedy features superb acting, excellent direction and a very witty script. If you're a fan of Christopher Walken (who isn't?) you won't want to miss his antics here. Truly a laugh a minute!
Chat later!


catlover44 Says:
October 4, 2009 at 2:59 PM

I keep my cat collar-free in the house, but she does love to get outdoors just to sniff the wind and chew the grass. I always sit out with her. I have a collar with her name and my phone number on it, in case something suddenly scares her and she runs away instead of to the door. (Has never happened yet, but you can't be too sure with the little one you love.) And yes, I got bling. She's a princess, so her collar has rhinestones on it. My neighbor always had to use breakaway collars because her cats would get stuck somewhere, but I've never had that problem. I to think that a cat outdoors should have a breakaway collar or something to identify them. It's too sad to see the Lost Cat posters around when a tag on a collar can help your cat get home again.

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Amanda has worked with animals for many years and has always had cats in her life. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two excellent cats.
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