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Old 02-02-2012, 12:01 PM
 
830 posts, read 669,211 times
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Default Cat Collars

My last totally indoor cat did not wear a collar. We never attempted it; he would have hated it. The new cat we adopted two weeks ago came with a collar with a tag. We decided to have her keep wearing the collar and tag (we got a new tag of course with our name and number) just in case she ever ran out. So far she does not appear to have any interest in getting out. And she is fine about wearing her collar.

But---we replaced the collar she came with with a breakaway collar so she wouldn't get strangled if she got caught up in it. And twice it has come off---not sure how. So---what's your opinion? Is it better to wear a regular collar that stays on but could strangle or a breakway collar that seems to come off easily?
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Barrio Logan/Shelltown
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Snickers wears a collar with his name tag and microchip tag. He wears a regular medium size (designer) dog collar, because his neck is too big for a cat collar. He only sneaks out once every few months, but I prefer to keep a collar on him as a precautionary measure. It's also not a breakaway collar.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:40 PM
 
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Jasper wears a harness, with a tag. The reason is that I can't see too well, and this way I know where he is...I can hear him, even if he is quiet, but running around the house.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:56 PM
 
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Jasper, why a harness rather than a collar? Does he get walked????
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:05 PM
 
Location: zone 5
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I'd go with microchipping rather than the collar. You may be able to get one at low cost at a shelter-run clinic. If not, I'd still get the microchip. A collar that isn't breakaway really isn't safe, and as you see the breakaway one doesn't reliably keep ID on your cat.
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
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My vote is for a breakaway collar as well as a microchip.
Weasie (RIP) was quite the climber in her youth. More than once she'd return home collar-less, then I'd spy it dangling from the 3-story (yes!) grape arbor next door, or from a high tree branch - never retrievable. Knowing her she probably "freed" herself deliberately, but there's no point in assuming. "Better safe than sorry."
As the years rolled on and her arthritis bothered her more, Weasie curtailed her "NBA leaps" and adventure climbing. She also narrowed her territory. Between those two factors I decided to dispense with collars and rely on the microchip she'd had implanted in 2004 in case she were to get lost. This worked fine for quite some time.
Then, whether due to a "second kittenhood" at age 19 or something triggered by the liver cancer which took her from me in January, she revved back into high gear with behaviors from long ago. During November she twice meowed her way into households where she was pampered overnight by people we'd yet to meet. We were reunited the first time thanks to a flyer I spotted on a neighborhood tree. The next time, she accosted unwitting passersby who lived five blocks away - on the other side of a busy street. Her "rescuers" brought her safely to their house for her second "B & B adventure," then phoned our city's Animal Control office the next morning. She was so notorious there that the officer who took the call only needed to hear the briefest description, then "Oh, that's Weasie." (Bear in mind that I live in a city of over 100,000 people. Is that "notoriety" or what? LOL) Lotta good that microchip did.
When I talked with a neighbor about Weeze's renewed wandering and scamming, I was given a breakaway cloth collar on which you could write the pet's name and phone number right on securely-glued dots. Needless to say, I wasted no time outfitting her. She never tried to break free from it. Evidently it fit loosely enough and was sufficiently comfortable. And don'cha know, her having that collar brought several phone calls from folks who hadn't been acquainted with us before. The story never changed. "We were concerned because she's so skinny [she lost over half her weight between April '11 and her dying day] and she sounded so pitiful and was so friendly." Once a con artist, always a con artist.
Even though the microchip never saved the day, it still gave me a good sense of security to know that she had it if needed. With a cat there's no such thing as being too confident. BUT. Please don't purchase a collar which has flea-killer mixed in. Poor Weasie was never able to regrow fur in a small section of her neck after the chemicals from one collar burned the follicles. Having ID is paramount, keeping bugs off the cat can be done in other ways.
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:23 PM
 
830 posts, read 669,211 times
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You're probably right, GoyGuy, about the combination.

Weasie sounds like she was quite the character and a challenge (in a good way---lots of personality and gusto!).
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
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I just purchased a new breakaway collar for my cat today to replace one that was being trashed by her front claws when she scratched herself.

She's an indoor cat.

The old one was a rather inexpensive one made of man made materials.

This time I spent a little more and purchased a leather breakaway collar for her.

The old collar came off a few times but I will deal with that after reading the horror stories of cats being strangled to death because they were unable to wiggle loose from a bad entanglement.
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Monadnock region
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I've often wondered this same thing. My first cat I put a regular collar on - had her rabies tag and a reflective ID bobble as (at that time) I was letting her out. She had no problem wearing it. I've tried with subsequent cats to use breakaway collars and they always pull them off! Just not sure what the point is, if when they scratch their neck they pull it off. I understand the concept, it just has never worked on any of mine. My one current cat, who is a door-dasher, is chipped.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:20 PM
 
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Jasper's harness fits him very well, the collar is snug, and the tag is on his back, clipped to a ring on the harness. He is used to his harness, I think it is safer than a collar, and the breakaway just kept coming off of him, so then I could not find it, or him unless he meowed, or came to me.
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