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Cat Collars - Safety

Collars for your cat now come in a range of fashionable designs but is your cat's collar safe?

It is not unusual for us to treat cats with collar injuries.

Collar injuries are caused when the cat's collar has been able to slip from the normal position, usually allowing them to get one of their front legs stuck through it.

This means that when the cat walks the collar will then rub into the softer flesh of the armpit and with time can cause the cat to have a deep wound.  If this does happen the cat will need immediate veterinary treatment, and is likely to need repeated surgery to close the wound up, which can be traumatic for your cat.

However, by following a few simple steps this sort of injury can be easily prevented.   Collar injuries tend to occur if a cat is trying to remove a loose fitting collar or if they get a looser collar caught on a branch whilst out and about.

To prevent this from happening:

  • Always ensure that your cat's collar is correctly fitted.   Ideally the collar should be tight enough to stop it getting caught, but still allow you to get two fingers underneath to ensure it is not too tight making it uncomfortable for your pet.
  • Collars should be regularly checked to make sure they have not become too small because as your cat grows so should his collar.
  • There are many types of collar available to buy but the most suitable is the “quick release” collar.  This collar has a clip that will release if it is pulled hard, allowing cats to break free if they become trapped.
  • It is always worth testing a quick release collar before buying it as some will have an easier release mechanism than others.  The most effective ones are those that give under a moderate amount of force.   If they come apart too easily your cat may end up losing them frequently, which can be costly for you.
  • Another thing to consider when choosing a collar is what is attached to it.
  • Some owners like their cat to have a bell to warn birds of the cats presence.  If this is the case it is best to get one that is completely enclosed or one that has a wide groove in it to prevent the cat's claws becoming trapped.
  • However the easiest way of ensuring your cat does not get a collar injury is to not put a collar on at all. 
  • If the collar you are using is for identification only then it would be worthwhile considering microchipping your cat instead. This is when a small microchip about the size of a grain of rice is implanted under the skin between the cats shoulder blades. Once this has been done it is there for life, and when scanned at a veterinary practice gives a unique number that allows your cat to be traced to you through a database.


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