Collars are important for your pet. They hold their license and ID tag plus, they can serve as a fashion statement. Showing off their personality, your favorite sports team, sparkly to spikes, big or small, there are almost as many options as there are dogs and cats. One thing that is most important about a collar, particularly in cats, is the clasp. Your cat’s life can literally be affected by the type of collar you purchase, so let’s cover the safest option currently available for your cat.
There are really only two types of collars, traditional and breakaway (also called quick release). Traditional collars are the ones you usually think of, they have a clasp or buckle that snaps together and have teeth which do not easily open. These require being removed by unclasping the buckle by hand. Breakaway collars, designed for cats, have a clasp that opens easily when a sudden force is pulled on it.
Traditional collars should never be used on a pet if they are allowed to wander freely, or are not being supervised. Cats that are allowed to wander outside, or live outdoors should only have a breakaway collar, preferably with reflective material for additional protection at night. In the event they get caught on something, like fence posts or other hazards, the quick release collar will unlatch, allowing your cat to safely get away.
Traditional collars can cause severe damage to your cat including:
- Neck strain
When selecting the right collar, whether traditional or breakaway, for your cat, size is also an important thing to consider. A collar that is too big can also be a cause for danger or injury for them. If they are not used to wearing a collar, they may try to scratch and remove it. If their foot, or lower jaw, becomes stuck in their collar these can pose other situations dangerous to your pet. Check the fit by slipping one to two fingers between the collar and your cats’ neck to make sure it is not too tight. As your cat grows, you will want to routinely check the fit to make sure it is not too tight around their neck.
As a responsible cat owner, they rely on you to keep them safe. Selecting the right collar is important to protect them. They are an inexpensive tool to ensure a safe return in the event they are lost. You provide them a loving home, healthy food, annual wellness exams, and vaccinations, take the time to select the safest collar as well. If you have any questions about selecting the right collar, or any other health concerns about your feline companion, please give your McLean, VA veterinarian a call today at 703-356-5000.