September 9, 2011
Kind News Extra: Fitting Sessions
Find the right fit for your kitty's collar
Stripes, prints, and polka dots, velvet and faux fur, cat collars come in a design just right for your cat (and you). Cute collars on cats are fun, but when choosing a collar for your feline, focus on fit and safety first. Keep these tips in mind:
- "Breakaway" collars have plastic fasteners designed to open automatically when the collar is pulled. The collars come off more easily, but they make sure the collar will come off easily in case your cat gets caught on something. You could also look for an elastic stretch collar or a collar with an elastic insert.
- Look for collars that adjust by sliding, which offer a better fit than those that use a buckle closure. You should be able to comfortably slip two fingers (side by side, not one on top of the other) between the collar and the cat’s skin. A proper fit keeps the collar from sliding off at the mere swipe of a paw and also prevents it from snagging something.
- When getting your cat used to a collar, distract him with a tasty treat, a favorite game, a catnip toy, or something else he likes. Try rubbing the collar on the cat’s body. “Cats feel safer when everything smells like them,” says HSUS cat programs manager Nancy Peterson. “I would suggest putting the collar on when your cat is sleeping. If your cat fusses, only remove the collar when he isn’t taking issue with it. In other words, don’t reward anti-collar behavior.”
- Let your cat get used to the collar gradually. At first, keep the collar on only while you’re home to supervise.
- Check the collar frequently to see if it still fits properly, especially during the first couple of days.
- If jingling tags drive you or your cat crazy, stick the tags together with Velcro or double-sided tape.