How to Teach a Cat to Wear a Collar


Train your cat to wear a collar over a two- or three-day expanse of time by watching him carefully to make sure he is safe. After he is comfortable with the collar, add his license and an ID tag so he has a better chance of being returned if he escapes outdoors, or is an outdoor cat who gets lost.

Importance of Cat Collars

Many people don't put collars on their inside-only cats. However, cats are curious and can run outside of an open door or window at any time. The first unfamiliar noise outdoors will cause most cats to bolt and run. If your cat is wearing a collar with ID tags and your personal information, the chances are much better that someone will find your kitty and return him to you. Dr. Linda Lord, an assistant professor at The Ohio State University led a study on escaping cats without collars and found that fewer than 2 percent of lost cats are returned to the owners.

Cat Safety Collars

Choose a collar for your cat that is either elastic or the breakaway version designed to come off your cat if he gets his collar caught on something. These types of collars make sure that your kitty is safe whether he escaped out an open door, or is caught on an object inside your home. The correct fit is also important; you should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your feline friend's neck.

Collar Training

Set aside a weekend to begin collar training your cat indoors. You will need to keep a close watch on him when he starts wearing his collar. You can expect some scratching at the collar and maybe pawing at it when you first put it on him. Make sure he doesn't get a paw caught in the collar and hurt himself. Watch him so he doesn't get the collar caught on anything or put it in his mouth. If the collar keeps falling off, tighten it slightly so you can slip two fingers under it. Remove the collar at bedtime, so you don't have to worry about your cat. Put the collar back on in the morning. Remove the collar if you are leaving the house and put it back on when you return. After your cat is comfortable with his new jewelry, place his license tag on it along with an ID tag with one to three cellphone numbers etched in to assure that if someone finds him, he can be returned to you, a family member or a friend.

Yearly Collar Check

Check your cat's collar once a year for wear and tear. The weakest areas are by the holes or buckles. If his collar is fraying, it is weakening and should be replaced. Check the fit. Collars that are stretched out are too loose and he can lose it easily along with his vital return information. Make sure the phone numbers on the ID tag are legible and easy to read. Replace worn collars or tags if need be to keep your furry friend safe if he escapes into the outdoor world.

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