General Question

amandaafoote's avatar

When to put a collar on a cat?

Asked by amandaafoote (860points) November 22nd, 2008

I just got a kitten & I always thought that if you wanted to put a collar on them, you were to put it on them when they were a kitten so they could learn how to wear it and not hurt themselves with it, but I was told that you’re supposed to put it on them when they are older? Which one is it?

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20 Answers

hearkat's avatar

Our cats figured out how to remove the collars so quickly it was ridiculous. We went through a number of them, but eventually gave up. We got the youngest cat microchipped, though.

tinyfaery's avatar

No real reason to put a collar on an indoor cat. If you must put a collar on him use the break-away kind. Cat collars with bells are more for outdoor cats; the ring alerts small animals to their presence, therby minimizing chance kitty will make a kill.

amandaafoote's avatar

The thing is he is an indoor cat, but I’ve only had him for two days & am not really sure if he’ll try to get out or not, so I’d rather him have some kind of identification if he tries to go outside, i have it loose enough to slide over his head, is that safe enough?

syz's avatar

It doesn’t really matter when you put it on them, although they adjust more easily if you start when they are young. You absolutely must use a break away collar, even if you have the collar on loosely – cats and kittens strangle themselves to death on a regular basis. Be careful not to have the collar too loose, they will sometimes get their lower jaw or even a front leg trapped.

RandomMrdan's avatar

If the cat is going to be an indoor cat…I’d avoid a collar all together. A cat will always be naturally curious as to what’s going on outside, but whenever mine gets close to the door, I shoo him away so he then naturally doesn’t try to get out when I enter or exit my apartment.

Do what hearkat has done, get the microchip if you’re concerned about the cat getting out.

andrew's avatar

I disagree with the opinions not to put a collar on an indoor cat. Each of my indoor cats has gotten outside at least once, and I see dozens of posters at the vet of lost cats with microchips.

hearkat's avatar

@Andrew:
Do you think those “Lost” cats with microchips would be “Found” if they had collars? Sad but true… they are most likely roadkill, so neither a collar or microchip would help.

Our cars are outdoor cats; as they all have been for my whole life. They figured out how to snap off the breakaway collars within a day. Even the one we have chipped I tried to train to wear a collar from when she was a very young kitten, and she got out of them too.

mea05key's avatar

Whatis the reason for putting on them only when they are older. I think it is better for them to get used with the collar when they are young.

girlofscience's avatar

I have three cats—all completely indoors—all previously feral cats in the wild.

The oldest (now 2.5 years), we found when she was 1. We immediately got a collar for her, and she still wears it (she hasn’t grown much). I like having my phone number around her neck so that, if for whatever reason, she escaped one day, no matter what person found her would be able to call me. (Not all non-animal people know about microchips.)

The two other cats are kittens that we saved from a dumpster just a few months ago. They are still small and growing, so we’re going to wait until they’re around 8–9 months until we get the collars for them so that they will be big enough for the collars to stay on.

andrew's avatar

@hearkat: No, but I also don’t see the reasoning behind putting a collar on an outdoor cat but not an indoor one. I also think that many people are naive about microchips.

Also, I, for one, would never in a million years approach a lost cat outside that didn’t have a collar.

hearkat's avatar

I never approach ANY cats… I invite them to approach me.

I understand that it is easier for people to contact the owner if the information is right there on the tag. I was just saying that my cats didn’t tolerate collars, so that was why we chose to microchip the little one.

Living in suburbia, I rarely encounter an animal that looks lost. Even the feral cats near my job are fat and happy because people from the office feed them. One woman will try to trap them and have them spayed/neutered, or to have the kittens adopted.

Non-animal people may not know about microchips… but if they are non-animal people, they are not likely to concern themselves with strays anyway, or they’d contact animal control who would check for a chip.

Adina1968's avatar

I would only put a collar on your kitten if she ends up being and outdoor cat. If you have a cat that has zero interest in going outside then you don’t really need a collar. If you do put a collar on your kitty, PLEASE make sure it is a breakaway (Safety) collar. A breakaway collar ensures that if your cat gets caught on something if will not end up strangling itself because the colar breaks apart. You can find them at your local pet store. If you are not sure if it is a breakaway collar just ask someone who works there.

tiggersmom's avatar

There really isn’t a certain age for putting them on, but the younger they are, the better, so that they can adjust to them. If I were to try to put them on my cats now, they would hate me forever, and I really should have put them on them when they were younger, because they go outside a lot of the time. I only have one chipped, but going to get the others done too.
Hope this helps, good luck to you and the kitty.

desertr0se's avatar

I just ordered a shock collar for my male cat. He is 15#s. My female cat is 6#. He wants to kill her. They had a fight about 4 days ago and now she has an abcess on her hip and I’ll be taking her to a vet tomorrow. I have tried everything to stop him from fighting with her. They are both indoor cats. I wouldn’t let him or her outside. I am going to try to modify his behavior. It’s either that or take him to a shelter. I really don’t want to do that. Any suggestions? I keep them separated at all times but like last week, sometimes they get together. He is very fast and so is she.

tinyfaery's avatar

I suggest a vet visit.

desertr0se's avatar

Yes, I just saw the abcess today. It’s Sunday and those Sunday costs are very high. I’ll take her into the vet tomorrow for sure.

tinyfaery's avatar

I meant for the aggressive cat, too. He could have some problem you do not know about.

desertr0se's avatar

He’s jealous of her. I am going to get a shock collar for him and try to make him stop wanting to kill my little female cat. Both of my cats see the vet regularly. They are both very healthy. They are also both microchipped. The male loves me and he was here first. He considers her an outsider.

tinyfaery's avatar

Shock collars DO NOT work on cats. They do not respond to punishment. I repeat, DO NOT put a shock collar on your cat.

The vet should also be able to give you information about behavioral issues.

manxtek's avatar

You need info about bringing in a new cat. You must lavish attention on the resident cat and ignore the new one. Shock collar is not the answer, hope you didn’t do it, sounds like this was all a while ago… Likely you should place the girl in another home, once there has been physical fighting, it can’t be overcome.

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