Does my cat need a collar?
There is no law to suggest they do, but what is your first reaction if you see a cat without a collar? Some people’s maybe to think that it was a stray.
You don’t want people thinking this about your cat. Admittedly, many can lose their collar when out exploring, and others really don’t like wearing them, so it is to an owners discretion. But a collar shows the neighbourhood that they have a home to go to.
If your cat often explores during the evenings and overnight, a reflective collar could go way beyond helping to identify them, and could actually be a necessary safety precaution. A bell could also not just warn prey that they’re nearby, but you could also hear where they are for peace of mind.
Collars are also available which can alert people that your cat must not be fed. Cats can have a habit of wandering into someone else’s house for some chicken, particularly if that person has a fondness for your cat. But if yours is on a diet or has allergies, this needs to be avoided.
Are flea collars safe?
There is a large debate over both the effectiveness and safety of flea collars for cats.
For this reason, the one we have included is the Seresto Flea and Tick Control Cat Collar, which has been legally approved and requires strict usage but is safe for cats.
Most experts do not recommend flea collars, as they can cause reactions on your cat’s skin. They work by either releasing fumes and gases which are toxic to the fleas, or by releasing chemicals onto the skin of your cat.
These smell unpleasant, and if they happened to be ingested through grooming, they could make your cat very ill. This includes symptoms such as sickness, trouble breathing and weakness. Depending on how sensitive your animal is to the chemicals, this could eventually lead to paralysis and even death.
Plus, many are left on way beyond their effectiveness, and usually are not the best collars in terms of safety aspects or reflectiveness for your cat. Then there is the fact that most veterinarians argue they don’t even work, just keeping fleas off the head of your cat.
They’re fine for short-period use and if you have a nasty case of fleas, but do not allow your cat to keep the collar on long-term and keep a really close eye on them. You’re best getting flea treatment from the vet if you have an infestation, as well as treating your home of fleas.
Do cats need an ID tag?
Unlike dogs, where a form of identification is a requirement by law when they are out in public, cats aren’t obliged to have a tag on their collar. But it can help if somebody is wondering whether they’re owned, and they can see at a quick glance who owns them.
Even if you do choose to give them an ID tag, it is still a good idea to get them microchipped. This way, if the tag and collar fall off when they are out, there is still a method in which they can be identified.
A really good form of cat tag is the small barrel holders which can hold more information in regards to addresses and telephone numbers, and are less likely to become damaged.
Tags can still be a great backup, however, especially if your cat doesn’t like being held or put into a crate – whoever finds your lost cat would have to do this in order to get your cat to the vet and get the chip scanned after all.
Should I wash my cat’s collar?
If they’re an outdoor cat, their collar could pick up all sorts of dirt and grime. This could irritate their skin and become smelly.
Rather than replacing their collar after a matter of weeks or months, you should give it a wash. Not all can be washed, so you may want to think about this before buying. But most will be able to be hand-washed.
Do this before bed, and ensure their catflap is closed or they have a spare one until it dries.
Should I take my cat’s collar off when they’re inside?
If your cat is allowed to go in and out as they please, it could risk that they go out without wearing it. But if not, and they don’t mind you putting it on them again, you may want to take it off when they’re inside to stop it rubbing on their skin. This applies particularly when they’re asleep.
This is a matter of personal choice, however, so think about your cat’s comfort and outdoor habits.