Every year, an estimated 10 million pets go missing in the United States. And only a scant 2% of cats who do not have ID tags or microchips will be found by their owners. If your cat is indoor/outdoor (we recommend indoor-only, but that’s beyond the scope of this blog!) then a collar for identification purposes is very important. If your cat is indoor-only but a “dasher,” or curious about the outdoors, a collar is a good idea as well.
In a perfect world, only a microchip would be necessary for identification purposes. But the truth is that microchips can migrate, making them more difficult to find when your cat is scanned. Since the chip is out of sight and out of mind, it’s also easy to forget to register it, and many pet owners neglect to update the registry after a move or phone number change. Utilizing both a collar and a microchip will help your lost cat get back home more quickly.
So what kind of collar is best for cats?
If you’re a cat owner, you’ve probably heard scary stories of cats strangling themselves on a traditional buckle collar. Cats do tend to get into more shenanigans than dogs, and getting hung up on a collar isn’t out of the realm of likelihood. So a breakaway collar designed specifically for cats is your best option.
The Perfect Fit
Keep in mind, however, that even the safest collar is much less safe if it doesn’t fit well. You should be able to slide two fingers between your cat’s neck and the collar – no more, no less.
Additionally, a reflective strip is ideal for nighttime visibility.
Tags: ID, Rabies, License
Your cat should also have an ID tag and a current Rabies tag; Rabies vaccination is mandated by state law. Depending on your city, you may also need a license for your cat. While licensing a cat may seem like an unnecessary bureaucratic step, there are advantages to doing so. If your pet is found by animal control, it will be taken to your home for free, rather than to the animal shelter. According to the City of Minneapolis, licensed pets are three times more likely to get back home again. And the cost of the license goes to pay for the care of lost dogs and cats currently in shelters.
Make Some Noise
If your cat is indoor/outdoor, he or she should also be outfitted with a bell to help reduce the impact of pet cats on wildlife. A recent study showed that house cats killed roughly 3.5 animals per month per cat – which adds up to 10 to 30 billion wildlife animals per year. Since the killings are concentrated within 100 meters of their homes, pet cats have a far greater ecological impact than native predators like foxes and coyotes. So do your part and make sure your pet’s “silent hunting” abilities are compromised.
Now you have the lowdown on collars for your cat! Fortunately, there’s no end to the number of styles and colors available – so get your fur kid a collar to purr about!