How to Put a Collar on a Cat? (Best Practices for 2024)

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Cat collars are like important accessories for my cat, especially because she enjoys going outdoors. But here’s the interesting part – these collars aren’t just for cats who love the outdoors; they can also help indoor cats like mine.

Even though my cat usually stays inside, there are times when she unexpectedly sneaks out or, in the worst case, goes missing.

In these situations, a collar is more than just an accessory; it’s a way to tell others that my cat is not a stray but a loved pet with a home.

Putting a collar on my cat was a bit tricky, especially since she had never worn one before. I realized that many cat owners face the same challenge.

However, with the right approach, I found ways to make the process easier. Patience was important during this time. I let my cat take her time getting used to the collar by allowing her to check it out and get familiar with it.

Before trying to put the collar on, I let her explore and interact with it on her own terms. It’s about taking it one step at a time and being patient about how to put a collar on a cat.

Putting the Collar on Your Cat

Step 1: Choosing the Right Time for My Cat

When I’m introducing a collar to my cat, I know that timing is key. I like to pick a moment when my cat is calm or occupied with other activities, such as during her mealtime or playtime.

This not only minimizes any resistance but also turns the whole experience into a positive one.

Step 2: Letting My Cat Check It Out

I always allow my cat to take her time getting to know the collar before putting it on. I placed it near her and let her explore.

To make the collar more familiar, I often rub it on her bedding or use a soft cloth around her mouth, transferring her scent onto it. This simple step helps her recognize the collar as part of her familiar surroundings.

Step 3: Putting on the Collar

Choosing a calm moment is crucial when gently placing the collar around my cat’s neck. Using a soothing and reassuring voice creates a relaxed atmosphere.

After putting on the collar, I make it a point to offer her a treat, turning the experience into a positive one. At first, my cat might attempt to remove the collar.

I start by leaving it on for short durations and gradually increase the time. Considering rewarding her with treats when she keeps the collar on without trying to take it off adds a positive association.

Step 4: Checking the Fit

Ensuring the collar fits correctly is a must. I make sure I can comfortably slide two to three fingers between the collar and my cat’s neck, avoiding any pulling or tugging.

Learn more about how tight a cat collar should be to ensure your cat’s comfort and safety.

Since cats may initially tense their necks, I wait a few minutes for her to relax before checking the fit. If the collar doesn’t fit properly, I promptly remove it and make necessary adjustments.

Regularly checking the fit is essential, especially since my cat may undergo weight changes that affect how the collar sits.

Cat collar fits correctly

Step 5: Regular Check-ups

Keeping a close eye on my cat’s collar over time is part of responsible pet care. Cats may experience weight changes as they age, affecting the collar’s fit.

If it becomes too loose or tight, I make the necessary adjustments to ensure my cat’s comfort. Regular check-ups ensure the collar remains a safe and secure accessory for my feline companion.

Tips on choosing and fitting a collar

Tips on choosing and fitting a Cat collar

Safety First: Choose a Breakaway Collar

When it comes to my cat’s safety, opting for a breakaway collar is non-negotiable. These collars boast a unique fastener designed to release under pressure, preventing any potential choking hazards.

It’s a comforting thought knowing that if my cat ever gets caught on furniture or branches during her adventures, the collar will give way, keeping her safe.

Related Post: Best Calming for cat

Consider Attachments Wisely

As I browse through collar options, those charming attachments like bells catch my eye. However, I remind myself to weigh the benefits against the risks.

While bells can be helpful in alerting birds and prey to my cat’s presence, I’m cautious of the possibility that they might catch on things, causing discomfort or even danger.

Inspect the Collar Material

Taking a hands-on approach, I run my fingers along the entire length of the collar. Ensuring there are no rough edges, especially around the fastener, is key.

Checking the stitching for wear, fraying, or damage is part of my routine. A well-maintained collar reduces the risk of any irritation for my feline friend.

Fastener Strength Matters

Putting the collar to the test, I apply varying amounts of pressure to check the fastener’s strength. It should release with a moderate amount of force, ensuring that my cat can’t slip out unintentionally.

If it opens too easily, I understand that it might compromise the collar’s effectiveness.

Consider My Cat’s Size and Weight

Knowing that cats come in different sizes, I carefully choose a collar that suits my cat’s unique dimensions. The pressure needed to release the fastener should align with her weight, ensuring a secure fit without causing any discomfort.

Avoid Elastic Collars

Though elastic collars may seem convenient, I weigh the associated risks. While the stretchiness might allow my cat to slip out, the potential for serious injury, especially if her leg gets entangled, is a concern.

Additionally, the risk of the collar getting stuck over her jaw is something I’d rather avoid.

Regularly Check the Fit

Ensuring the collar fits snugly yet comfortably around my cat’s neck is a routine task. I make sure I can slide two to three fingers between the collar and her neck. With my cat still growing, or if she undergoes weight changes, regular checks become essential.

Choose an ID Tag

Attaching an ID tag to the collar becomes a crucial safety measure. Including my contact information ensures that if my cat ever goes missing, whoever finds her can easily return her to me. Confirming the tag is securely fastened is a simple yet vital step.

Monitor My Cat’s Reaction

Observing my cat’s behavior after putting on the collar is part of the process. While some initial discomfort or resistance is normal, continuous resistance or signs of distress prompt me to consider adjusting the fit or exploring a different type of collar.

Observing my cat's behavior after putting on the collar

Consult with My Veterinarian

Any concerns or specific questions about choosing and fitting a collar lead me to consult with my veterinarian. Their personalized advice, considering my cat’s individual characteristics, ensures that the chosen collar is not only safe but also comfortable for my feline companion. It’s a collaborative effort to prioritize her well-being.

Benefits of My Cat’s Collar Training

Regardless of my cat’s age or personality, guiding them to wear a collar is achievable with a bit of patience and positive encouragement.

For more tips on understanding your cat’s behavior and training techniques, check out our article on how to get a cat used to a harness.

While the process may involve some trial and error, the advantages of familiarizing my cat with a collar are truly worthwhile. These include:

Benefits of My Cat's Collar Training

Improved Identification Chance:

When my cat becomes comfortable with their collar, I can attach an ID tag with my contact information. This ensures that if someone finds my cat, they can easily reach out to me, reducing the chances of my cat being mistaken as a stray.

This is crucial because it helps avoid situations where my cat might end up in a local animal shelter, possibly facing euthanasia if not claimed promptly.

Learn more about providing a comfortable environment for your cat in our article on how to communicate with your cat.

Reduced Risk of Pet Kidnapping or Getting Lost:

While an ID tag can fall off, using a microchip for my cat’s ID provides a more permanent solution. A microchip acts like a permanent ID card for my cat, allowing vets or shelters to scan and retrieve my contact details.

This is especially helpful in preventing pet kidnapping or aiding in the identification of a lost cat.

Quick and Painless Microchipping Procedure:

Microchipping is a quick, painless procedure that offers a permanent means of identification. It’s an affordable and widely available option in most towns and cities.

In some countries and U.S. states, microchipping may even be required by law, so checking local shelters or vet clinics is advisable.

Prevention of Unwanted Euthanasia:

Teaching my cat to wear a collar, complete with proper identification, significantly reduces the risk of them being mistakenly identified as a stray and ending up in an animal shelter. This minimizes the chance of euthanasia if not claimed promptly.

Enhanced Safety with GPS Trackers:

In addition to identification measures, a dedicated cat GPS tracker provides advanced safety benefits. Devices like Tractive GPS enable real-time tracking of my missing cat over an unlimited range.

I can set up safe zones and receive instant alerts if my cat strays beyond them. Features like Heat Map and Location History help me understand my cat’s favorite spots and wandering areas, ensuring I can quickly locate and bring them back home.

Peace of Mind for Me, the Cat Owner:

Knowing that my cat is easily identifiable and traceable brings peace of mind. It adds an extra layer of security, especially in cases of adventurous cats or those prone to wandering.

Establishment of Routine and Comfort:

Collar training contributes to establishing a routine for my cat, making them more comfortable with the idea of wearing a collar.

This comfort level is beneficial not only for identification purposes but also for the overall well-being of my cat.

The benefits of my cat’s collar training extend beyond simple identification, encompassing safety, legal compliance, and the emotional well-being of both my cat and me as the owner.

Do Indoor Cats Need Collars?

Absolutely! Even for indoor cats, getting them accustomed to wearing a collar can offer valuable benefits. In the unlikely event that my cat slips out of the house, having an ID tag on their collar becomes a crucial identifier, letting people know that this charming feline has a loving home.

Moreover, if my cat is equipped with a GPS tracker, it adds an extra layer of security. With a GPS tracker, I can conveniently track my cat in real-time, ensuring a swift and safe return home.

Do Indoor Cats Need Collars?

When Should My Cat Start Wearing a Collar?

While it’s generally easier for a young cat to adapt to wearing a collar, even adult or senior cats can become comfortable with it.

The key is to initiate cat collar training as soon as my cat reaches their full size and can safely wear a breakaway collar.

Starting the training early enhances the likelihood of a smooth and positive transition to collar-wearing for cats of all ages.

Should My Cat Use a Harness?

For me, it’s usually a good choice to put a harness on my cat when we’re heading out for a walk on a leash. When my cat is roaming around freely, just exploring the surroundings, I go for a safety collar.

Harnesses can be a bit challenging for outdoor cats because they might find it tough to slip out of them if caught on something.

However, I’ve heard stories, like the one mentioned here, where cats manage to get used to a harness with a little training and a whole bunch of patience.

Should My Cat Wear a Collar?

In my experience, getting a cat used to wearing a collar takes a bit of time, patience, and effort. It’s pretty surprising, but in the end, they’re safer. I’ve started thinking about whether cats should wear collars and how to get them used to wearing one without any fuss.

By training them right, finding the perfect collar that fits just right, and giving them some attention, most cats I’ve known actually get quite comfortable wearing collars.

I came across a study from Ohio State University that looked at 538 cats and their collars, and here’s what stood out to me:

Most cats, about 72.3%, wore their collars without any issues.

People expected cats to not like collars as much as they actually do – turns out, cats are pretty good at wearing them.

Only a small number, around 7.1%, of cats lost their collars. This got me thinking it might be a good idea to invest in a microchip and GPS tracker for extra peace of mind.

Vets might recommend that all cats wear collars because they’re an important way to identify a lost pet.

Here’s something interesting to ponder: Less than 2 percent of lost cats find their way back home. But if you get your cat to wear a collar with ID tags and a GPS tracker, those odds can improve.

Should My Cat Wear a Collar?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it essential for my indoor cat to wear a collar?

While not mandatory, it’s beneficial for indoor cats too. Collars with ID tags provide identification in case they escape, reducing the risk of being mistaken for a stray.

How do I choose the right size collar for my cat?

Measure your cat’s neck and select a collar that allows you to snugly fit two to three fingers between the collar and their neck. Ensure it’s not too tight or too loose for comfort.

Can I leave the collar on my cat all the time?

Initially, start with short durations and gradually increase collar-wearing time. Monitor your cat’s behavior and comfort level. Most cats can adapt to wearing collars regularly.

What if my cat scratches or tries to remove the collar constantly?

It’s common for cats to resist initially. Use positive reinforcement, and if scratching persists, consider collars with softer materials. Consult your vet for advice.

Are there specific collars for sensitive cats?

Yes, some collars are designed for sensitive cats, featuring softer materials and lightweight designs. Experiment with different styles to find the most comfortable option for your cat.

Can I wash the collar if it gets dirty?

Check the collar’s care instructions. Many collars are machine washable or can be wiped clean. Regular cleaning ensures hygiene and comfort for your cat.


Putting a collar on your cat requires patience, positive reinforcement, and a gradual approach. Whether your cat is an outdoor explorer or an indoor companion, collar training enhances their safety and helps identify them if lost.

Choose a breakaway collar for safety, introduce it slowly, and use treats to create a positive association. Regularly check the fit and consider additional features like ID tags and GPS trackers for added security.

With time and care, collar training becomes a positive experience, contributing to the well-being of your feline friend.

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