Quest for the Best Cat Collar

Sun, Sep 7, 2008

Collars & Tags

Since my cats are indoors only, we don’t wear collars at our house, but if you do let kitty out, a collar is a must. Moderncat reader Miriah was having difficulty finding a collar for her cat. Everything she tried rubbed the fur off and created scabs. Miriah searched high and low and found an adjustable cat safety collar from National Leash. Here is Miriah’s review:

My cat and I came to a resolve when she insisted on being an outdoor cat…a collar. I was using various basic collars until I noticed that she was losing fur around her neck. Other times I found crust (as if she scratched it or it rubbed her too rough).

Since I spoil her with everything I figured it was time to find the best collar. I checked Moderncat and other places and everyone seemed to have collars with hip designs but nothing really to help with irritation when wearing a collar 24/7.

This is the collar I have been looking for. It is light and durable. It doesn’t wrap tightly around her neck but loops around with the ID tag sitting loosely on her chest. It has the breakaway feature so my little huntress doesn’t get caught in anything while on the run. I bought three more. The red with blue and white speckle is adorable. :)

Her fur is growing back and she is at her happiest…and I have one less thing to worry about :)

These collars are available at Amazon.

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25 Responses to “Quest for the Best Cat Collar”

  1. 1

    For anyone who’s interested, ALL cats are safer wearing breakaway/safety collars; my beloved indoor-only cats all wear them with ID tags. And also for anyone who’s interested, there are a nice variety at online.

    And finally, for the safety, health and wellbeing of your cat, KEEP YOUR CAT INDOORS ONLY. No ifs, ands, or buts.

  2. 2

    A lot of the reviews on Amazon say the break-away doesn’t actually break away and that the aluminum adjusters are sharp and can catch a cat’s claw. Is this your experience?

  3. 3
    Jon Sallquist

    Thanks for posting one of our collars on your site. We review the comments on Amazon and try to make adjustments to our products based on those reviews. Up until the past few months, we did not make the breakaway feature and were getting quite a few complaints of the collars getting caught and not coming off. Since then we have added the plastic breakaway nib and the complaints have stopped. Some have complained that the breakaway nib disconnected too easy…so we tightened it up. We have also been making the slider a little tighter. As to sharp metal edges, we only read one complaint and that was from a person who did not actually use the collar. We have made hundreds on these collars and the vast majority of our customers like them. For those few who don’t, we have a full money back guarantee. Thanks again, Jon at National Leash

  4. 4

    Hi! Upon reading the comments posted I felt I needed to follow up.

    *No jagged anything on the metal ring (It’s like a typical key ring).
    *Definitely releases if she gets caught…. perhaps it is because I have the latest version (see manufacturers comment).

    *Lastly, I noticed this posted and wanted to comment on it as I read this a lot: “for the safety, health and well being of your cat, KEEP YOUR CAT INDOORS ONLY. No ifs, ands, or buts.”

    Granted, I use to agree to the above statement but upon seeing the absolute pleasure that arises when my cat goes outside I had to reconsider.

    Yes, I believe that indoor cats are obviously safer as they generally are not exposed to any of the basic outdoor obstacles (Weather, animals, people, cars, etc.). Yet when it comes to well being, My cat has never been happier and fitter then when she gets that breath of fresh air. She hides in our tomato plants waiting for birds to come out so she can pounce. She climbs trees and sleeps in them. She doesn’t need a litter box, she prefers dirt. She is complete. She is satisfied… and it’s worth every nail biting moment when she hasn’t come home quick enough.

    I know that statistically Indoor cats live longer then Outdoor cats. Yet, it is the decision I made a long time ago. That she gets to experience life to her fullest even it means obstacles, dangers, and worries… my purpose is to be her protector and her defender but not her captor. She is not my pet, she is my friend and companion, and this is her life too.

    So with all that said, I wish we would stop discouraging outdoor activity for cats, for any animals. How can we begin argue against something as fundamental as Sunlight, fresh air and grass? How can I deprive an animal of that which I could never deprive myself (i.e. except chocolate). I wish we rather, discussed ways of making our individual outdoor areas safer. For example, my backyard is cat proofed. My backyard also has a lot of activity so Molly very rarely desires to breech further (One side of the yard is mice friendly, the other bird friendly.) I have also circled my neighborhood so I know where my cat can go and in the event of an emergency which neighbor’s yards I might need to access too, etc.

    p.s.: I live in Brooklyn.. not suburbia. I by no means am trying to promote outdoor cat activity for ALL cats. I just don’t agree that ALL cats should be indoor cats.

  5. 5

    Great post, Miriah.
    People don’t even keep their kids indoors all the time and they, too, are in danger when leaving the safety of their homes. The question whether to let a cat out or not depends on individual circumstances and there are a lot of ifs, ands and buts.

  6. 6

    I am a cat lover, but I don’t think they should be allowed to be loose outdoors. The commentor above talks about the happiness of her cat, but what about the creatures her cat preys on? Why should cats be allowed to prey on birds and other small animals? No one would argue that dogs should be allowed to run free to kill rabbits and squirrels. Why is it okay for cats?

  7. 7

    i wanted to comment on the indoor/outdoor cat question. i used to keep my cats indoor since i lived on a fairly busy street but after a move i decided to try leaving them outdoors.
    at first i was very tentative (as were they) but i would let the cats out in the backyard and sit & read while they explored but soon they were off on their own & returning with (dead) songbirds.

    so that’s my only advice is don’t let them out until after dark so that they won’t kill all of the birds in the neighborhood.

  8. 8

    This collar is so close to what I’m looking for!!… only I wish it were in leather. Visiting the shop on Amazon, the color versions have those silly patterns in them. Why not just a plain, sky blue leather strap?

    If I can’t figure out how to make my own, I’ll probably get this one though. I love the simplicity of it, and I love that it won’t tangle in kitty’s long fur.

  9. 9

    This collar you hav here is very simple and plain it is a very good collar for those who want it plane and just don’t care about if it has a desighn on it. I have to admit this is a great collar to for safety. It comes off easily wich is very good because for an inside cat they don’t really know what to do outside besides their instincks all collars should be abe to come undone easily but this one is probably looser wich is good like outdoor all the time cats know what not to get coult on well more than an all the time inside cat. But for people who want an outdoor cat collar that is safe should go to

  10. 10

    I got one of these and loved it for my Cornish Rex, but had to stop using it due to contact dermatitis acne that was propably from the plastic breakaway part.

  11. 11

    Cats are animals. They kill. Thats what they are designed to do. Its not a bad thing, many animals kill for food. Its natural and its their instinct. If you don’t like it, get a budgie. Don’t take your ‘not liking killing’ and make the cat wronge for it. They are only doing what is natural for them, like it or not.

  12. 12

    I am so glad to see people here advocating letting cats go outside. I have to agree if its possible they should be allowed out. I unfortunately live on a fourth floor in an urban area and haven’t figured out a way to let mine out so that it’s moderately safe. But I feel guilty about it. I know that there are risks for cats going out but I must agree that the chance to experience the natural world compensates for those.

    However, finding ways to lessen the amount of birds a cat kills is important. Because cats are domesticated they do upset the balance and contribute to environmental problems in north america–especially when it comes to birds. Any suggestions on how to lessen the amounts of birds killed by a cat would be appreciated.

  13. 13

    Great post Miriah! These are so cute! As for the Indoor/Outdoor debate, I absolutely believe it depends on the circumstances. My cats are indoor/outdoor and they wouldn’t have it any other way. We should be protecting the vibrancy of their spirits as well as their little bodies, when possible. People who are so staunch on cats being indoors at all times no matter what, and acting as if that’s natural are kidding themselves. Sure, it may be easier for us, but it’s totally depriving the cats of nature itself.

  14. 14

    I am looking into getting my girls this collar. I will find out if they have really fixed the problem. They look cute.

  15. 15
    D. Scarborough

    I also am tired of hearing the preaching about never letting your cat outside. I personally would rather have a full but shorter life living life to the fullest than a long one lived in complete safety. My cats have such joy when they go outside. Do I worry, yes. And I have made the effort to keep them in, but have finally made the decision to let them enjoy outdoor life. Sorry to all of you who don’t understand this but I am absolutely positive that my cats are much happier being able to go out.

  16. 16

    Thanks for posting this collar. I have been looking for something to help identify my cat without being a safety risk.

    Also, let your cat be free!!! I agree not all living situations are the best for a cat being outdoors. However, my cat wouldn’t have it any other way. She is begging to go out first thing in the morning, and comes home at the same time every evening. She loves to climb trees, chase bugs, and nap in our garden. I don’t feel that I am a bad cat owner for letting her outside. She is well taken care of. Plus, my dog gets to go out and play, it just wouldn’t be fair to keep her indoors.

  17. 17

    I don’t think that being outdoors is necessarily a bad thing for cats, but the owner has to take steps to prevent a negative impact on the neighborhood, environment, and cat’s health. Anyone who lets a cat outside, unmonitored and free to roam, is an extremely irresponsible pet owner; I compare them to people who let their dogs roam unsupervised. For whatever reason, the latter is considered unacceptable, but many still insist that a cat’s happiness is more valuable in the same situation.
    The cat is an introduced species that native wildlife is not prepared to live with. They’ve done incredible damage to songbird populations, among other species. It is not natural for a cat to be outdoors in many parts of the world, just like it’s not natural for cane toads to be in Australia. The domestic cat is an invasive species.
    Cats can carry FIV and infect other felines. Your cat might become infected, or it might be an unaffected carrier that passes the deadly disease to other cats. The existing FIV vaccination is not a cure; it affects only two of the five existing strains of FIV. Feline immunodeficiency virus is only one of many dangerous illnesses that your cat can carry/contract by coming into contact with unknown cats.
    Those living in communities with strangers are being very inconsiderate by letting their cats outside. My niece is dangerously allergic to cats, and friendly outdoor felines that attempt to approach her are major pests. Such incidents have resulted in several trips to the hospital. My uncle tried to keep a koi pond in his backyard, and despite the high fence, neighborhood cats managed to sneak into his yard and kill the fish. He restocked the pond several times before deciding to contact the cat’s owners, and when nothing changed, he took matters into his own hands. (I won’t go into detail, but the cats wound up dead.) People attempting to attract songbirds and local wildlife into their yards are constantly thwarted by neighborhood cats. Cats use children’s sandboxes and manicured gardens as litterboxes.
    Build a cage in your backyard that is entirely enclosed, and let your cat enjoy the sunlight and fresh air. Train your cat to walk on a leash and take it for regular walks. These are fantastic solutions that are rarely considered; it is, after all, easier to simply let your cat outside and trust that it will behave itself. I can respect the belief that cats benefit from outdoor exercise, fresh air and sunlight, but I also understand why some people trap and kill cats that wander onto their property, or leave out poison for unsupervised felines that sneak into their yard. It isn’t the neighborhood’s cat, it’s your cat, and if you have your heart set on letting your cat outdoors, put the necessary work into ensuring your cat will be safe, non-destructive, and supervised.

  18. 18
    Good Cat

    Wow! What a wonderful topic sprung up. Must agree with both sides. I think it’s just a matter of to each his own. Some homes have toxic surroundings and yes should be cat restricted while other areas around the globe and in the US are much more open and safer for the kitties.

    I just cant deny how bored my kitties look when we lived in a 2 floor walk up as opposed to our Jersey backyard. They gained so much weight in our indoor homes I can’t imagine that in itself being a health risk.

  19. 19

    My cat Séamus just looks grumpy and unhappy when he is kept indoors for a few days, despite several toy options. Once he gets outside he has a real spring in his step subsequently, is even more affectionate and purrs much louder during snuggles. So, I guess I fall into the ‘let them enjoy life outdoors if possible and, even if its shorter, it will have been waaaaay more enjoyable’ camp.

  20. 20

    I have two cats; one is very timid and the other, the poor darling, very stupid and very accident prone. The first (a pet shop kitty) is eleven years-old and has never desired to venture outdoors (we have, in the past, given her ample opportunity). The other is a little over a year old. We found him outside at four months. He managed to climb at the very top of a wooden fence and was unable to get down. We happened to spot him from our second-floor balcony. We adopted him on-site and haven’t let him outside since (mostly because we live in the downtown area). But he never lost his knack for getting into impossible situations. We’ve taken him to the vet on several occasions—all due to self-inflicted injuries. For instance, he’s taken to sitting and sleeping on the railing of our loft. He’s fallen numerous times (once, still asleep) onto the hardwood below. He’s been perfectly alright each and every time (a bloody nose at worst), but I’d shudder to think what he’d get into outside. He isn’t fixed yet, either. For these reasons I do not allow MY cats outside. My parent’s cat, however, is fiercely independent and very intelligent. She, too, was a stray, but compared with my Gulliver, far more successful at it. Different stokes for different—cats, I say. And of course your location has some part in it. We’re moving from our downtown apartment into a house next month. After we get the backyard fenced in, I MAY think about letting him out on a supervised basis.
    As for the Uncle with the koi pond: really?
    This is vile, unjustifiable, irreprehensible… I don’t care how expensive the fish. I hate stories of selfish, evil people poisoning/shooting/otherwise harming or killing neighborhood animals when they could just as well call animal control and just let the authorities deal with it! And I mean, gosh. A koi pond.
    Keep your FISH indoors. They live happy, safe lives in aquariums, bowls—and are none the wiser.

  21. 21

    Good grief. Got all caught up and forgot the whole reason I stumbled on this discussion–I was google-ing “best cat collar”. I’ve been trying to get my cats used to collars just in case they get out on accident once we move into the house. Right now, if Gully takes a bolt out the door, he just gets into the hallway. I know he’ll attempt a get-away more than once after the move, and just in case we’re not quick enough, I want them both all suited up and ID’d. But my problem was the same as yours–he’s scratched himself hairless where the cheepy collars have been. And of course he’s gotten tangled. The bell we had on there especially confused him, as most of his toys have bells or make jingly noises. Anyways. I’m definitely going to look into one of these. I hope, as you’ve said, the breakaway feature has been fixed. For my clutzy kitty’s sake, at least.

  22. 22

    Also make sure your cat is microchipped since the collars can break away. Even indoor only cats can escape or run out.

  23. 23

    I make the collars myself.

    This is my kitty wearing one

    I buy an elastic rubber-band-like string and some small rings at the craft store. They rings are just key-rings but much smaller and they are silver like for making little jewelry. When the cat is a kitten I use one elastic string that is relatively thin, while for the adult cat, I switched to buy slightly wider band which is more durable. I notice I need to make a new one every season as it tends to get stretched out and become lose. I like this one though, it is very similar to what I needed (which I what I built myself), if they has it at the pet store, I would probably have bought it.

  24. 24

    Would this work collar with a cat that has lost TWO breakaway collars with ID tags, and knows how to pull them off with his teeth?
    As for the outside thing I can keep him in, but my three year old niece can’t and he has figured out how to bolt outside when the dogs are let out and sister is the one letting them out. My sister doesn’t want to pay the price tag for a chip so that’s not an option.
    We grew up with barn cats so both of us are fine with cats being outside they do help with mice and snakes but we would like a collar that he can’t pull off with his teeth or looses while outside.
    This is one smart kitty…help.

  25. 25

    The elastic band with O-ring may be the best idea yet for my little Coltrane, who rivals Houdini in his ability to escape his breakaway collar. He and his big brother Miles (both rescues from Animal Control) are to be our outdoor cats, and through-the-window companions to our 3 indoor only cats. We will also microchip them, but I want something immediately visible that shows they belong to someone. There are bells on their collars to warn the songbirds, and they are already (in only 3 weeks) pretty content to stay in our large yard, racing back when they hear us call. Bringing them inside at night until baby Coltrane is bigger so he doesn’t become an owl’s dinner. :-/

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