A collar for the surprising adventures of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar!
August 17, 2018 1:20 PM   Subscribe

We've attempted to put two different collars on Digby (enjoying his moment of Reddit fame here). They aren't working! We need collar recs!

Digby is microchipped, obv. But as he is an adventurous soul, we are afraid of a day when Sir Digby takes to the streets to find some bastard, who is presumably responsible.

Our first collar for him was a Rogz reflective breakaway. The first time he managed to get off himself. The second time he nearly choked himself.

The next collar was a classy upmarket thing with faux baby blue leather, studs, a bell, and an elasticized bit. Well..I put it on him this afternoon and he promptly got it caught around his lower jaw, which led to a panicked cat and an owner with scratched up hands who got it off of him.

So...here in Canada, what kind of collar do we need and how can we make it safe? He will always be an indoor cat, but we're just afraid of the day when he feels like bum-rushing the front door and seeking his fortunes.

Give us your best cat collar recs!
posted by Kitteh to Pets & Animals (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you considered a harness rather than a collar? Seems that would be safer and more likely to stay on.
posted by hydra77 at 1:29 PM on August 17, 2018

Collars and harnesses are both a risk, especially with a cat that can fight them off. But I think that harnesses are probably more uncomfortable and less safe - they aren't generally designed to be worn 24/7 and or to have break-away latches.

Honestly, this is why neither of my cats have a collar. They're both microchipped, and I worry more about them getting hung up in the collar* than getting out and not making their way back to me because they didn't have a collar. Most people assume cats are supposed to be outside unless the cat is acting strange, anyway, in which case I hope they'd take them to the shelter and the microchip would be read.

But if you do get a collar, please only get one with a quick-release/breakaway latch. Even collars with these latches can still strangle your cat because they don't always work, but it's better than nothing.

I don't think the problem is that you haven't found the right collar that your cat will accept. He just doesn't like a collar. So, picking a SAFE collar and making sure it fits right is the most important criteria here.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 1:40 PM on August 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

My own James just doesn't DO collars, despite several attempts. I think you might just have to have faith in Digby's microchip and take reasonable precautions to keep him from getting out.

I really just wanted to post to say that Sir Digby Chicken Caesar is ADORABLE and I love him.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 2:32 PM on August 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

Cats will get used to collars if you keep putting them back on. Since he's an indoor cat you're worried might go on walkabout, just keep putting the (breakaway) collar back on when you can keep an eye on him and he should stop trying to gnaw it off after a couple days. Is the collar at the correct tightness (can fit 2 fingers under it)?
posted by momus_window at 2:53 PM on August 17, 2018

There is a gathering movement to put orange collars on indoor only cats as a signal that they are escapees.

I would take me to the dollar store and get one of their cheap break away collars and put that on him. I suspect your collars are going on him too loose, since he should not be able to gnaw on them any more than you can gnaw on your collar by bending your mouth down to it. It is snug it will bother him less. It will also be safer as it won't catch on things as much - cats very, very, very rarely get caught by their collars, but getting a breakaway one is just sensible. So try tightening it just a fraction. If he destroys or loses the collar the dollar store ones are cheap to replace. Just keep putting it back on him. Once he is used to collars and not trying to take it off you can get something fancy or expensive. Also try removing any bell as that my be bothering him.

He may need toys if he is making a toy out of his collar and figuring out how to get out of it.

If he is growing the collar needs to be checked every few days and loosened a bit as he grows.

You can get a tiny engraved tag with your phone number on it which is often more effective than a microchip. It can easily happen that someone will find your cat and not grab him and take him to the vet if he seems healthy and is probably an outdoor cat, whereas if there is a phone number on the tag they can briefly detain him and call you to ask if they should let him go, a much cheaper and easier course of action for anyone concerned about finding him outside.

He's a very handsome fellow.
posted by Jane the Brown at 5:03 AM on August 18, 2018

Fitting a cat collar is important too. You want it to be snug, but you also don't want it to be too tight, as a too-tight collar can also injure a cat.

This page seems to have some advice about choosing a fitting a collar that might be helpful. No elastic, test the break-away latch with a bag of sugar, recheck the fit...
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 9:00 PM on August 18, 2018

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