Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cat Collars

Although collars are generally thought to be for the canine kind, many cat owners choose to purchase collars for their favorite felines. There are many different kinds of cat collars on the market, made from a variety of material types, so it is imperative that you choose the best option for your cat’s needs and body. Consider taking your cat along on a shopping trip to your local pet store—most welcome animals of all types (but call ahead if you are unsure—and try on different models to find the perfect fit. Keep in mind that although color, material, and style is important, these aspects should come second to the fit of the collar. (Tip:  when bringing a cat to the pet store, be sure to bring him/her in a carrier in case there are dogs there that might scare your cat and cause them to run or claw you!)

Traditionally, cats wear collars that hold their identification information and a bell, especially if it is an outdoor cat. Ensuring your pet is properly identified is critical for any animal that is let outside. In case your cat becomes lost, you will have a much better chance of finding your lost loved one if he/she has the appropriate identifying information securely attached to the collar. Most cat owners choose to attach a small bell or another type of noise making device in order to make small animals or birds aware of a predator’s presence. Cats tend to have retained more hunting instincts than domesticated dogs, so this is a viable concern with many cat owners tired of finding their feline bringing home helpless animals.

A buckle collar is the easiest type for a cat to wear, since it can be put on and taken off quickly and easily. Try the collar on your cat to ensure he or she cannot wiggle out of the collar. Just as a loose collar is unacceptable, having a collar fitted too tight can cause discomfort or even pain if your pet feline. For a younger cat that will need a collar that grows with them, consider choosing an adjustable collar to save you from purchasing new ones in the future.

Some owners choose elastic collars that slip on and off over the cat’s head. These are great for cats that do not need the extra weight and bulk of a buckle. Keep in mind that any elastic collars should be fitted to your cat to ensure the collar is not too loose or too tight.

For indoor cats, consider choosing collars with breakaway panels or buckles that will immediately free the cat if he or she becomes caught on something inside your house. Similarly, you should choose collars made of materials that can easily be cut in case the animal becomes caught.  This is very important!  Also, if you are not comfortable with your cat wearing a collar then you do not need to put one on them.  Be very careful not to let them run outside if they do not have a collar on to identify them!

If you have an outdoor cat, look into a collar that uses reflective materials. These reflective materials will keep your precious feline safe and seen at night. This is quite important, since animals are more likely to become injured or even killed since they cannot be seen by drivers. A reflective collar is also a good idea for indoor cats, since you can see the animal in the dark to avoid stepping on your pet.

Some cats enjoy taking outdoor walks, but owners do not want them to be outdoors unattended. Outdoor cats can easily become lost, stolen, injured, or even killed. To solve this problem, some cat owners choose to walk their cats on a leash just like a dog. Instead of a regular collar, leash walking cats require a harness to prevent spine issues. If you are in the market for harnesses, there are two main types: the figure eight and the H-style. Depending on your individual cat and the fit, these harnesses are excellent for any cat that enjoys a walk in the park!  You should try this on and allow your cat some time to adjust in the house before using outside.

Once you have determined the specific type of collar for your cat, choose a color that fits his or her personality. Whether your feline wants a rocker look with black leather and metal studs or a pretty princess with pink rhinestones, the options are limitless for a stylish and practical cat collar!


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