Many Cat Owners Are Unaware of the Dangers of Unsafe Collars

Cat owners are being urged by the RSPCA to stop buying novelty collars for their cat after a rise in the number of lethal injuries.

Cat collar

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The RSPCA have reported that there is a trend to buy more unusual looking collars for their cats such as those with rhinestones et cetera. Some of these collars are unsafe. This trend is threatening the safety of domestic cats. Knowledgeable and concerned cat caretakers are aware of the dangers of unsafe collars which are those that are closed with a buckle as opposed to a safely faster that snaps and releases when put under pressure. However, less experienced caretakers/guardians are less aware of this danger; hence this post to flag it up again.

When a collar has a buckle if the cat tries to release himself from the collar they can end up forcing the collar into their neck, digging into the flesh and causing serious injury. Also unsafe collars can act a nose and the cat can be hanged under certain unfortunate and unusual circumstances – these collars can kill. Apparently, the trend for flashy unsafe collars has resulted in the RSPCA seeing more cats with serious injuries caused by collars.

“Many owners may not be aware of the dangers involved, so we asked them to seek advice and do their research before putting a collar on their much loved pet. Our advice is to only use collars which snap open without human help. Buckles and elasticated collars can be very dangerous if cats get themselves stuck.” (RSPCA spokeswoman)

Note: not all snap-opening cat collars are safe.

Alice Porter who is a cat behaviour and welfare expert at the RSPCA told The Daily Telegraph that there is no legal requirement for cats to wear collars. For dogs it is different.

It seems that some cat owners believe that their cat needs a collar in order to allow them to identify their cat and provide a telephone number if they are lost. Some owners simply like to dress up their cat with a flashy accessory. Some other cat owners like to place a bell on a collar to protect birds from predation. The fact of the matter is that cats are better off without collars and the best way to identify a cat is through micro-chipping despite the very slight health risk involved.

Photo credit: Malingering on Flickr.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.
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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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5 Responses

  1. Eva Force says:

    Michael, of course, true health conditions and safety issues can be so easily overlooked.I have become very aware of my cats and their needs on a daily basis. Any of us cat lovers knows how quickly their situations can change. My “Maine Coons” provide all of the proof I need to verify this fact.


  2. Eva Force says:

    Michael-This is a very serious problem for many pet owners in general, of any species. Thanks for posting this one and reminding us all to Buckle Up The Right Way With A Safety Release Collar; if we must put one on them.

    • Michael Broad says:

      Thanks Eva for commenting. It is a sleeping cat health problem. Everything seems okay and then the owner’s cat dies because of the collar they gave her.

  3. kevin roche says:

    Interesting and very true subject..i have always avoided putting a novelty collar on my cats for the fear of injury or suffocation…

    • Michael Broad says:

      Kevin, I think true animal and cat lovers like their cats to look natural and they are aware of the dangers. Other cat owners like to decorate their possession – their cat.

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