Breakaway Collars for Cats: Safety and Security

June is Adopt a Shelter Cat month. Every year to celebrate, I devote my blogposts in the month of June to our furry, feline friends. June was chosen as Adopt a Shelter Cat month in part because kitten season is near its peak and there are many kittens available for adoption in the summer and early fall. Wonderful adult cats are available for adoption from your local shelter year-round. Last week’s blogpost focused on new research that is helping cats live longer and better lives. Today’s post will explain why feline families should choose a breakaway collar for their cat.

  1. Why is it necessary for cats to have breakaway collars? 

Cats are extraordinary athletes, and their collar can easily catch on fences, sticks or other protruding objects, trapping the cat or worse. Cats may also try to escape their collar and catch their leg or their lower jaw in the collar, making it hard for them to move. If this happens without their family around, it can be fatal. Breakaway collars pop off with only a little bit of pressure on them and release the tethered cat. Breakaway collars save cat lives.

  1. Are breakaway collars better than regular collars? What about no collar? 

For outdoor cats, a breakaway collar is better than a regular collar for the reasons I outlined above. A breakaway collar is also better than no collar, because a collar PLUS a nametag with the owner’s phone number helps with ready identification of a lost cat. Research shows that a collar with ID, in combination with a microchip, offers the best chances of being reunited with your cat in the event they go missing.

  1. What about breakaway collars for dogs?

Breakaway collars would not work on a dog, because we typically use dog collars to control a dog’s movement. If your dog tried to run away while a breakaway collar was clipped to the leash, the breakaway collar would not restrain your dog, risking a vehicular accident, a lost dog or a dog fight. If you walk your cat on a leash, then a breakaway collar might not be the best idea for these same reasons.

  1. What should people look for when shopping for breakaway collars? 

Purchase a collar that fits your cat’s neck with room for two fingers to fit between the collar and your cat’s neck. After you put the collar on, make sure your cat’s skin is not sensitive to the material in the collar by checking for a skin rash under the collar after they’ve worn it for a few days. Purchase a collar where your phone number can be added with either a tag, engraved on a plaque riveted to the collar or stitched into the webbing.

  1. Final Breakaway Collar Recommendations

If your cat is going to wear a flea collar in addition to an ID collar, make sure it is a breakaway collar as well.

Our friends at Martha Stewart Living reviewed breakaway collars for cats, and you can see their top picks here.

Tags:
adopt a shelter cat month, breakaway collars, cat safety, cats, collars,

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