Whether your cat is an inside or outside cat, you might want them to wear a collar with their name and your information on it in case they ever were to get lost.
However, it’s no secret that helping your cat adjust to wearing a collar can be tricky. This raises the question, “Will my cat ever get used to her collar?”.
On average, most cats will get used to their collar after about a week, but if your cat rejects the collar for more than a week, you may want to try a different one. There are many factors that can contribute to the comfort or discomfort of a collar for your cat, some including its fit and fabric.
As we’ve had our cats from eight weeks old, they got used to wearing a collar fairly quickly. They’d rather not wear a collar however, but if it means that get to go outside then they’re happy to do so.
Keep reading to find, in further detail, how long you can expect your cat to get used to her collar and what factors can make this time go faster.
You can also discover some easy steps you can take to help your pet adjust, what to look for in a collar, and see our top collar recommendations.
How To Help Your Cat Get Used To A Collar
The time it takes for cats to get used to their collars varies with different animals, but it usually only takes a few times of putting it on in the span of a few days to a week for them to accept it.
However, some cats will struggle to adjust and might need a little more work.
There are a few steps you can take to help your cat adjust to her collar if they are rejecting it.
These steps include giving her positive reinforcement when she is wearing it and distracting her to take her mind away from the fact that she is wearing it.
Let’s dive deeper into each of these steps below.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Associating happy feelings with the collar can tremendously help your cat get used to wearing their collar.
Showing affection or positive reinforcement each time you put the collar on and off could be extremely helpful in adjusting them to it. Try to do this when your cat is in a happy mood and is acting more trusting.
If your cat becomes irritable or uncomfortable in any way, take the collar off and try again in a few hours.
When your cat does not become irritable once you’ve placed the collar on, make sure to verbally reward them with kind words and reward them for their behavior.
Create A Distraction
Another step you can take to help your pet adjust to their collar is to distract them while you place it on or off.
You can use treats, toys, or whatever works best for your cat to distract them from the fact that they are wearing the collar. This will help your cat learn to associate happy feelings with you placing their collar on.
Leave the collar on for as long as your cat doesn’t become irritable about it.
If the cat does well with the collar for an extended period, take it off and reward the cat for their behavior. Then repeat this process a few times.
What To Look For In A Cat Collar
When looking for a cat collar, there are a few things you should take into consideration to ensure your cat will be as comfortable as possible wearing it.
This includes sizing, weight, fabric, among other things.
If your cat is uncomfortable in its collar, you may want to check on the sizing.
It’s important that your cat’s collar should not fit too tightly, ideally allowing 2-3 of your fingers in between the collar and the cat’s neck. The collar needs to be firm enough that your cat won’t accidentally slip out of it.
It’s also important to remember that the size of your cat’s collar may need to be adjusted as it gains or loses weight.
Typically, the more lightweight the collar, the better for your cat.
A collar that is too heavy will make your cat uncomfortable, and long-term puts strain on their neck. Be sure to check the weight of the collar you’re using, especially if your collar includes anything other than a buckle and I.D. tags.
One of our cats wears a GPS tracker on her collar, which can be heavy and so we ensure she’s never wearing it inside as well as out.
Watch for scratchy or uncomfortable fabrics; your cat will respond best to soft fabrics.
Most collars are made from nylon or polyester fabric, but pet owners also argue that leather and waterproof fabrics such as BioThane or similar materials also work well. If you’re reusing a collar, check to see if there are any stray fabrics or frays that could be causing your cat’s discomfort.
Pastel fabrics are also known to help keep pets calm, according to Dr. Marty Becker, Chief Veterinary Correspondent for the American Humane Association. Pastel blue, pastel green, or pastel purple could be a good color choice for any anxious cat.
Above all else, the safety of your cat is most important in regards to its collar.
Veterinarians and cat experts recommend only buying “break-away” safety collars. These are collars with buckles that will give way if there’s an excessive amount of force pulling against it.
This type of collar helps to prevent accidental strangulation in the case that your pet gets stuck. The “break-away” buckle will open, and your pet will be fine.
Personalized I.D. Tags
While I.D. tags are certainly necessary, many fashionable tags can be uncomfortable for cats.
It’s vital that your cat has identifiable information, since according to a study from ASPCA, twenty-five percent of cats who escape never are returned to their owners.
Some cats are easily bothered by the sound or weight of their I.D. tags. Heavy-duty metal tags, silicone, or plastic tags are often the best option.
Whatever I.D. tags you choose for your cat, make sure that they have identifiable information that can be easily read. Just keep in mind that uncomfortable or bulky tags won’t help your cat get used to wearing their collar.
Our Top Cat Collar Recommendations
Keep reading to find, in our opinion, the best cat collars for getting your cat used to hers.
The Best Calming Cat Collar
For those furry friends who have anxiety about collars, or trouble adjusting, the Comfort Zone’s Calming Pheromone Cat Collar may be the best option. This collar has been infused with a synthetic pheromone, the same hormone a mother feline releases to kittens to keep them calm and ensure their safety.
Each time your cat’s fur rubs against the collar, it will slowly emit these pheromones to keep your cat calm. This could be of great help while your feline is getting used to their strange new apparel.
The Best All-Around Comfortable Collar
Most experts agree that a breakaway collar with as many safety features as possible is important. The Rogz Nightcat Cat Collar maximizes function, safety, and is made from a reflective fabric to ensure others can see your cat if it escapes or gets lost.
The collar is also adjustable to the size of your cat’s neck and comes in many colors. You can find most versions of this color available on Amazon.
The Best Budget-Friendly Functional Collar
For Amazon’s choice, try the Coastal Pet Safe Cat Snag-Proof Nylon Breakaway Collar. Ringing in at just over six dollars, it’s budget-friendly and has plenty of great reviews. The collar is adjustable and designed especially for those more finicky cat types. It’s also made of no-snag nylon material, and available in lots of colors.
As mentioned above, if your cat is still having trouble with their collar after a week, you may want to try another type of collar. If that just doesn’t cut it, collars might not be the best route for them.
A useful backup to wearing a collar is microchipping.
Most local vets can get your cat microchipped quickly and affordably ($40-50). Please note that microchips do not include actual navigation (GPS) of your pet, they are only a means to show proof of legal ownership.
Each Cat Will Adjust To Their Collar Differently
Know that every cat will adjust to wearing a collar differently. For some it may be easy, while for others it may take a bit of work.
Though it’s important you don’t give up, since a collared cat with good identifiable information has a significantly better chance of being brought home should anything happen.
Whether your cat is a kitten or an adult, don’t give up on your pet wearing a collar after the first few times, or be discouraged. The dilemma is not uncommon amongst cat owners. Both indoor and outdoor cats can benefit from collar wearing.