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How tight should a collar be?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I tried doing a search, but my research skills are aparently lacking!

Anyway, my cats are strictly indoor and microchipped, but in the near future we will be moving down to the first floor of our house where escape is much easier. So we've put collars on the dynamic duo.

I'm afraid to make them too loose (don't want any paws or jaws stuck in them), they are safety collars, but I still don't want them to catch on anything. I'm also afraid to make them too tight and strangle them.

So, right now I can comfortably put a finger between the collar and their neck, possibly two fingers. Does that sound right, or should it be tighter?
post #2 of 9
One finger is good (if not supertight), but that's not what I see as a problem, it's the collar thing. Cats' necks are little and thin, and while safety collars are good, your cat ends up loose (or lost) if they get caught. What's much better is the '4-point' harness, the kind where a 2" strip of leather attaches the neck collar to a behind-front legs one and the leash (if used) snaps onto a ring on the back, so even if your cat gets hung up on a tree branch (as mine have done), the weight's taken not by the neck, but the second collar, and they can hang there for quite a while with no problem (and no strangling). Once the tummy 'collar' is fitted on, you don't ever have to undo it, as the cat will quickly learn to step in and out of it, and then you do up the neck part each time (and slide the whole thing off his back end once the neck part's undone).
post #3 of 9
i usually do 2 fingers, myself.
post #4 of 9
I use the 2 finger rule as well. A lot of cats will take to a collar MUCH better than a harness.
post #5 of 9
I wouldn't force a cat to wear a collar if it's indoor-only (particularly if it's microchipped), but I understand that some want to do that. But a harness for an indoor-only cat is too much.

If the cat isn't going outside and isn't an escape artist, I'd err on the loose side in terms of tightness. Two fingers comfortably between collar and skin.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Great. I feel much better about it Stan is a bit of a door dodger, so I expect he will make it out at some point after we move downstairs. Out the back door...not so bad he has to jump an 8ft fence to get out (not that he couldn't, but it would take some doing). Out the front door, he's just feet away from a busy street.

I worry about him getting out the front, getting spooked and running off, hence the collar.

I have actually heard that it is not good to leave a harness on an unattended cat, plus they seem to be much more bothered by the harness than the simple collar.

You know, I thought I started this in Care and Grooming...I won't be a bit offended if a mod wants to move this thread over there.
post #7 of 9
I like the 2 finger rule for my girls too!
post #8 of 9
Moved as requested.

I work on the two finger rule and have never had a problem.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by JellyBella View Post
I have actually heard that it is not good to leave a harness on an unattended cat, plus they seem to be much more bothered by the harness than the simple collar.
I agree, a breakaway collar is much safer. Harnesses don't come undone so if a cat gets caught somewhere they are stuck, whereas the collars just come off.
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