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Collar issue

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
On September 5, (five-month-old) Slasher and Ripper started wearing their new collars. They're breakaway collars I ordered from http://softfleecepetproducts.com/.

I saw they were scratching at the collars, but I figured that would stop when they got used to them.

A week later, on September 13, I noticed that Slasher had a couple of red sores on his neck. I removed their collars, and took him and Ripper to the vet for an exam.

The vet confirmed that the sores were caused by his scratching. He had a tech shave the area to prevent fur from getting in the wound. He said that no further treatment was needed, but that I should monitor the area for any greenish-yellowish fluid discharge, which would indicate infection requiring antibiotics. And of course, the collar should be kept off until the sores have healed.

I keep the cats inside, but eventually one or both of them will manage to slip past me and get out. They're micro-chipped, but wearing the collars would increase their chances of being returned, since someone finding them would know they have an owner, and are not ferals or strays.

My questions:

1. When I'm ready to try getting them accustomed to the collars again, how should I do it? One day on, one day off? One hour on, 23 hours off?

2. Could the material be the problem? I got fleece since it's very soft and it's supposed to be comfortable for the kitties. Would vinyl or leather be better?

3. Or should I abandon the idea of collars for them?

Any suggestions are welcome.
post #2 of 13
Does it have a plastic snap part? That could be irritating his neck, or maybe the fleece is causing some matting?
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
It has a plastic snap, like all the breakaway collars I've seen. Pictures are at the bottom of this page: http://softfleecepetproducts.com/pictures.aspx

I don't know if the fleece was causing matting. He started scratching at the collar as soon as I put it on him, so I don't think the scratching was a reaction to a condition that developed over time.
post #4 of 13
Maybe the cat was allergic to the fleece. I would use a cloth collar rather then leather/plastic. Anything hard would wear down the fur.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
It occurred to me that I can investigate the "material" aspect inexpensively by making temporary collars out of paper, a strip of cloth, etc. If he scratches at all of them, then it's not the material, but just the physical presence of the collar.
post #6 of 13
Good idea Dave a small cloth belt (like on a robe) would work. Or an old tie.
post #7 of 13
hello, my cat has a leathewr collar and he has never had a problem with it. I always take it off at night time too. None of his fur has worn away either. The advice that I was given is to make sure that you can fit two fingers nicely inside his collar whilst on otherwise it is too tight, as long as you ahven't got massive fingers though I suppose!! Do you think the collar could have been tight?
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
I don't think it was too tight. I had the vet check it, and he didn't think it was too tight either. But when I try again, I can make it looser to see what effect that has.

Note that it wasn't the collar that damaged his skin, but his scratching at it.

His sores are healing, but I want to wait until they're completely healed and the shaved fur grown back before trying again.

I could experiment with leather by cutting a strip from an old leather belt and taping it to make a temporary collar.
post #9 of 13
well mt cats just wont wear them. if your cats are inside only, as long as they are microchipped i dont worruy. the stess mine get once the collar goes on is not worth it.

if you try again, leave it on while you are home, off when you leave. they will associate the collar with you hopefully, and you can make sure they dont get stuick!
post #10 of 13
My kitties started getting used to collars when they were really little; I just put them on for a short while, and take them off...gradually leaving them on longer and longer...now they wear them without issue.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions.

Slasher's sores are almost gone now. I'll give him another week or two, and try again with the collar, using a more gradual approach.

I know the collars aren't really needed as long as the cats stay inside, but sooner or later they're going to get out. I feel their chances of getting returned are better if they're wearing collars, so I want to give it another try.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_L View Post
Thanks for the suggestions.

Slasher's sores are almost gone now. I'll give him another week or two, and try again with the collar, using a more gradual approach.

I know the collars aren't really needed as long as the cats stay inside, but sooner or later they're going to get out. I feel their chances of getting returned are better if they're wearing collars, so I want to give it another try.

I follow your philosophy on collars as well. We live in a second floor apartment so the chances of our kitties getting out are slim to none, but you never know. A collar is a universal flag that they are pets.

At any rate, try gradually. In the beginning, I put the collar on for about an hour and played with them or gave them treats, then removed the collar. If they played then took a nap, I would leave the collar on until they woke up and started scratching. I did this a couple times a day and left it on longer and longer each time. It didn't take long for them to get used to it though.
post #13 of 13
I feel your pain! Have you tried taking any bells off? One of my cats simply cannot tolerate bells. Her foster mom specifically wanted me to have her because she knew my household was quiet and child free.

I have collar issues of a different sort. Marmalade, the door dasher (ie the one I most want to wear a collar) destroys collars! She's chewed two up and lost one. (I always use break-away collars.)

Angie
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