or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Care & Grooming › cat collars and bells cruel?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

cat collars and bells cruel?

post #1 of 111
Thread Starter 
Cats are natural hunters, they love to climb and hunt. I think its so cruel to put a bell round their necks.

How would you like to have that constant ringing in your ear whilst your running around and playing? I know I wouldn't, it would drive me crazy

Bells are there to alert wildlife but cats are skilled hunters and I'm not sure the bell would make a great deal of difference. Tho it will sound mean cats are made to hunt and how annoying to be doing what you do best only unable to succeed due to that awful tinkle tinkle !!

I'm wondering what other cat owners think of bells on cat collars, does your kitty have one? Does your kitty have a collar at all? Are collars on cats even important?

Amadeus has a collar (no bell!) now he's started exploring the world I put it on him to show he has a human. Reflective collars seem like good ideas for cats who go out at night. However I heave heard of cats getting their collar attached to things and being strangled..

Opinions please
post #2 of 111
I also dislike seeing bells on collars, and they don't stop cats hunting far more effective to keep them enclosed to stop hunting.

Current cats don't wear collars, but in the past I always used safety collars which come off easily under slight pressure. I think microchips are more important than collars, since collars can come off.
post #3 of 111
My cats do not wear collars. They go outside. They do not go hunting every waking hour and when they do hunt, birds are not the top prey. Although I understand that bells are used to alert prey, they also attract potential animal abusers.
I think that bells are more annoying than cruel. I do not understand why some people make their indoor cats wear them. It reminds me of a farm cow with a big bell dangling around the neck.
post #4 of 111
I understand that there are differences between where you live (England) and where I live (USA). Most in the USA do NOT allow their cats to be roaming outside unsupervised. We advocate inside only as there are too many dangers outside.

My cats are 100% indoor (and show cats too) and none of them wear a collar, even inside. My first cat, Mitten, was an indoor/outdoor cat and he wore a collar (no bell). But after he got into a fight with another cat, he was only allowed outside under my supervision.

I believe that if you are gonna let your cat outside, he should be identified in some way, BUT he should not be roaming unsupervised. Every time you let him out when you are not there to watch where he goes, you risk him not coming back home. And you may never know what happened to him, if he is dead or alive, or if he suffered in any way.
post #5 of 111
My cat does not have a collar, but she is 100% indoor only cat. I live in an apartment, so even if she did manage to get out the door she would just be in the hallway. If I lived in an area where she could be outdoors I would have a collar with a tag with her name and mine, and my address and phone #
I would never put a bell on her, I find it really annoying! It is hard enogh to get any sleep with her walking all over me, lol, I don't need tinkley bell noises to boot!
Though I do warn her if she gets under my feet one more time, she is getting a bell!
post #6 of 111
All of my cats are indoors only so they don't have collars (all are chipped though), but my ex had a cat which had access to outdoors and I always thought that it must be very irritating for the cat to have a bell in her collar. Very soon I noticed that the cat didn't seem to mind the bell as she actually brought her collar to you when she wanted to go outside. She didn't wear the collar indoors, only when she was let outside.
If I had to put collars for my cats, they wouldn't have bells in them.
post #7 of 111
All my cats are indoors, and go outside supervised - they wear collars without bells. IMO bells are not only torturous for the cats, but for the owners too
post #8 of 111
Even though mine are strictly indoors, they have collars.... No bells though... But Kizzy does have a dangly tag with his name, and my info on it..

In my neighbourhood, its so much easier and more people are willing to call if an animal has a tag.... I find people don't want to "go to the effort" of taking an animal to a shelter or vet to get scanned, but are very willing to check a collar.
post #9 of 111
Mine are chipped, but still wear collars saying that they are indoor cats and with my phone numbers on them. They are indoor cats, and as far as I can tell, have no interest in escaping to the outdoors but you never know. The good thing about a chip is that it cannot be lost and it provides a lot of information. However, someone actually has to identify that the cat is not supposed to be outside and take it to a vet/shelter to get the chip scanned. At least with a collar, someone will be able to identify that the cat has a home.

I don't know whether bells are cruel (I guess it would depend how the cat handles it), but I don't think they are necessary either. And I can't imagine listening to the dingle dingle all day long. I suppose it would be helpful with little kittens who tend to get underfeet all the time.
post #10 of 111
My cats are indoor only and they wear collars only when we have company from out of town who may be not as careful as we are about opening the door to outside.

Also our new kitten is wearing a collar with a bell simply for location purposes, she will only wear it for a short period of time.

Leslie
post #11 of 111
I've never seen a cat bothered by a bell.
My youngest two wear tags that jingle just as much as a bell would.
They are the only two likely to slip out, so they wear visible ID and rabies tags because this is a high risk rabies area.

There are cats here in the park that are quite successful in hunting with bells on, and I know that cats can walk (without skulking) without their bells making the slightest sound.

I honestly don't think it fair that you imply that those who do have bells on their cats are cruel though.
I don't find that behavior much different than someone implying the owner of an indoor cat cruel, or implying the owner of a cat allowed outdoors cruel.
post #12 of 111
Thread Starter 
Good point Arlyn . I hear enough jingle jangle with Symphony running around with her toy balls for her to need a bell on her collar (when she gets a collar)
post #13 of 111
I guess it depends on circumstance. Our cat is allowed outdoors during the day and wears a collar with a bell. She is also chipped. The collar is to identify her as a pet, the bell, to stop her eating the birds my neighbour feeds!

To be frank though, I don't think it really diminishes her hunting skills at all. She has still managed to bring me a gift of a mouse on several occasions. So it's more like giving the birds a fighting chance

edit: the collar gets taken off in the evening when she comes in for the night.
post #14 of 111
I also think that bells and collars are not good for cats, Jake doesn't wear anything around his neck. He is indoor only. I mean, I could put a collar on him but I just don't see the point of stressing him out with it. He may get used to it eventually but I know for a fact he will not like it at first. So I find it unnecessary and I want to spear him any unpleasant feelings he might have over it.
post #15 of 111
I always cut the bells off of the cat collars before I put them on the cats. I find the bells annoying, I can't imagine what the cats think of them. Mine wear collars with Collar Tags that don't dangle. They read: Cat's Name, My Cell #, Hubby's cell #, and INDOOR CAT as the last line.
post #16 of 111
My girls until recently have always worn collars with bells on and they never bothered them, or didn't seem to?!
post #17 of 111
I think it really just depends on what the cat is willing to put up with. Over the years, my family's done collars, no collars, bells, no bells...most cats got used to whatever in a few days. When I collar mine, I use a breakaway collar in case they get stuck on something. Last time I moved far I collared all three with my cell phone number on it in case they got out...I'm not going to do that this time, though, because none of them even tried to get loose and my Panther hates collars because her first one slipped into her mouth (the smallest size was still too big for her; I cut and sewed it down to size but she still never liked it) and somehow put enough pressure on her jaw to bend it back to where it seemed to hurt her, but not enough pressure for the breakaway buckle to pop open. It took both my cousin and me to catch her in a towel, hold her still, and pop the collar open.
post #18 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosiemac View Post
My girls until recently have always worn collars with bells on and they never bothered them, or didn't seem to?!
Three of my five indoor only cats wear safety collars with bells on them, and it helps me, personally, to feel secure that they are safe & sound when I can hear them jingling through the house.

The sound is so quiet that the birds singing outside is louder than the tinkling of the little bells. It isn't like they wear great, clanging cow bells under their necks.

The bells don't appear to bother them one bit, and Ginger has even learned she can walk without making the bell jingle when she feels like sneaking up on someone.

I think that calling it "cruel" is more than a bit strong. My cats are most certainly NOT abused.

The Bengals refuse to wear collars, period, so against my own personal preference, I got the two of them microchipped, just in case they ever get out and are lost or stolen. Ironically enough, the microchip packages came with tags for (the nonexistant) collars that say, "I am microchipped."
post #19 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
I think that calling it "cruel" is more than a bit strong.
I do too. Even though they don't wear them now, my girls were very laid back with them on and didn't seem stressed or unhappy in the least.
post #20 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosiemac View Post
I do too. Even though they don't wear them now, my girls were very laid back with them on and didn't seem stressed or unhappy in the least.

I agree as well. I am not cruel, and I resent being told that simply because my cats have bells on their collars.
My cats have collars with ID tags and bells. The bells are tiny and don't make any more noise than the clanking of tags against metal rings do. The bell helped me find Polly when she got outside in a rain storm at dusk. Even indoor only cats can get out when you least expect it, no matter how responsible you are.
Obviously I can't read their minds, but they seem to have absolutely no problem with the bell whatsoever.
Microchips are great but not totally reliable. Some people don't think to check to see if a lost pet has a microchip, and not all scanners can read all microchips. I think a combination of ID tags and microchips is the safest.
post #21 of 111
My cats wear collars with their names embroidered on them and no bells. My apartment requires they wear collars with their name and phone number on them in case of accidental escape, even though they are strictly indoor kitties. Bells and tags on cats make a constant tinkle sound which drives me crazy!!!

My dad keeps bells on his indoor cats so that he can hear them coming from behind or under something. They like to bolt for the door when he opens it to let the dog in/out so with the bell he is able to catch them before they escape even when it is dark. The bells do not seem to bother his cats at all.
post #22 of 111
My 2 cats and my dogs all wear collars..they all have tags on them and the cats have the bells. My reason for the bells is simple...the 2 cats love to, in the middle of the night, come running up and leap onto us as we're sleeping, scaring the crap out of me. So this gives me a warning!! Though honestly the tags are louder than the bells, it's what warns me. But really, when the cats are just walking through the house, the bells and tags don't make any noise. It's just when they get a running start. They don't seem to care. Our cats are indoor only but with the amount we come and go, it's always a risk they could get out.
post #23 of 111
I don't think it's cruel. Our one cat wears an Invisible Fence collar with a bell.

The collar itself is pretty bulky and heavy...not to mention the two metal prongs that press on his neck. It must be uncomfortable. I can see how others might consider it cruel. But it's the cat's ticket to the great outdoors, and because of that, he's quite willing to tolerate it. He would go crazy left inside all day. He understands that collar=outside, and when we jingle the collar, he comes over to let us put it on. In his kitty mind, the privilege of going outside clearly outweighs any discomfort the collar causes. (The collar is pretty much a just-in-case measure. He's long since learned to stay in his yard.)

The bell is there for our convenience. It allows us to locate him in the fairly large yard (and gives the birds a fighting chance). We can tell if he's hiding in the shrubs without stooping down to look.
post #24 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
I've never seen a cat bothered by a bell.


There are cats here in the park that are quite successful in hunting with bells on, and I know that cats can walk (without skulking) without their bells making the slightest sound.

I honestly don't think it fair that you imply that those who do have bells on their cats are cruel though..
Yes,

depending on the typ of bell these don't stop a cat from hunting and most cats can walk silently while wearing a collar with a bell. In other words- as it doesn't serve its purpose there's no reason to leave the bell on (though it can sometimes help with a bird loving neighbour) but equally it'S not exactly torture to have your cat wearing a bell. And of course this also strongly depends on the bell itself and the amount of noise it actually makes.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
I don't find that behavior much different than someone implying the owner of an indoor cat cruel, or implying the owner of a cat allowed outdoors cruel.

Thank you for this statement I do realize that its normal here for indoor only owners stating that letting your cat out is cruel or that they will come to harm and it's best to ignore such statements, but its also nice to read someone who is tolerant towards other ways of cat ownership.


regards,

christine
post #25 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissKalamata View Post
I don't think it's cruel. Our one cat wears an Invisible Fence collar with a bell.

The collar itself is pretty bulky and heavy...not to mention the two metal prongs that press on his neck. It must be uncomfortable. I can see how others might consider it cruel. But it's the cat's ticket to the great outdoors, and because of that, he's quite willing to tolerate it. He would go crazy left inside all day. He understands that collar=outside, and when we jingle the collar, he comes over to let us put it on. In his kitty mind, the privilege of going outside clearly outweighs any discomfort the collar causes. (The collar is pretty much a just-in-case measure. He's long since learned to stay in his yard.)

The bell is there for our convenience. It allows us to locate him in the fairly large yard (and gives the birds a fighting chance). We can tell if he's hiding in the shrubs without stooping down to look.
Now we are getting into an area of debate that is tricky. Shock collars. I am glad it works well for you and your cat, but I have seen animals do not so good with them. They don't put it togethor in the brain that passing the "invisible fence" line is what causes the shock, They run from it, and of course cross the line again and does nothing but hurt and confuse the animal. I am not trying to judge you, it is the reality of what these collars can do.
post #26 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissKalamata View Post
I don't think it's cruel. Our one cat wears an Invisible Fence collar with a bell.

The collar itself is pretty bulky and heavy...not to mention the two metal prongs that press on his neck. It must be uncomfortable. I can see how others might consider it cruel. But it's the cat's ticket to the great outdoors, and because of that, he's quite willing to tolerate it. He would go crazy left inside all day. He understands that collar=outside, and when we jingle the collar, he comes over to let us put it on. In his kitty mind, the privilege of going outside clearly outweighs any discomfort the collar causes. (The collar is pretty much a just-in-case measure. He's long since learned to stay in his yard.)

The bell is there for our convenience. It allows us to locate him in the fairly large yard (and gives the birds a fighting chance). We can tell if he's hiding in the shrubs without stooping down to look.
I don't think collars are cruel, and IMO they are necessary... but this is a whole other story - IMO shock collars are cruel. I can't imagine my babies being shocked as part of their training... Sorry for being honest, but...
post #27 of 111
Trillcat and Carolinalima-
I can understand your point of view; I do realize how controversial the shock collar is (a bit like spanking kids...people debate whether it's ok to hurt loved ones to teach them their boundaries...And it raises questions like, is it ok for dogs then? Does anyone here have a dog on Invisible Fence?). I would rather the cat not have to be shocked, but a mere enclosure or leash simply won't do.

The cat clearly knows his boundaries...he has been shocked at most once or twice in the several years since he first learned to mind the fence. It only took him a few days to learn. He used to roam around the neighborhood and got himself picked up by Animal Control. Since starting the fence, he's never left the yard. He only wears the collar while outside, which is 3-7 hours a day. He has tons of energy and would not do well as an indoor only cat. The fence keeps him happy but safe. In fact, I am considering getting a second collar for another cat.

A shock collar/Invisible Fence might not work out for all cats (or even dogs), but from everything I've seen, it works very well for my cat. I'd rather he get the occasional shock than risk getting run over, taken to the pound, etc.

RussianKitten-
Sorry if this post was off-topic! I suspect I'm the only one on TCS who has an Invisible Fence for her cat!
post #28 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissKalamata View Post
.And it raises questions like, is it ok for dogs then?

The cat clearly knows his boundaries...he has been shocked at most once or twice in the several years since he first learned to mind the fence.
No it isn't ok for dogs either IMO, and for me being shocked once or twice in the past several years is once too often.
post #29 of 111
Ditto. Well said.
post #30 of 111
All I have to say is that if anyone thinks it is not inhumane then they should wear one themselves and have someone give them a buzz every time they do something the other person does not want them to do. I wonder how long they would want to keep the collar on.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Care & Grooming
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Care & Grooming › cat collars and bells cruel?