|Originally posted by kitty queen
...I"m just curious because my cat was gone for 9.5 hours last week. She had been in the yard, but the door got closed, so she couldn't get back in when the sprinklers went on. I was so worried (not to mention mad at my parents). We kept hearing her meow, but couldn't find her. She had gotten up to my neighbor's roof (somehow) and couldn't find her way back down. She hid in this crevice on the roof. She was so scared, I don't think she knew how she got up there. Now I want to get a collar and tag, but my mom doesn't want one with a bell on it, and she doesn't think that Patches will like a collar to begin with. I'm not sure what to do. I try to keep her in now, but if we are home and the sliding glass door is open, then she can go out. I don't want to loose her. She spooks easily.
I go back and forth on the microchip issue. I have heard it said that there are several different kinds and if the scanner used doesn't read the kind of chip the cat is wearing, it might as well not be wearing it. Then there's the question of whether the person finding the cat will think to check for that ID.
However!...That does not mean I am against them, nor does it mean I think a cat can go without ID. Even an indoor cat -- perhaps especially
an indoor cat -- needs ID. As has been noted, the fact that you don't intend the cat to go out doesn't mean that it won't happen -- natural disasters, burglaries, fire, careless handling of a door by someone who doesn't know better -- and we all know how unpredictable a spooked kitty is.
The other thing to say about ID for indoor cats is that, should the cat get out, it is completely unaccustomed to fending for itself, finding its way home, etc, so needs human help much more urgently than an outdoor cat. That, coupled with the fact that the neighbours may very well not know this critter by sight, means ID is critical.
I think even if you microchip or tattoo or both, you should also collar and tag, so that there is readily visible ID. Even if it doesn't carry enough info for an immediate reunion, it tells the person who finds the cat that this critter belongs somewhere, someone is waiting for him to come home, and there may be more info in the form of tattoo or chip to help the process. It may also help your kitty to calm down, even a little, if the person can see a name on the tag and call him by it.
As for whether the cat likes
a collar, that's just something it has to get used to. I had a royal battle with Fawn over collars: I went six rounds with her, a total of four collars, and she sprang, shrugged off, or actually unbuckled -- I kid you not! -- all of them, except the last, a puppy collar that had a long end that could be taped down. Once she wore that for a couple of months, she got used to the fact that she was going to wear a collar. Period. Then when the warm weather came and doors were going to be open, we went back to the safety collar and she's been fine ever since. I think it became a game to her, because more than once, I came home to find her in an unusually come-hither pose, showing off her bare neck, and then 12 hours or so later the offending object would appear in some place like right beside my bed or in a doorway that we pass through constantly. Bottom Line: it's just a battle of wills, and harder on the human than the cat!
As for bells, I used to bell my cats, thought I was protecting the little birdies. Then I read an article -- don't remember where, but it seemed credible at the time -- making two points:  a dedicated feline hunter has no difficulty keeping a silly bell quiet;  on the other hand, if the cat is being pursued by an enemy, it does not have time to think about keeping a bell quiet -- so, far from protecting the little birdies, it may very well put the cat in danger by adding audible clues to its position and direction of flight. I don't bell my cats any more.
Well! That's rather longer than I intended, but it's one of my soapbox issues -- sorry about that!