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Adapting to wearing a collar (kitten)?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I tried to do a search but wasn't successful...if there are threads on this already, please point me in the right direction.

I finally got Chloe one of those elastic/stretchy collars since the break-aways are too big for her little neck. Since she is only 4 months old I want her to get used to wearing it now. We put it on her last night and it's driving her absolutely insane. She keeps trying to swat at it, wrestle it, bite it, etc. She has been scratching at her neck more too. I think we're going to have to cut the excess collar piece even shorter, though we where hoping to keep it on so the collar could continue to be used as she grows. She's not very fond of the tag either. I know it's not choking her. Is there anything I can do to make this transition from no collar to collar easier? Chloe is getting less afraid of the door and I would hate to lose her if she ever bolted - otherwise I'd just toss the collar. After all the things I've read about incompatible microchips I'm hesitant to even bother with that.

And am I silly for being slightly paranoid about the collar itself? I've read a couple of stories about kitties who got caught by the collar and strangled themselves in the struggle to get out. Since I can't use the break-away collar right now I'm a little bit afraid. I'm keeping an eye on her all of this weekend...

post #2 of 9
All of my cats wear colllars and I have never had a problem, just give her time and she will get over it. About microchiping as long as you use the Avid or Home again microchip there is no comaptability issue. We use Home again and even though our reader can't read the Avid chip it does say "Avid chip" so we can send someone to where they can read the Avid chip. Go to the websites and do some checking up about it. I am for the chip because I lost my dog this week and her microchip is what brought her home.

post #3 of 9
I don't have any easy answer for you. She will eventually get used to it. All of my cats wear collars too, with bells and with tags. We live in a fairly heavily populated and busy suburb and I definitely don't want lost cats. One in particular does always try to get out. Two of mine are microchipped. I think that is a great thing but only if someone picks up the cats ( in our neighborhood I think a dog would have a better chance of being picked up due to the leash laws) and only if they bring it to a place that checks...so all wear collars. The bells alert us to where they are in the house, helps with the waiting by the door syndrome. My one cat got out the other night and I was so scared because he tends to take off and we listened carefully, heard the bell, and went and scooped him right up. Anyway, back to the collar, my youngest cat is almost 7 months old now and we were able to put a break away collar on him just a couple of weeks ago, too big before, as you had stated. We did the stretchy collar thing but took it off because he would get it caught in his mouth and that really scared us so we decided to just wait until the breakaway fit. I can't give you solid advice as I think there is a risk either way, stretchy collar or go without until your cat fits into the breakaway. Either way, cats do get used to their collars. My first two didn't care at all, but the kitten, the one I was talking about earlier seemed to adapt better once he got a little older because when we put the breakaway on he didn't care at all whereas when we tried the stretchy one when he was younger (we got him at 4 months) he kept getting it caught in his mouth. I have noticed that they don't seem to make collars for the wee kittens...maybe at speciality shops but Petsmart and the like don't. Good luck!
post #4 of 9
Mine wear collars as well - but the breakaway kind. I would wait for a while until you can get a collar that fits your kitten correctly. I am very leery of the stretchy kind because they can and do get caught in the cat/kitten's mouth, on anything they might rub up against that has an edge, and yes, even though they stretch they may not stretch in the right way for your kittie to get out of it.

When you do get your cat to wear a collar he will try and play or grab the belll and name tag because they tangle and it gets in his way. That is actually one way that he will get the collar caught in his mouth - he will grab the tag and pull it and then all of a sudden the collar comes up over his lower jaw and he is caught. I had that problem with Freija and with Lion and Bear and had to wait until they were indeed big enough for the break away collar. Every so often I find one of the break away collars on the ground as well so I know that somehow it has been caught on something - another cat while playing, on a leg while scratching an ear, or even on the carpet itself - and has done what it is supposed to do - break away and set the cat free so he/she isn't injured.

I would wait until your kitten is older and able to wear a break away collar that fits.

post #5 of 9
I agree with Kathryn - if you feel you must have the kitten wear a collar, it's got to be a breakaway. If you put a collar on her now that isn't a breakaway, and (God forbid) she gets lost, if she isn't found but is able to survive outside, as she grows the collar will get tighter and tighter around her neck. The local no-kill shelter has found a few young cats this has happened to.

Until she's old enough to wear a breakaway, I wouldn't put a collar on her yet. When she's big enough for one, get her used to it gradually by putting it on for just a few moments at first. Reward her with a treat. Slowly leave it on a little longer each time.
It may take days or even a couple of weeks to do this, but it's far better to be patient and let her get used to it, then to make her frantic by forcing her to wear it.

Fwiw, I know some people find it helpful to put a bell on the collar, but with a cat's acute sense of hearing, it's not too great for the cat. Imagine having to hear that darn bell every time you moved and not be able to get away from it!
post #6 of 9
All of my cats have bells on their collars, and can when they want to, still walk silently when they stalking each other. I have even gotten to the oint can tell who is coming by the sound of the bell.
post #7 of 9
I put breakaway collars on my kidz as early as 12 weeks.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your replies. I think I will hold off on trying to collar her until she is bigger, and just hope for the best in the meantime. She's tried to get them off before and has gotten it around her jaw. (Which is why I always monitor her when I put one on.) She managed to lose the collar I was talking about in this post - it's so well hidden we still can't find it!

I'm going to look into the microchipping again, but my other thought about that is many people who find a "stray" wouldn't even bother taking the kitty in to be scanned. If they thought the cat was cute and didn't have a collar they'd probably take it home.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts and advice. I appreciate your input.
post #9 of 9
Have you tried the Beastie Bands collars? They sell them online (you can find them on ebay) and it's the only collar that Baylee will tolerate, let alone forget about. And since there's velcro all the way around, you can increase the size as she grows older.

Just a thought.
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