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Kitten choking on new collar

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
We have a 7 month old kitten (Grey Torte) that does not like to wear a collar at all. We have had problems with her bolting to the door and running outside. We have tried to train her so in case she gets lost outside we want her to wear a collar with her name, phone, and rabies information on it. The first collar we purchased from Pet’s Smart had a break away plastic clip and she bit through the clip and destroyed it. So we purchased another break away which had an elastic strap and one night she managed to get it stuck into her mouth and started to gag/choke on the collar. After that we gave up with the collar idea for a while because we didn’t want this to happen when we were gone. We purchased a new break away collar and the other night while she was playing she got it stuck into her mouth again and started to gasp for air and choke. Before we could get it off she peed herself and froze. I don’t understand what would cause her to pee unless she was really frighten or maybe she thought she was about to die? Can a cat die from the collar in her mouth if we were not home? I would think she would still be able to breath through her nose but wouldn’t be able to eat/drink, or might try and break her jaw. Every time we have had the collar correctly sized with 1 to 2 finger’s width of space. Our other cat wears a collar just fine but for some reason this kitten’s distance from her neck to her jaw is much shorter which allows her to get it stuck in her mouth. If anyone has any idea’s please let us know. I do not want to chance her life with a collar.
post #2 of 11
I have a sort of similar problem with Zissou. She usually doesn't mind the collar, but recently she's started trying to take it off. Also the breakaway ones, and she's also bitten through the clips.
I ordered these: www.lupinepet.com and I love them. They also make awesome harnesses. The snap is guarenteed for life, even if chewed, but is also a breakaway collar! (Plus they're pretty!)

As for sizing it so it doesn't get in her mouth, I don't know how it's two fingers tight and still gets in her mouth. Zissou has hers much looser, so that if it does get in her mouth she can drop it back out again. Perhaps you could try putting something on the collar that will taste bad, but I don't know if that would stress her out just from the smell...probably.

Oh, and I seriously doubt that she will die from it getting caught in her mouth. Injured, scared, yes, but it can't get in there far enough to actually choke her.
post #3 of 11
Milo used to get his collar stuck in his mouth too when we first put a collar on him. We just kept taking it off because we were afraid of what would happen when we werent home. We kept trying it, and eventually he stopped getting it stuck in his mouth. He was really bad with getting it stuck in his mouth for the first while though and he would go crazy and run around so you couldn't get it off.
post #4 of 11
Those collars are really pretty but I find the problem with breakaway ones is that I can't slide the door-opening magnet on them - the catch is too wide. So I use ones with a buckle but no eye holes, and an elastic inset as well. Wellington likes to take his collar off, very annoying if he loses it outside as he loses the magnet too. I have found that he is less likely to take it off if it is looser round his neck, as it seems to bother him less.
post #5 of 11
Zissou always comes running to Mommie with this look like "Help! Get it off, get it off!!" and then stands patiently while I disentangle her
She's learned how to take it off pretty deftly though, she wiggles the collar around so the snap is in the front, gets her bottom jaw under it and then swings her head upwards so it snaps apart. Thus the new collars with the buckle instead of the cheap male/female pieces.

You could also try one of the safety-stretch ones that stretches so the cat can slip out of it when stuck on a tree branch or something. They have lighter buckles and may not be as uncomfortable, plus maybe if it really does stick in her mouth the stretchiness will prevent injury as much.
post #6 of 11
I would get the cat microchipped and take the collar off.
post #7 of 11
Microchipping is fine as long as you live somewhere where people know about it and would think to take the cat to be 'read'. Here, very few even of my friends know that it exists and almost no one on finding a cat would consider it an option.
post #8 of 11
The general population might not know about microchipping, but the shelters and pounds should.

There are some important things you should know about collars:

1. Every collar is a toy until it gets onto a cat's neck.
2. Every collar weighs at least 200 pounds.
3. No matter how loose a collar is made around a cat's neck, it will choke them to death.
4. If it is actually loose enough not to choke them, they will stick every leg and their tail into it to make sure it is tight enough to choke them, just to prove a point.
5. Collars are cruel implements, and their only purpose is to completely inhibit any movement whatsoever.
6. The first cat collar made was invented by someone who bound women's feet in Japan for a living.
7. Cat collars are made to be worn over a muscle in the neck that is attached to the leg muscles, so when a collar is put on, a cat can no longer walk. Some of the better quality ones, however, will allow a cat to walk, but only backwards.
8. Harnesses were invented during the Spanish Inquisition as a implement of torture. They just gave them to the cats when the Renaissance began since they had so many lying around that were no longer being used, and they didn't want to waste them.
9. Every cat collar has a tiny secret microchip built inside that neuro-transmits messages to a cat's brain that says, over and over, so they cannot ignore it, "If your person puts this on you, you will make their life miserable and convince them you are dying if you so much as see the collar."
10. If a person is adamant about putting a collar on their cat, they must understand that they will be engaging in a duel to the death with an inanimate object who's second has very, very, very sharp claws.

This was written by my cat.
post #9 of 11

Are you sure Zissou didn't help write that!
I wish she turned inanimate. Instead its a battle of wills with a flailing biting clawing blur. Luckily she bites the collar and not me. If she gets it off, she carries it around in her mouth like it prey, and leaves it on my bed for me (duh, why doesn't she hide it?)
post #10 of 11
I just asked Deja Vu and Rocky Rockette and they admitted it. Yes, Zissou did help. I gotta find that manual on parental controls for the computer. Now if I could only figure out their email password ...
post #11 of 11
She didn't tell you about Fawn's involvement, did she? I had a Battle Royal with Fawn before I got her to wear a collar, but now (four years later!) if she loses a collar, the first thing that happens when I get home is she finds me and shows me her bare neck -- I kid you not! -- and comes pacidly with me to the bathroom to have the spare put on.

Seriously, one-two fingers is too tight. The rule of thumb is three, and it does work.

With Fawn, I went through collar after collar, that she took off, hid and then returned to me 12 hours later. The one that she was not able to get off was a very long puppy collar, not stretchy, with a standard buckle and a long enough tongue that it wrapped around and could be securely taped down. Once she realized she wasn't getting this off (note, she's 6-7-8 months at this point, and still indoors) she simply settled down and got used to it. When we were ready to supervise their first outdoor forays, she was accustomed to wearing a collar and we had returned to the ones we wanted them to wear. Lightweight, stretchy, reflectorized, safety catch, and as long as you observe the three-finger rule and replace the collar when the elastic begins losing its shape (every year or so), you won't have even the most curious, obstreperous cat getting caught.

Good luck!
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