It’s that time of year again when my cats start to bring home ‘presents’. My cats bring home small animal throughout the year but as soon as Spring hits…it’s every day. Until last year when I got my SureFlap MicroChip CatFlap installed they used to leave them outside the house but, now they bring them in and it’s not nice having to dispose of half eating birds or mice. Bella brings them home and Egor eats them…thankfully none has ended up on my pillow.
When we adopted Bella home, straight away we knew she was a bit feral, she would scratch and bite me and didn’t like to be held or rubbed unless it was on her terms. I think this is why she is such a good hunter. At this time of year, Bella could bring home a bird or mouse every day.
Egor is not such a good hunter, one time he brought me home a cooked Salmon Fillet and made short work of it too. Have no idea where he got it from….LOL. Apart from that the only things he brings home are spiders, I know exactly when he has brought one home as he chirps at it like he would at a bird and there not small spiders there those big black ones….eewwhhh. My husband and I are terrified of spiders so you can imagine my house when this happens.
This year I have decided to place collars on both my cats with bells attached to them to try and reduce the amount of small animals they are bringing home. I did have collars on them before and took them off because of safety concerns, so deciding to place collars on them again was a big deal for me. I wrote a list of questions down to make my decision and decided to share them with you all in case one day you may find yourself in the same situation as I have.
Will they wear a collar?
Both my cats hated wearing collars in the past and this is one of the reasons I took them off. Egor especially hated his and found a way to get his front paw in under the collar and use his strength to snap it off his neck. One day I came home from work and heard him crying, I found him in the living room with his paw caught in his collar and couldn’t get it off…I have no idea how long he was like this and right there and then I took the both collars off both my cats. Honestly, I didn’t see putting collars on them again going too well.
Bella doesn’t like bells..what do I do?
We had a cat in our neighbourhood years ago called Pepper and she was a big bully towards Bella at first. Pepper had a bell on her collar and every time Bella would hear it she would run off over a fence because she knew it was Pepper. Her fear of that bell was so bad that I couldn’t buy toys with bells on or in them as she would freak out and run out of the room. So this was another question I would have to ask myself…will Bella know the noise from the bell is coming from her own neck and not from another cat? Peppers owners moved away Bella became very relaxed outside, she even started to run out to me when she heard the car to welcome me home.
What type of collars are there?
There are two main collars you can get. A safety collar and a strap collar. Strap/Belt collars are normally made from leather and are hard wearing. They tend to be more expensive but they do not have any safety features on them. I have always used quick release safety collars and would always recommend using these. The thought of my cats getting caught in something sends shivers down my spine. These can be made from any fabric, are less expensive and have a quick release feature attached to them.
Will my neighbourhood dogs hear my cats?
In my immediate neighbourhood, we have some big dogs, Rottweilers, Hounds and Huskies. Both my cats roam freely and what crossed my mind was that they probably sneak by these dogs in their garden without them knowing and now they have a bell on their necks these dogs will hear them passing by and probably scare them. I just hope they will learn quickly and take a different route. #fingerscrossed.
Will they get frustrated not catching prey?
I had to really think about this and how my cats would feel after a while of failed hunts. Then I read a post placed on a forum from a lady who found herself in the same position as me and placed a collar with a bell on it, on her cat. One day she was watching her cat out her garden window and discovered her cat had mastered tucking the bell between her neck and chest so it didn’t make as much noise allowing her to get close enough to her prey that she just needed to pounce on it. This put my mind at ease knowing Bella won’t have a 100% failure rate. Bella is super clever and I know she is probably going to end up doing this as for Egor…not a hope. He’s happy chasing Bella and butterflies around the garden.
Think about the neighbours?
Lots of people feed stray and feral cats but never do anything about them. They leave out food and water every day. If you cat is not wearing a collar then your neighbour might be feeding your cat causing it to get overweight or move into their home. A collar will identify your cat as someones pet putting an end to this.
Not all neighbours are ‘cat-friendly’ and that’s fine, they have their reasons. They might not like the locals cats using their garden as a toilet or they own dogs and every time a cat walks by their dogs start barking. What you don’t want is for your cat to be mistaking for a stray or feral cats and have someone harm them. I honestly believe that a person who sees’s a cat with a collar on will identify that they are some ones pet and will leave them alone.
Should I place an ID Tag on the collar?
All collars allow you place an ID tag on them. You can get your name and number engraved on them in case your cats gets lost, stolen or sadly injured. This allows the person who found them to contact you quickly. One other benefit is… you can buy Medical ID Tags that have a certain condition on them like Diabetes, these can be placed on your cats collars and if your cat falls sick outside the home, the person who finds them will know to contact a vet for help ASAP. I decided not placing one on my cats, I’m happy with them both being micro-chipped and the fact that 70% of my neighbours know my cats well. They also don’t stray far and are away from a a major road.
What colour will I get them?
You have to admit..cats look adorable with collars on, I think Bella looks extra pretty wearing her pink collar. Collars normally range from around €3 to €10, you can buy more expensive ones but I would only do that if my cats were indoor cats and I knew if they were to lose their collars, I know I find them in my home.
There are so may colours, textures and accessories you can place on your cat’s collar now. You can buy anything from Bow Ties to Bandanas. It all depends on what your budget and how much you are willing to spend.
I bought Bella a lovely Pink collar, I though it would suit her silky Black & White coat. It was less than €5 and is a quick release collar. I bought Egor (my little Ginger monster) a Blue/Turquoise collar. Again I bought it to match his coat. It was the same brand as Bellas, the same price and also a quick release collar.
How to properly fit a collar on your cat?
All cat collars are adjustable allowing you to make your kitties collar smaller if they have lost weight or bigger if they have gained weight or have just grown into their collar.
After you place the collar on your cat you should have enough space to place your two fingers between their neck and the collar. Remember if it’s to lose they will slip out of it or worse get caught on something and if its to tight it will hurt your cat or cause irritation around the neck area.
I hoped this has helped you in making the right decision for you and your cat. If you have any further tips you would like to share please place them in the comments box below.
(pic source; Pinterest/google)