Collars serve to protect curious cats who are always moving about and exploring their surroundings. As pet parents, you may begin to wonder when to take off your cat's collar and how often you should change it. We have consulted with experts to discuss reasons for changing the collar and how often you should do so.
There's no recommended frequency on when you should change your cat's collar. When to change it will boil down on the following conditions:
- Your cat is growing.
- The collar is faded, frayed, or damaged.
- You need to replace the collar with a more suitable one.
- You want a more stylish collar.
If you still have some questions about when to change your cat's collar, don't worry. Continue reading to learn more about the reasons for changing your cat’s collar, making sure it fits well, not too tight or too loose.
When Should I Replace My Cat Collar?
Whether your cat stays indoors most of the time or loves the outdoors, it is without a doubt that your cat needs a collar with an identification tag for its safety.
It is good practice to regularly check the collar to ensure it still fits snugly, especially if you have a kitten that is growing. Therefore, adjusting its size accordingly is the correct thing to do. The collar also goes through wear and tear, leading to discoloration, frays, and general damage.
Here are some of the reasons for changing your cat’s collar:
1. Your Cat Is Growing
By regularly checking your cat’s collar, you can prevent any health hazards from your cat outgrowing their collar.
It’s important to check the collar at least every week to make sure that it fits the neck properly—not too tight or too loose. Ideally, if your two fingers can fit in between the inside of the collar and the neck of your cat, then it should be a comfortable fit.
As your cat grows, you will need to adjust the buckle of the collar to increase its size, but if there is no more room for adjustments, then it is time to replace it with a slightly bigger one.
Don’t also forget that your cat can gain or lose weight, which might require a collar change. That is why, even after your cat is fully grown, it's important to keep checking to make sure the collar fits well by taking the correct measurement every time you want to buy a new one.
Take a measuring tape and put it around your cat’s neck. Alternatively, you could use a piece of string and put it around your cat’s neck, then place it on the measuring tape or ruler to get the measurement. Then, add extra length, the size of your two fingers, to get the correct measurement for the cat collar.
2. The Collar Is Faded, Frayed, Or Damaged
A faded collar can prevent your cat from being visible. In addition, a faded collar is most likely frayed, making it dull and not easily noticeable either.
Normally, bright colors are the most preferred for cat collars. And, even if the collar is bright-colored, it is important to ensure you replace it with a collar whose color is distinctly visible against your cat’s fur.
For example, bright green or blue is most suitable for a cat that has an orange or blonde fur coat. Therefore, replace the collar with a bright one that contrasts highly with the color of your cat’s fur.
Cat collars normally come with a warranty, for example, showing that they will not fade, fray, or get damaged during a certain timeframe. You can therefore get a replacement if the collar does not meet the promise declared by the manufacturer.
If you use a traditional cat collar, there is a risk of the metal buckle developing rust, which can be dangerous to your cat’s health. Substituting it with one that has a plastic buckle is a better option.
3. Replacing The Collar With A More Suitable One
You may have initially bought the perfect collar only to realize later that it is not suitable for your cat. For example, your cat can develop allergies causing fur loss or irritation on the skin after wearing a flea collar. In such instances, your only option is to remove the collar and replace it with a non-flea collar.
Also, you may decide to replace the traditional cat collar with a break-away collar to provide added protection to your cat while they are outdoors.
4. You Want A More Stylish Collar
You may decide that you want your cat to have a new stylish look. If you are tired of the normal boring collars and instead want your cat to exhibit your sense of fashion, then you may want to try new collar styles.
There’s a range of fashionable collars to choose from. For example, you can go for an elegant or sporty look.
Despite making your cat look more fashionable, remember that the most important reason for your feline friend wearing a collar is for their safety.
When Should I Take My Cat's Collar Off?
Your cat should have the collar on at all times, though occasionally it may be necessary to remove it momentarily in the following situations:
1. Washing Your Cat
To wash your cat, or provide the once-a-month flea treatment, you will need to remove the collar and replace it with a clean one after bathing.
Even when your cat is injured and is wearing a cone to prevent it from agitating its wound, it has to be worn at all times. However, your vet may recommend briefly removing the collar in certain situations.
How Do You Know If A Collar Is Too Tight?
If you cannot put two fingers in the space between the inside of the collar and the neck of your cat or if it feels tight when you do so, then the collar is tight.
How Do I Make Sure My Cat's Collar Isn't Too Tight?
To ensure that the collar on your cat is not too tight, check it regularly. Replace it immediately you notice you are struggling to insert two fingers in between your cat’s neck and the inside of the collar.
Even when your cat is fully grown, always use the two-finger test to ensure the collar is fitting snuggly.
A collar is very important for your cat. Be sure to take the necessary caution to always check that your cat is comfortable wearing a collar. If it is not, then you need to replace it.
A damaged, faded, or frayed collar is a good reason to have it changed. Also, if you find that it is not appropriate or suitable for your cat, or you want your cat to look more fashionable, then you can change it.
Whatever reason you may have for changing your cat’s collar, it is equally important to ensure that the collar fits your cat’s neck comfortably.
Check out these previous posts to learn more about cat collars: