We will start this post by saying there isn't a single answer to the question "how long does it take for a cat to get used to a collar" because any human with a furry friend will know, each and every cat has a very different personality and what works for one cat, won't necessarily work for another. Our experience with Noggins and Binkles is that they adapted immediately to wearing their collars and we didn't have any difficulties getting them to wear them but we do appreciate that not everyone will have the same experience. Regardless of the personality of your cat, here at Noggins & Binkles, we think that there are some things that you can do to help your furry friend to get used to wearing a collar as quickly as possible.
You might be asking yourself why your cat needs to wear a collar in the first place, particularly if he or she is an indoor cat. It is important to remember that, in addition to being a beautiful accessory for your furry friend, a cat collar serves a couple of other important purposes. Most importantly, a cat collar allows you to put a personalised ID tag on your treasured pet so that if he or she goes missing, you have the best possible chance of having him or her returned safely as quickly as possible. Here at Noggins & Binkles, we believe that the ability to put a personalised name tag on your cat's collar is as good a reason as any for helping your cat to get comfortable wearing a collar as quickly as possible. A cat collar also provides the opportunity to affix a bell to your furry friend to help warn small birds and other prey that your cat is on the prowl. There has been some debate about whether your cat should wear a bell or not and we have written more about this in this post. All of our quick release breakaway safety cat collars come with a solid brass bell as standard (although we can remove this for you if you prefer). Finally, don't forget that a collar also allows the most sophisticated and suave of cats to wear a bow tie, just like our luxury vegan cork 'leather' bow ties, which are available in all of the same colours as our vegan cork 'leather' collars.
Like with many things in life, we think it is best to start getting your cat used to wearing a collar as soon as you can. That way, it will quickly become second nature for your cat to wear a collar. That said, we recommend that kittens only wear collars when closely supervised. This is because a kitten, unlike an adult cat, is not heavy enough to ensure that the breakaway safety buckle, which is a standard feature on all of our collars, will release in the event that your kitten gets his or her collar caught on something while playing.
Regardless of whether you are trying a collar for the first time on a kitten or an adult cat, we recommend that you supervise your cat the first few times he or she wears a collar so that if there is any sign of distress or excessive pawing or scratching at the collar, you can intervene and remove the collar and then try again another time. Both Noggins and Binkles have been wearing collars since they were kittens and, despite both now being indoor cats, only really take their collars off at night.
Whilst each cat will be different, we think that you are most likely to get your furry friend to adapt to wearing a collar if you choose a time when your cat is happy and calm to try on a collar for the first time. Like with any training, positive reinforcement and distraction can play an important role in helping your furry friend to get used to his or her new collar. Noggins and Binkles, like most cats, are easily distracted by the treats jar, which helped them to forget everything that was going on around them (including wearing a collar) when they were first trying on their collars many years ago. One of the most important things you can do when first introducing your furry friend to wearing a collar is to remember to remain calm yourself because if you are stressed, your cat may also become stressed. If you already have a cat, you will know that cats tend to do things at their own pace and won't be rushed into new things so be patient and remember that it may take a while to get your furry friend used to wearing his or her collar. If you really can't persuade your cat to wear a collar, we strongly recommend that you ensure that your cat is microchipped because this will help to identify your cat if he or she goes missing and isn't wearing a collar and personalised name tag.
Whilst there are no legal requirements about what should be included on a cat ID tag, we have written about what we think you should include on a cat ID tag in this post. All of our luxury solid brass and stainless steel cat ID tags have enough space to include all of the information that we recommend you put on your furry friend's ID tag. A lot of people ask us why indoor cats should wear a collar and personalised ID tag given that they do not go outdoors. Whilst a lot of people who have outdoor cats already choose to have a collar and personalised ID tag for their furry friends, we also recommend a personalised ID tag for indoor cats so that if the cat manages to escape or sneak out (and we all know that they are very good at this), you can be sure that if your furry friend is found by a neighbour, they will know who to contact so that your furry friend can be returned home as quickly as possible.
One of the key things you can do to help your furry friend get used to wearing his or her collar as quickly as possible is to ensure that the collar is comfortable. The first thing to look out for when it comes to a comfortable cat collar is the material that the collar is made of. All of our collars, including our vegan cork collars, our Pinatex collars, our vegan 'leather' collars and our luxurious cotton fabric collars are soft and supple meaning that they provide a high level of comfort for your furry friend.
Another important thing to look out for when choosing a comfortable cat collar is the weight of the collar. The lighter that a collar is, the more comfortable your cat will find it and the quicker he or she will adapt to wearing it. All of our breakaway cat collars are strong and lightweight which means that your cat should get used to wearing them very quickly.
The final thing to look out for in terms of comfort is the fit of the collar. We have already written about how to measure and fit a cat collar to ensure maximum safety and comfort in this post but as a quick reminder we recommend that you adjust the collar to leave enough space to be able to snugly slide two fingers in between the collar and your cat's neck. All of our cat collars are adjustable to ensure that you can get the perfect fit for your furry friend. Remember to check the fit of your cat's collar on a regular basis, particularly if your cat is still growing. Getting the fit right is not only about comfort but also an important component in helping your cat to get used to wearing a collar and being safe. If your furry friend's collar is too loose, he or she may try to remove the collar by scratching at it and there is a risk of getting his or her paw caught under the collar, which can lead to injury. We, like the RSPCA, do not recommend using an elasticated collar for your cat as this does not provide the safety features that collars (including ours) with a breakaway buckle provide.
We hope this blog has been helpful to enable you to understand the importance of a cat wearing a collar but also to provide some tips to get your cat used to wearing a collar. Just remember:
1) we believe that it is important that your cat gets used to wearing a collar and a personalised ID tag;
2) you should ensure that the collar is soft, lightweight and properly fitted;
3) you should take your time to get your cat used to wearing a collar; and
4) if your cat isn't already microchipped, we recommend that you book in at your local vet to get this done as soon as possible.