We all know kitties are wiry, sneaky little buggers that can end up in even the tightest spaces, so yes, you cat should wear a collar with I.D. tags at all times. Cats by nature are escape artists and although most are happy to stay indoors, accidents do happen and they can escape. Because of the large number of stray cats, it is important for your cat to have a collar so if he does get out, someone will be more likely to pick him up rather than pass him off as a stray.
Choosing a Collar
There are a variety of cat collars available, but you should choose the type that works best for you and your cat. Many recommend the breakaway collars, which snap open should the cat get hung up on something. There are also elastic safety collars, which stretch when pulled, making removal easy; however, these are easy for you cat to get out of at all times, not just when they are stuck.
Fitting the Collar
When you put the collar on your cat, you will want it tight enough to slip two fingers underneath. You will want to periodically check the collar to make sure it isn’t getting too tight, especially if you have a growing kitten.
Getting Your Cat to Wear a Collar
Now you’ve got the collar picked out, it’s time to put it on your cat. If you cat hasn’t ever worn a collar, be sure that you can supervise him and that he can’t escape out of the house before putting it on. It is best to get your cat used to wearing a collar when he is still a kitten. Most kittens won’t think twice about wearing a collar. However, if you have an older cat who has never worn a collar, this could be a little harder.
You want the collar to fit properly, so if you can, try and size it before introducing it to your cat. If you cat is food driven, rewards, such as Feline Greenies, can be used to distract your cat while putting the collar on and while he wears it for the first time. Have your collar and treats ready, then call you cat over in a voice that means treat. When he comes, give him a treat. Next, place the collar next to him and give him another treat. Let him investigate and smell it and when he does, give him another treat. Once he is comfortable being around the collar, you can try putting it on him. Give him a couple of treats and while he is busy eating them, slip the collar on and snap it so it secures.
Now, this might freak your cat out and he will probably paw at it and try to get it off. Let him work out his issues with it, but keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn’t get caught up or get a paw stuck in it. Once he has calmed down, reward him with another treat. He will probably get it off eventually, but put it back on, soon he won’t even notice that he’s wearing a collar and will leave it alone. Don’t give up! You will get it.