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How to Get a Cat Used to a Collar: 5 Easy Vet Reviewed Tips

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	Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM) Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM)


The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Cats like routine and familiarity, so trying new things is not their favorite activity. But when it comes to your cat’s safety, such as wearing a collar, trying new things may be necessary.

You must take your time with the process when introducing your cat to something new, as it will take a while for your cat to grow accustomed to something. If you take proper care to gently introduce the collar to him, he will be more likely to accept it over time.

If you’re looking for tips on how to encourage your cat to wear a collar, we have listed 5 points for you to follow.

Click below to jump ahead:

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The 5 Ways to Get a Cat Used to a Collar

1. Pick the Best Time to Try on the Collar

The time of day you put on your cat’s collar may seem inconsequential, but it can make a huge difference. This is especially true if this is your cat’s first time trying out a collar.

For example, if your cat is more relaxed after a meal, it could be a great time for him to try it on. Anytime your cat is calm and willing to cooperate with you is the best time to try something new.

You should avoid putting a collar on your cat at certain times of the day where there is a lot of noise or activity going on, or your cat is stressed. For instance, if there are instances when your cat is hyperactive because the family is all just home from work and school, and hiding because the neighbor’s dog is barking, they are not good times to try on a collar. Since you know your cat best, you can decide on the ideal time to try on the collar.

lynx point tabby cat wearing flower collar
Image Credit: Inga Gedrovicha, Shutterstock
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2. Allow Your Cat to Investigate the Collar

Before placing the collar around your cat’s neck, allow him to check it out. You can hold it out to him or place it on the ground so that he can approach it on his own and investigate at his own pace.

Your cat may need time to grow comfortable with the unfamiliar object. Importantly, this isn’t a process that should be rushed. If you force your cat into accepting the collar, you may frighten him away and cause the exact opposite of what you were trying to accomplish.

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3. Cover the Collar with Calming Scents

If your cat is still shying away from the collar despite introducing it to him at a gradual pace, some calming scents may help. You can purchase cat pheromone sprays that may help to soothe your cat. These drug-free solutions mimic the calming pheromones of a mother cat, helping to comfort those who may be tense or irritable.

Another option could be to use your cat’s scent to calm them. If you gently rub a cloth over your cat’s face, you can then rub the cloth on the collar to transfer your cat’s scent onto it. When your cat smells his scent on the collar, it may help him to accept the collar more readily.

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Image Credit: Squirrel_photos, Pixabay
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4. Put the Collar on Temporarily

Once your cat seems adjusted to the presence of the collar, try putting it on him. While he wears it, soothe him with petting, calming words, and plenty of treats. The treats will help your cat develop a positive association with wearing the collar, making it much easier to put it on him in the future.

Remove the collar after a few minutes. The next day, try it again, but keep it on longer. This way, you can slowly build up your cat’s tolerance to the collar until he fully adjusts to wearing it all day.

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5. Monitor Your Cat’s Comfort

As your cat wears the collar more frequently, do not forget to continue monitoring his comfort. If your cat is uncomfortable with the collar, he may try to take it off.

When first trying on the collar, you must ensure it fits well. The collar should not be too tight or too loose around your cat’s neck. A well-fitted collar should allow you to slide two fingers between the collar and your cat’s neck without discomfort.

As your cat grows and changes, you should check that the collar still fits. You may need to readjust or buy a new collar if he has gained or lost weight. If it’s too tight, it may squeeze his neck and cause severe discomfort. If it is too loose, it may get caught on objects and potentially cause an injury.

Finding the right cat collar can be tricky with so many options on the market. Our favorite is the Hepper Breakaway Collar, a durable hemp collar with adjustable slip-locks, a reliable quick-release buckle, and an included jingle bell to keep your local wildlife safe. This collar is stylish and practical, perfect for any cat!

Hepper - Breakaway Collar

At Excited Cats, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

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How to Choose the Right Collar

Choosing the right collar is essential for your cat’s safety. When picking out a collar, there are a few things to consider: what type of collar you should get, the texture of the collar, and whether you want to include attachments.

Breakaway collars are considered by many to be the only collar safe for cats. These collars will open if your cat is stuck on something, ensuring that your cat can break free if necessary.

If there are sharp edges along the sides, you should avoid that collar. The sharpness may irritate your cat’s skin or even cut him.

Attachments (such as a bell or a pendant with your contact information) can help find your cat if he gets lost, but they also may get stuck and cause your cat problems. Some collars can be personalized with your contact info in print on the side of the collar, and if you want your contact information visible but do not want your cat to get trapped accidentally, this option is ideal.

putting a collar on a cat
Image Credit: Patara91, Shutterstock

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A collar can be difficult for your cat to adjust to initially, but he may be more likely to accept it if you can introduce it to him in slow steps. By choosing a suitable collar and giving him the time to investigate it on his own, you can help your cat grow accustomed to his new accessory.

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Featured Image Credit: Daniel-Rajszczak-Shutterstok