RSPCA Issues Warning after Cat Dies from Collar Injuries

One of the first things that most new cat owners do is to go out and buy a collar for their new pet. While it’s useful for tagging your pet with the name and contact information, are these collars really safe for your cat to wear? There are those who believe they’re not. It’s not unusual for cat parents to shop for the most expressive and attractive collars when what we really should be doing is checking on the safety ratings. Is the collar that your cat is wearing a potential health risk?

Are cat collars safe?

The RSPCA issued a recent warning that suggests not all cat collars are safe. In a press release, they provided photographs of a cat named Ollio who suffered severe injuries from a collar. Ollie survived but a similar situation claimed the life of a cap in Aston, Birmingham in December of 2020. The hapless kitty was trying to scratch the collar off because it had cut into the delicate and sensitive skin under her arm, but her leg got stuck in the collar. She was alive at the time she was discovered, but her injuries were so severe that she passed away. This shows how easily cat collars can become dangerous and even deadly.

Is it dangerous for a cat to wear a collar?

The American Humane Society advises cat owners to definitely collar their cats because of the obvious benefits. They do recommend being selective when choosing the type of collar to put on your cat, however. Some collar styles are dangerous for cats to wear but others pose no real threat.

Which are the most dangerous cat collars?

The RSPCA warns that collars with buckles or elastic are among the most dangerous. The clasps require human assistance to remove. When cats attempt to move them to relieve discomfort, they can easily get their legs stuck and it can result in tragic suffering and even death.

Which are the best kinds of collars for cats?

The RSPCA isn’t suggesting that you stop using cat collars, but they do recommend avoiding some of the more dangerous styles. The best type is a quick-release collar. These cat collars feature a design that allows them to snap open easily when the right amount of force is applied. If a cat gets his leg stuck in the collar, his struggling can cause it to pop open. It may save his life. AHS echoes this recommendation

Further recommendations for cat collar safety

Once your cat gets used to wearing a collar it shouldn’t be a big deal to him anymore. He may fight it initially, but this phase usually passes. A new threat develops as your cat matures and gets bigger. A perfect-fitting collar can soon become too tight. It may make your cat feel as though he’s being strangled, and he may be. The elastic collars are too dangerous so it’s up to you to constantly monitor the snugness of the fit. Adjust the collar so it’s the ideal fit. It’s not a bad idea to check his collar once a week. Look for any signs of rubbing or irritation. Some cats have been seriously injured by tight collars that rub against the skin and cause irritation and sores. Infections can set in quickly and the consequences can become dire.

Watch for weight fluctuations

Cats may gain or lose weight throughout their lives. This can also affect the fit of the collar. We know the dangers of a tight-fitting collar but one that is too loose can easily become snagged on a protrusion and can also become a hazard. While breakaway collars are usually a good solution for this dilemma, it’s best not to depend on them. Cats need to be outfitted with collars that fit them perfectly. It’s up to pet parents to monitor the situation and make sure that the fit is suitable for comfort and safety. To achieve the ideal fit, you should be able to slip two or three of your fingers between your pet’s neck and the collar.

When to see a vet

The Insurance Emporium advises that even a minor irritation that results from a tight cat collar should be investigated. If your cat has been rubbed raw around the neck, and there is redness, swelling, or if the area feels hot, there may be infection present. It’s best to remove the source of the irritation immediately. Get your pet in for a wellness checkup to ensure there isn’t a more serious problem going on. Cat collars that cut into the skin and flesh layers below. These can lead to infections that can move into your cat’s bloodstream quickly. You don’t always notice the injury extent because of his thick coat of fur that obscures your view.

Final thoughts

The next time you go shopping for a collar for your cat, consider the style over the appearance. There are some cute snap away collar styles on the market today. According to reliable experts on cat safety, these are the best options to prevent these unfortunate events from happening to your cat. The RSPCA and the American Humane Society provide the facts about cat collar safety and warn us to be aware of the potential for injury with elastic or buckle style collars. We’re reminded that cats do grow. It’s essential to monitor the snugness of the fit regularly. Check for any signs of discomfort or irritation. Make sure that your cat only wears a collar that he can take off himself. By taking these warnings to heart, you can feel confident that your cat won’t fall victim to a collar related tragedy.

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