Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

Indoor cats and collars

I was talking to someone recently who works in disaster preparedness, and she mentioned something about collars. I had been under the comfortable illusion that my cat, being microchipped and an indoor cat, wouldn’t have any need of a collar. Convenient, since she’s a master at getting out of collars and hiding them.

But according to this woman, who is more of an expert than I am (not that it takes much), had some good points:

  • In a disaster rescue situation, there is no guarantee that they’ll have enough scanners
  • or the right scanners for her chip (different chips, different companies, different scanners)
  • a collar would give them immediate information that would require no technology to access
  • even though she’s an indoor cat, you never know when they’ll get out, or when something will happen that makes her “indoor cat” status irrelevant.

These were all good points. Now to find a collar that she doesn’t immediately dispose of…


10 responses to “Indoor cats and collars

  1. girl least likely to February 12, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    my indoor boys both wear collars, mostly because of their mommy’s paranoia and worry about them getting out one day. it seems like a collar is a quick visible sign that the cat “belongs to someone,” and maybe people would be more likely to try to catch them and/or help them if they saw a collar… i also have a tag on each of their collars that says: HELP! I’M LOST! with our phone number and his name on it. i did that just to drive the point home that they’re indoor babies and shouldn’t be out. hopefully i never need to worry about the effectiveness of those strategies, but knowing they’re in place makes me feel a tiny bit better.

  2. Deb February 13, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    I think that is pretty much true, that a collar is a good sign that a cat might need help, or could be helped by getting them back home. It is the first question that has been asked of me the two times I’ve seen cats around! “Did they have collars?” Neither time was I close enough to see, but still…

    I think the “help I’m lost” is a great idea too! And paranoid or prepared? I think prepared!

  3. rich February 13, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    When Beanie was an indoor/outdoor cat we would go through about 5 or 6 collars a year. He would “lose” them. As an indoor cat I never thought he might need one, but it is a good idea. He’ll get another collar and when he loses it I can find it. I had the best luck with imprinted collars as opposed to the collar tag setup.
    Thanks for the advice.

  4. vegansofcolor February 13, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Yeah, this kind of stuff is what made me get collars for our babies too (& we have one tag on them that says “INDOOR CAT – IF I AM OUTSIDE, CALL MY OWNERS,” like the first commenter does).

    I love all the collars folks make & sell on Etsy — we have a couple really cute ones from the Modern Pet.

  5. Deb February 13, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    @ Rich – yeah, I didn’t think they were all that necessary (helps that tempest isn’t exactly an escape-minded cat!) but it is for the situations you’d never expect that makes them important even for cats like Tempest, I think!

    @ VoC – thanks for the etsy recommendation! I love getting things from people on etsy, but I don’t think I would have thought to look for cat collars on there! I’m so glad they have the breakaway collars too. Excellent! I’ll give one a try. And the indoor cat tag is definitely going to be part of the deal.

  6. Mary Martin February 14, 2008 at 11:24 am

    I was urged to get a collar for Emme (was it by vegansofcolor, maybe?) and I’m dreading it. I guess I’ll go to Etsy today and take the plunge. Emme has never worn a collar and she’s 8-years old. I don’t anticipate it going over very well, but I’ll deal with that when it happens. I guess the dogs should wear collars, too, right? I take them off as soon as they walk in the door.

    Boy, I’m a really bad creature mommy now that I’m thinking about it.

  7. Deb February 14, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    You are not a bad creature mommy! I think collars are so hard for us to accept for them, because they just don’t look comfortable. But if it could make a difference in their future safety/return home if something unexpected were to happen, then it does seem that we should help them get used to them. If Emme has never worn a collar, putting one on for just a few minutes at a time, giving her lots of loving at the same time might help. And then just increase the time per day until you can try leaving it on all the time.

    Next topic: brushing their teeth! 😮

  8. girl least likely to February 15, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    in case anyone’s interested, these are the tags i have for my boys. they slide onto the collar (i got the kinds with little open slots on each side so you can easily pop ’em onto an adjustable collar). this way you don’t have dangling tags to worry about.

  9. Freddie February 15, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    It seems to be accepted by cat breeders that cat collars can be dangerous to the cat. They can get them caught and be strangled and get their paws caught in the collar and hurt themselves. I would not recommend a collar myself. Further they are unnatural.

  10. Deb February 15, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    @ gllt – thanks, that was my next question! Or, at least what I was trying to decide on. Thanks!

    @ Freddie – that’s exactly why breakaway collars were created. As to them being unnatural, sure collars are unnatural. So is breeding. So is the fact that the cats are living as companions to humans. (And no, I’m not advocating abandoning them. The domestication of cats is unnatural, period.) Selectively judging something by whether it is “natural” when you aren’t judging the whole picture, or perhaps any other aspect of your or their life by that same standard is simply absurd.

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