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Home > Cats > How to Open a Breakaway Cat Collar in 2 Simple Steps

How to Open a Breakaway Cat Collar in 2 Simple Steps

black cat wearing breakaway collar

Breakaway cat collars, also known as quick-release collars, can be a lifesaver if your cat gets caught on something, such as a tree branch or some other object. The purpose of these collars is to keep your cat from choking, which is a scary scenario and an incident you want to avoid. These collars will unfasten when there’s  pressure or force, freeing your cat.

However, some people wonder how to open a breakaway cat collar in the first place. We’ll explain the two easy steps to open a breakaway collar both while on your cat and off so that you have no trouble and are not discouraged from buying one for your feline friend.


Before You Start

Before you buy a breakaway collar, you’ll need to know how to measure your cat’s neck for a proper fit. Be sure to grab some measuring tape. If you don’t have a measuring tape, you can use a piece of string, followed by measuring with a ruler.

When measuring, ensure you can slip two fingers in between the tape and your cat’s neck. You want a snug fit but not a tight one. The collar needs to be comfy for your cat but not comfy enough that your cat can slip out. Also, measure at the base of your cat’s neck (where a collar goes onto the neck).

bengal cat wearing pink breakaway collar
Photo Credit By: Andy Gin, Shutterstock

It’s important to note that the correct size will be based on your cat’s age. For example, a kitten’s fit will differ from an adult’s. A kitten will grow, so you will need to be able to adjust the size accordingly. Let’s break it down below:

Kittens: 6 inches with the ability to adjust to 8 inches
Standard Adult to Large: 8–12 inches


How to Open a Breakaway Collar in 2 Steps

1. How to Open a Breakaway Collar While On Your Cat

To open the collar while it’s on your cat’s neck, slip your index fingers underneath the collar close to the claps with your thumbs on top of the collar. While grabbing the clasp with your fingers and thumb, pull it apart. You’ll have to use a little force, but it should pull apart without any trouble.

putting a collar on a cat
Photo Credit By: Patara91, Shutterstock

2. How to Open a Breakaway Collar While Off Your Cat

To open these collars while off your cat, simply grab each end close to the clasp where it fastens and pull it apart, using a firm motion with a little force. Remember, you must use a little force for the clasp to release. A few breakaway collars may have tabs on either side that you squeeze and pull apart, but most do not have these tabs—you simply pull them apart.


Advantages of a Breakaway Collar

Breakaway collars are excellent if you have a cat that likes to roam outdoors, and many veterinarians recommend breakaway collars exclusively for cats.

These collars will take any worry away that your cat will choke or get caught up in something, such as a fence or tree branch, and cannot break free. A breakaway collar will also prevent a neck injury.

Breakaway collars are excellent for indoor cats, too, as an indoor cat can get tangled up in an object inside the home, such as a window blind cord.

The best cat collars are sturdy, comfortable, and safe. Our favorite is Hepper's Breakaway Collar, a well-designed collar made from 100% natural hemp webbing that softens as your cat wears it. Featuring a quick-release buckle, adjustable slip-locks, and a jingle bell, this collar is as practical as it is stylish!

Hepper Hemp Safety Breakaway Cat Collar with Bells
  • Hemp-Hemp Hooray - hemp breakaway cat collars are long-lasting and resistant to UV rays – The...
  • What the neck?! - Our cat breakaway collar has adjustable sizing with metal slip-locks, and softens...
  • Breakaway Safety - Cat collars breakaway to ensure that when out adventuring, the material getting...

At Pet Keen, 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!

Disadvantages of Traditional Cat Collar

If you want your cat to wear a collar, ensure you buy a breakaway collar. Traditional collars come with risks, such as your cat choking because it was caught or tangled up in something and could not break free.

As we’ve mentioned, most veterinarians only recommend breakaway collars for this very reason. Traditional collars will not unfasten if your cat needs to break free, which could result in a neck injury or even death.



Breakaway collars, or quick-release collars, are an effective way to keep your cat from injuring itself or getting strangled. They are inexpensive and come in many colors and patterns.

Personalized breakaway collars are available, and you can still place an ID tag on these collars, much like traditional collars. Safety is the number one issue, and with a breakaway cat collar, you will have the peace of mind that your cat will be safe from choking, whether your cat is an indoor cat or an outdoor cat.

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Featured Image Credit: Graziegranata, Shutterstock

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