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Home > Cats > 5 Easy Tips on How to Put on a Cat Collar: Vet Approved Advice

5 Easy Tips on How to Put on a Cat Collar: Vet Approved Advice

Woman putting flea collar on cat

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Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

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

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Every pet owner knows that a collar is one of the most vital parts of having a pet. You can put essential bits of information about yourself in case your pet is ever lost and show proof of shot records. But putting a collar on your cat isn’t so easy.

On top of their fiercely independent nature, it can be tough to figure out how to apply the collar making it sit perfectly while keeping your cat’s attention. In this article, we’ll provide some tips on how to make putting a collar on your cat easier.


Putting a Collar on Your Cat

Some cats can be relatively calm while you’re trying to put on their collar. Others will fight you tooth and nail, resisting you at every turn. So before you even get started with the process, it’s important to start at the beginning.

1. Choose a Comfortable Collar

Your cat should always be comfortable with whatever it is they’re wearing. Some collars can be stiff and uncomfortable for your cat to wear. Always ensure you get one with padding or a comfortable liner to smooth the process.

Also, sizing is very important. Every color will have a different sizing chart, so make sure you get one that’s a sufficient size.

Some cats will be more tolerant of wearing collars than others. Also, be mindful of any irritations or allergies —because certain materials and dyes can cause irritation or allergic reactions that can be a pain for your feline to deal with.

Breakaway Red Collar Cat
Image Credit: Daniel Rajszczak, Shutterstock

2. Pre-size the Collar

Sure, you did your part when you ordered or bought the collar to make sure you got the correct size. But even after you bring it home, you’re still going to have to adjust the strap to make sure that it fits perfectly around your individual cat’s neck.

We know cats come in all different shapes and sizes, so it is important to do this before you get started.

You must measure your cat’s neck and adjust the collar accordingly to get the correct sizing the first time. Once correctly adjusted, you can simply latch or snap it together for a perfect fit.

It will be more complicated to do this with buckle-style collars, as they are slightly harder to adjust perfectly — and you really can’t do much until it’s on.

However, if you have the easy slide adjuster, take a tape measure to measure around your cat’s neck and adjust the collar accordingly.

3. Add Any Attachments

If you need to add tags or other information to your cat collar, you can do so before putting it on. Some folks choose to add rabies tags or identification. Other people enjoy using this little slot for a name tag or an image for decorative purposes.

Regardless of how you want to embellish your cat’s collar, it’s probably going to be a lot easier to do it before you place it on their neck.

Orange tubby cat with collar
Image Credit: Florence DAVID, Pixabay

4. Have a Helping Hand

If you have a rambunctious cat or just need someone to keep your cat’s attention, having a helper nearby can be a real lifesaver. Even if your helping hand is merely a treat to keep them busy while you get their collar on, anything is better than nothing sometimes.

They might need a little distraction if you have no one to help. You can use toys or treats to get your cat’s attention long enough to fasten the collar.

5. Make Sure It’s on Correctly

Even if you are sure you have the right size, you want to ensure you have the exact fit. You should be able to comfortably fit two fingers between the cat’s fur and the collar itself. This ensures that your cat has plenty of breathing space.

Also, you’ll want to ensure it is not too loose, as your cat can easily slip out of it or lose it.

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


Types of Cat Collars

Marketing is insane these days. There are so many different products targeted at consumers that it’s hard to tell which one is the best. When it comes to collars, some are functional, while others are just for looks.

Here are the primary types of cat collars so you can familiarize yourself with the terminology.

1. Traditional

Traditional collars are typically made out of polyester or nylon webbing, creating a very structurally sound collar that will hold up for daily use. These generally come with metal or plastic buckles and have an adjustment point on the van.

This is simply the most common and practical of all cat collars. Most of the time, these collars are completely sufficient for any household cat. But if you want to look for other features, there are different styles to choose from.

Most of them come with a bell intact, but some of them might not have this particular feature.

black cat wearing breakaway collar
Image Credit: Graziegranata, Shutterstock

2. Breakaway

These collars are designed to get your cat out of some pretty tricky situations outdoors or even indoors during times when no one’s home. They reduce the likelihood of choking by breaking apart at any kind of resistance. That way, your cat won’t choke to death trying to break free.

Sometimes it could be the very epitome of life or death. These are generally geared towards cats to spend some time outdoors as there are tons of things they can get into out there that could be potentially dangerous for them.

Cats love to explore, but sometimes their curiosity can get them in trouble. The Hepper Breakaway Collar features a reliable breakaway buckle that will keep your cat safe and comfortable. The 100% natural hemp webbing is mold- and UV-resistant, and there's even an included jingle bell to keep your local wildlife safe!

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!

3. Belt-Buckle

Belt buckle-style collars are less standard for cats and more geared toward dogs. But there still are some certain selections you can find that sport the look. Generally, these collars fit the same way that a belt would on your body. It comes with a metal or plastic buckle that fits into a hole or slot in the collar.

While these are generally aesthetically pleasing, they’re not always as functional. Because they don’t have the precise shift to create the exact fit your cat needs, it can be a little too loose or tight even if you get the right size.

cat with collar lying on couch
Image Credit: stockelements, Shutterstock

4. Martingale

Martingale collars are much less popular for cats than canines because most people don’t walk their cats on a leash. Martingale collars are specifically designed to be compatible with leash training due to their convenient slip design.

If you don’t plan on walking your cat, you probably don’t need the features of the Martingale collar offers. But if you are interested in taking your cat out or learning how to walk them on a harness, these can be great training tools to have on hand.



Providing a perfect fit with the proper attachments is key. If you have a rambunctious kitty that doesn’t want to participate in this event, you might want to have someone on hand to help keep them relaxed. So now you can probably make it through the process produce seamlessly.

If they’re even harder to convince, you can always distract them with a treat or toy to keep their attention.

Featured Image Credit: Inga Gedrovicha, Shutterstock

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