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Home > Cats > What Is An E-Collar for Cats? Types, Pros, Cons & FAQ

What Is An E-Collar for Cats? Types, Pros, Cons & FAQ

cat wearing e-collar after surgery

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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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Everyone is familiar with a “cone of shame,” right? Especially after Disney’s infamous Up! Even if you’re not sure of the proper title for it, you’re well aware of what it is and probably what it’s used for. If your cat has recently had surgery or injury, your vet might give you this cone to place around the neck.

The proper name for this “cone of shame” is an E-collar. E-collars was designed to prevent animals, such as dogs and cats, from licking, biting, or scratching problematic areas while recovering from injury or surgery. But what is the history behind it? We have all the answers.


How Does It Work?

The Elizabethan collar, or E-collar, sounds a lot fancier than it actually is. This collar was named after the ruffles that wealthy landowners would wear in the Elizabethan era of England. These collars started really booming in popularity during the 1950s and have remained stable in veterinary care ever since.

E-collars gained popularity because they were so effective. Once they came into existence in the 1950s, they really took off being just as practical. There are really no tweaking or special operating skills you have to have to let your cat wear this kind of collar.

These collars are insanely popular and valuable among pet parents and vet practices alike.

Plus, it does amazingly to prevent your cat from biting or scratching other problem areas.


Where Is It Used?

E-collars are a very popular thing in the veterinary community. Whether you have your cat spayed or neutered, they are recovering from injury, or you’re trying to relieve anxiety, you might have to separate your pet from being able to reach the rest of its body.

There are tons of DIY projects on the Internet that produce the same effect as a store-bought E-collar. You can buy these plastic cones or make your own at home. They are good to have on hand in the event an emergency comes up.

For instance, if your cat is licking away  certain areas of it’s skin due to a flea infestation or allergy, you might want to prevent them from licking, scratching, or biting the affected areas until you get the symptoms under control.

Advantages of E-Collars

E-collars work incredibly well by preventing your cat from reaching problem areas. If your cat is healing from injury or receiving any treatment they can’t ingest, wearing an E-collar prevents them from making contact.

These collars work as they should—they block your pet’s reach or range of motion without disabling them. Of course, the proper fit is a necessity for full effectiveness.

Almost every E-collar is inexpensive, and some are even free (compliments of the vet!). You can even make them out of materials at your house, and all that takes up is your time.

British Shorthair cat wearing e-collar
Image Credit: Lilia Solonari, Shutterstock

Disadvantages of E-Collars

If you asked your cat, the E-collar is probably a disadvantage all the way around the board. But they are handy for the intended purpose.

The one thing you have to be mindful of is safety. Safety is really important when your cat is wearing an E-collar. While it might not seem like there’s much to be done, these cones can get stuck on objects and cause choking or entrapment.

You should always make sure your pet is in a completely safe area with nothing to snag themselves on unless you are completely supervising them.


What Are the Different Types of E-Collars?

E-collars come in cones, hoods, and all sorts of homemade contraptions.

Plastic E-Collars

Plastic E-collars are probably the first that comes to mind when you think of a cone of shame. They are cone-shaped, as the name implies, fitting around the neck and face. They typically latch with a simple slip and are easy to assemble.

These standard E-collars will get the job done, but they’re nothing fancy. They are easy to wipe down, and you can keep them for a while—all for a low price.

Cat wearing a collar while being declawed
Image Credit By: MDV Edwards, Shutterstock

DIY E-collars

Sure, you can buy a plastic E-collar if you want. But some more destructive or strategic animals can easily chew, grab, tear, and otherwise demolish their E-collar, defeating the purpose. You can make them out of several different materials, and you can do so for free.

If you’re always looking for a way to recycle the items in your home, turning them into something useful, there are a few tutorials that cost next to nothing to assemble.

lynx point tabby cat wearing flower collar
Image Credit: Pixel Cat Photo, Shutterstock


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Do E-collars Work Well for Cats?

They work extremely efficiently if any collar is placed on your dog or cat. That is why they’ve maintained their popularity throughout the years in veterinary practice.

It’s always nice for a pet owner to have one on hand, but you can always buy online or in-store if ever you are in a situation where you need one. So if you know your pet is having an upcoming surgery or may require this in the future, being prepared is always key.

2. Can Cats Eat with E-Collars On?

Cat with an e-collar eating
Image Credit: Spring Song, Shutterstock

If the E-collar is perfectly fitted to your cat’s neck, it should be able to eat or drink without obstruction. If you find that your cat is having a hard time, you might want to readjust or take it off (with supervision) while they eat.

If you find it fits as it should, but your cat is still struggling—try to elevate or reposition the food bowls to make things easier.

3. How Should I Clean the E-collar?

You should routinely wipe down the E-collar and wash it with warm soap and water. It can get pretty grimy quickly!

4. Can I Leave My Cat Home Alone with an E-Collar?

It would be best if you never left your cat with an E-collar unattended. They can get snagged or caught on something, obstructing their airway.

kitten with an e-collar
Image Credit: Carl Dupont, Shutterstock



So now you know the Elizabethan collar, or E-collar, named after the ruffles on royal attire, is a preventative barrier for pets. They come in handy for all sorts of reasons, primarily healing. If you need an E-collar for cats, you can purchase one at your vet, any pet shop, or an online store.

You can even cut corners and make your very own at home with little to no money involved. You might not use your E-collar regularly, but it’s always nice to have it on hand if one of your pets is in need.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: elwynn, Shutterstock

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