Putting a collar on your cat for the first time can be a stressful task - but it doesn't need to be! There are lots of benefits to your cat wearing a collar, according to The Humane Society "an ID tag is your cat's ticket home. All cats should wear collars and tags." So if you've been struggling to convince your feline friend to put one on, here are our top tips...
The first step is essential! Make sure you and your cat are both relaxed so that everything else goes more smoothly. Try picking a time of day when your cat is usually calm and relaxed, for some this will be just after eating or when you wake up in the morning. Using calming diffusers can also help for particularly anxious cats.
Back to Basics
If this is the first time your cat is wearing a collar, it can be beneficial to keep things as simple as possible. Try removing any additional accessories such as ID tags, bells or bow ties so that you are left with just the collar. Once your cat has got used to this, you can add the accessories like tags and bells back on.
Adjust to fit
Adjusting the length of your collar before putting it on your cat is a great idea. You probably won't get it perfect on the first try, but do your best to get it in the right ballpark. A good way to guess the length is by measuring with your fingers when you are stroking your cat. You should be able to fit one finger between your cats neck and the collar once it is fitted.
Leave the collar somewhere for your cat to get used to it - we recommend leaving it near your cats food bowl so they associate it with something good. After doing this for a while, hold the collar up to your cat and see how they react. If they are relaxed, you can move onto the next step.
Put the collar on
Holding the 2 ends of your cats collar in each hand, slide the collar under your cats chin and do it up with as little hesitation as possible. Getting someone else to hold your cat can also be helpful. Take your time, and if your cat gets fed up it may be best to try again at a later date. Make sure to give them lots of treats throughout this process! It is normal for your cat to react by running around, trying to chew the collar, rolling around or pawing at the collar - don't panic. Give your cat some time to adjust, reward them, and these behaviours should stop fairly quickly.
Check the fit
Make sure you take the time to get the fit right for your cat. A good close fit is important for safety, but it's also comfier for your cat too! A closely fitted collar cuts down on any feelings of the collar moving across their fur which can be irritating for your cat. Make sure none of their fur has got caught when you were doing the collar up.