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News March 29, 2019

How Cat Collars Can Provide Safety

Indoor-only cats do find ways to escape, so having a collar with current cat tags is critically important. For others, you can provide some outdoor fun by using a cat harness and leash.

Photography Berezko Getty Images

With springtime just around the corner, it’s common for even indoor cats to exhibit a great deal of interest in what’s coming alive outdoors. Some cat owners even want to try walking their cats with a cat harness to help satisfy this spring fever, but all cats – both indoor and outdoor – will benefit from wearing a collar.

According to the American Humane Society, one in three pets will become lost at some point during their lifetime. Some will be reunited, while others won’t be as lucky. Having your cat microchipped is a good idea (as long as you register the chip and keep the information updated), but wearing ID tags on a breakaway cat collar – which will safely release your cat if she finds herself trapped on something – is an easy way for people to find your contact information if your cat becomes separated from her family.

If you adopt either a cat or a kitten, there are a variety of cute and even personalized collars that have safety features. Be sure to adjust the collar as she grows, and to replace any collar that shows signs of extreme wear and possible breakage.

Choosing a Cat Harness and Leash

Cat owners often ask, “Is there a best cat harness?” The simple answer is to practice indoors first and be certain that the equipment fits properly and is escape-proof.

Getting your cat accustomed to a cat leash and harness can take some time, and some cats will never really take to it. Others will enjoy being outside, but be prepared for taking the “walk” on kitty’s terms – simply put, there may be a lot more sniffing, rolling in the grass and watching the birds than actual walking.

According to Stephanie Borns-Weil, DVM, head of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts University, it’s best if you are able to start them young to maximize the likelihood of cats tolerating a leashed harness to explore the backyard with you.