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Cat Harness vs Breakaway Collar for I.D. tag?

Discussion in 'Grooming & General Cat Care' started by marc999, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. marc999

    marc999 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Nov 27, 2013
    Northern reaches of north
    Hi guys,

    I just registered my cat and would like to know what type of collar makes most sense to attach the I.D. tag?

    If he gets out - what good is a breakaway collar, if it's just found lying on the ground due to a snag, or someone finds him and tries to catch him by the collar? 

    Are cat harnesses ok for long-term use, or is that metal ring that joins the neck/chest piece, very uncomfortable for him?

    Thanks for any suggestions.
     

  2. oneandahalfcats

    oneandahalfcats TCS Member Top Cat

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    Dec 13, 2013
    I am not a fan of neck collars but prefer a full harness for some of the reasons you mention as they are more difficult to get out of. A harness is much kinder I find if you need to put a leash on for walking or visits at the vet. I use the H-Style of harness for my cats. You will want to ensure that the size of harness is appropriate of course.

    Here is a good article on collars versus harnesses and their different uses : http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?articleid=1842
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014

  3. marc999

    marc999 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    428
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    Nov 27, 2013
    Northern reaches of north
    Makes sense re: harness.  There's essentially 2 sizes I've found - up to 12", or up to 16".

    Silly girl at a pet store sold me a 'Kitten' one and said it's one size fits all.  Pfft - nope, not a chance.  It's way too small. 

    Do you leave the harness on all the time with the ID tag, or just when you need to take him/her somewhere?
     

  4. oneandahalfcats

    oneandahalfcats TCS Member Top Cat

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    Dec 13, 2013
    I made the mistake myself about the wrong size just going by sight alone, so common mistake I think :) .. I was able to return and replace it for the proper one.

    I only use the harnesses for vets visits or if I need to limit the outdoor time to a leash as I live in the country and there are lots of trees around that the cats climb from time to time. Depending on your routine and needs, you might want to alternate between the break-away collar and harness.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014

  5. laralove

    laralove TCS Member Top Cat

    I have a breakaway collar for Oliver. He's an indoor only cat, so I don't have a lot of worries about it getting snagged off to resulting issues. I want to ensure that if he gets it caught on something while he's playing (which happened on my bed's footboard), he won't choke. That said, I've noticed when he sits in the window now, he very much seems to want to go outside, and he's more curious about what's on the other side of the front door. So once warmer weather returns, I'm going to get him an H-style harness to take him on walks. I can't imagine he'd be comfortable in a harness all the time, though. 
     

  6. shoshanna

    shoshanna TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Jan 18, 2014
    This is on topic but may not give you the information you are looking for but I do have a  suggestion.  There is no better product for cats who need to be restrained while outside than the Kitty Holster.  

    It is made in 4 sizes from Extra Small to Large and I think they may even be offering an Extra Large for breeds that are very large.  It is made of all cotton material and goes around the cats neck and belly and attaches with velcro that is very strong.  I had a cat that I could not even put a breakaway collar on and he loves the Kitty Holster and heads for the door when it is brought out as he knows he gets to go outside.

    The website for the product is  http://www.kittyholster.com  and the pricing at this time is from $24.95 with free shipping and handling to $49.95 for custom made very fancy items.  There are also options for thinner neck band, "owl eyes" to discourage avian predators from attacking, fancy crystals and jewels added, and for custom embroidery of the cat's name on the harness.  Several colors and patterns of material are available for the outer fabric,  There is an option for a flannel lining for cats who have a need for warmth.  The lining without the flannel is white cotton.
     

  7. jcat

    jcat Mo(w)gli's can opener Staff Member Moderator

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    Feb 13, 2003
    Mo(w)gli Monster's Lair
    Jamie had a breakaway collar for indoor use and a harness for when I took him outside; a harness would have been too uncomfortable to wear all the time and probably would have snagged on things. Mogli wears a breakaway collar, because he only goes out on the secured balcony. He went through so many breakaway collars in a short period of time that I switched to Beastie Bands (very stretchy, with a velcro closure).

    To be on the safe side, IMO it's always best to have at least two means of identification: a collar tag and a microchip or (ear) tattoo, because cats are notorious for losing their collars (and slipping out of harnesses). Jamie was chipped and tattooed. Mogli is chipped, and the next time he has to have dental work I'll see about getting him tattooed, also, though that might be a problem because he's black. A microchip alone isn't ideal because many people won't think to have a cat checked for one (or will find it too much of an effort).
     

  8. nekochan

    nekochan TCS Member Top Cat

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    Aug 5, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    All my cats are indoor only, they are microchipped, and they also wear a collar with ID tag in the house. I use Boomerang Collartags mostly, which are like a nameplate, so there is nothing hanging off the collar and it is less likely to get snagged somewhere and come off. My cats either have breakaway collars or else they have Beastie Bands which are stretchy and velcro.

    When I take them out, I use a harness and sometimes I use a non-breakaway collar just because I have some pretty/fancy collars for them to wear when they go out, that happen to not be breakaway.
     

  9. jcat

    jcat Mo(w)gli's can opener Staff Member Moderator

    68,213
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    Feb 13, 2003
    Mo(w)gli Monster's Lair
    The Boomerang or Indigo nameplates are great. Mogli was using his ID tag to pull his collars off, but he can't with the plates.
     

  10. marc999

    marc999 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    428
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    Nov 27, 2013
    Northern reaches of north
    Boomerang nameplates - sounds interesting.  I'll look into those. 
     

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