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Collar/harness Training

Discussion in 'Grooming & General Cat Care' started by Allison Cooper, May 16, 2017.

  1. Allison Cooper

    Allison Cooper MsFish Kitten

    5
    2
    May 16, 2017
    Hello there!

    I adopted my lil' guy Milo a few weeks ago. He's a fantastic kitty, and I love him to bits and pieces. When I first got him, I bought a collar (with glow in the dark skulls fyi :p) so he could eventually wear it. I wasn't planning on introducing it until I felt like he was starting to gain a lot of confidence in the house, but surprise surprise, he was confident from the start. But I still wanted to wait...

    Anyways, as any cat would, he got curious about the front door and where it leads. He can't see outside of it (since it's just a solid door with no screen) so it figures that he MUST know what's behind it. Luckily I was able to push him back with my foot before he ran out. It scared me, and that's when I started to try and get Milo used to wearing the collar.

    He's fine with it as long as the bell is off (which is being replaced by his microchip tag and a name tag), and right now I have it loose. He protests a little when he realizes what I'm doing, and once he has it on he's fine so I give him a treat. The problem is that since it's loose, when he goes down to lick himself it either bumps his chin or it gets caught in his mouth. I have tried to tighten it up on him, and swats at me (for obvious reasons) but I can't size him without it on. I'm afraid that I'm making it a "bad" experience for him and he won't want to wear a harness in the future even though I think he will benefit from supervised outside exploration. Do you have any advice on how I should approach this?
     
  2. Anne

    Anne Site Owner Staff Member Admin

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    Welcome to TCS! How old is Milo? The younger he is, the easier it should be for him to get used to a collar and/or harness. If he has an easy way out, a collar is important so I think you should just be consistent about it and keep the collar on. Tighten it to measure once (even if he won't like the process) and then he'll forget about it.

    If you want to take him outside for walks, he would need a harness as well. Some cats take longer to get used to the harness so this should be a gradual process. More about that here -
    Harness And Leash Training For Cats
     
  3. mazie

    mazie TCS Member Super Cat

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    south Georgia
    Is his collar a "break away" collar? The cat pictured on the home page showed a young cat with a blue collar that clearly is NOT a breakaway. My cat is an adult cat, but still the only type of collar I allow her to use is of the "breakaway" type. You never know when they may get "caught up" into something, so to be on the safe side, break away collars should be the only type sold to cat owners.
     
  4. IndyJones

    IndyJones Adopt don't shop. Top Cat

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    Where do you think?
    Both my cats have collars. My impression is the collar is like a bra it feels better when it is fitted correctly. You should be able to slide two fingers between the neck and the edge of the fabric. Do you have a tape measure and a piece of string?

    Wrap the string around the neck and cut it then measure it with the tape measur. Then adjust the collar to the same length. You should get an ok fit.

    14950567493131433472720.jpg
     
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  5. kittens mom

    kittens mom Kittens life was lost to a negligent veterinarian. Top Cat

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    Beastie bands are very popular. My baby cats all bucked some when the collar was first put on. If they got it off I just put it back on. No one carried on for more than an hour. Foster and Smith makes an elastic collar that is perfect for kits that are still very small. thin and elastic. Quick release buckles should be tested to make sure they are suitable for the cat wearing them. Some release easier which is better for a kitten or small adult. Some are quite hard to pull apart and better for mature or heavier cats. The idea is you want it to come off but not unless pulled.
    @IndyJones is correct two finger snug is the correct fit on a dog or cat collar. Too loose can allow them to get a jaw under it while grooming or a foot and makes it more likely to snag on something. Two of my cats clean their tags while grooming. Collars need to be replaced or washed on a regular basis and in long haired cats taken off and readjusted to keep them from making matts along the neck.
     
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  6. IndyJones

    IndyJones Adopt don't shop. Top Cat

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    Where do you think?
    I avoid elastic collars cats can get their jaw caught in them and dislocate it.
     
  7. Allison Cooper

    Allison Cooper MsFish Kitten

    5
    2
    May 16, 2017
    Yes, his is a breakaway. I never would use anything else because I know it can be dangerous for them if they caught on something.
     
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  8. Allison Cooper

    Allison Cooper MsFish Kitten

    5
    2
    May 16, 2017
    I will have to try that so I can get the right fit. He's a fiesty little guy and loves to play so this will be interesting haha
     
  9. kittens mom

    kittens mom Kittens life was lost to a negligent veterinarian. Top Cat

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    I dunno we may need lots of pictures to make sure. Lots of pictures. @mamanyt would probably like some kitten tail pictures too. Mostly pictures.
     
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  10. kittens mom

    kittens mom Kittens life was lost to a negligent veterinarian. Top Cat

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    Sleeping kittens are fair game...
     
  11. Allison Cooper

    Allison Cooper MsFish Kitten

    5
    2
    May 16, 2017
    He's roughly a year old so he's a little stubborn. I don't have an exact age since he was a stray before I got him at the shelter. Today I did end up tightening it which he didn't mind but after that he was freaking out and even lashed out at me with his claws a couple of times (which he never does unless it's for play but he knows to be gentle). I was able to distract him with a toy and a couple of treats but that only lasted a moment. I took it off when he seemed a little bit calmer but he still tried to bite me.
     
  12. Allison Cooper

    Allison Cooper MsFish Kitten

    5
    2
    May 16, 2017
    IMG_20170504_174638489cpy.jpg IMG_20170510_225934962cpy.jpg IMG_20170417_193949829_HDRcpy.jpg

    Here are a few, unfortunately none in the awesome collar that I got him haha. The first two are just him being a general weirdo and the last is just a few days before I adopted him. I was so happy because he took to me immediately. But you can see how tiny his neck is and how sometimes it's hard to tell because he has some chub in the face
     
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  13. kittens mom

    kittens mom Kittens life was lost to a negligent veterinarian. Top Cat

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    What a beautiful cat. And those eyes.
     
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  14. di and bob

    di and bob TCS Member Top Cat

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    I want to say again like above, do not leave the cat unattended with a loose collar, my cat got his jaw under the collar and it was a horrible experience to catch him and get it loose! I have also had cats get their paw between the collar and their neck and almost break a leg. Put the collar on with the proper fit. No cat likes a collar when first put on, it takes a week at least to get them to stop the pawing, scratching, shaking and refusing to move motions!
     
  15. tarasgirl06

    tarasgirl06 TCS Member Top Cat

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    I would suggest having him wear his collar right from the start leaving only space for two fingers between collar and cat. Otherwise, he could become tangled in it. I've had cats put their front paws in between the collar and themselves and had to rush to free them from it, when the collars were too loose. So I always put the collars on leaving only the two fingers' space. Taking the bell off is very good -- cats are sensitive to noise and don't like annoying ringing, which also hampers their ability to stalk, something cats do instinctively during play. Thanks for being vigilant in keeping him in! As long as he has enrichment indoors and plenty of windows to look out of, he really doesn't need to go for walks, where he could pick up fleas, ticks, or other pests. Walking out might also make him less happy indoors. People have different opinions and lifestyles, I know, but that's my input on it.
     
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  16. kittens mom

    kittens mom Kittens life was lost to a negligent veterinarian. Top Cat

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    My cats are all belled , except Toad and are more than capable of stalking without making a tinkle.
     
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  17. IndyJones

    IndyJones Adopt don't shop. Top Cat

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    Where do you think?
    Cowbells have different affects on each cat. My Indy freaks if I put one on her even a tiny one.
     
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  18. tarasgirl06

    tarasgirl06 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Yes, but your cats are extra special. You know that. :lovecat3:
     
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  19. kittens mom

    kittens mom Kittens life was lost to a negligent veterinarian. Top Cat

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    All cats are extra special, especially in the eyes of those that love them.
     
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  20. tarasgirl06

    tarasgirl06 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Well, yeah! *My cats, of course, are the BEST cats.* :cutecat::kneading::lovecat3:
     
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