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Discussion Starter #1
I'm staying at my mothers with my two tomboys. They go outside and love catching mice and birds. My mother doesn't like it (and to be honest it's a bit gruesome for me too since i have to pick up the pieces lol!)
anyway, she bought them two collars with bells on to ward off any prey. I put them on my cats for her, (personally I'd prefer to not give them bell collars)...anyway, the cats hate them and keep trying to shake the bell/collar off with their legs...
How long will it take for them to get used to these collars with bells?
I hate seeing it...i don't believe in them wearing them since they're born to hunt....
but whilst I'm staying with my mum i'll have to compromise.
Do you know how long it takes for the cats to get used to these things?
What are you own opinions on these collars?
thanks guys. :)
 

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Well, I don't believe cats should be outdoors at all for many reasons--safety of the cats and safety of native songbirds among them. If you insist, make sure the collars are breakaway--they should stretch to allow the cat to get out of them if hung up, or break under pressure. Otherwise they are extremely dangerous.
 

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Usually you have to get them used to it slowly, or start when they're very young. Put the collar on only for a short period of time (with lots of treats!) and leave it on progressively longer until they get used to it. That's how we got Io trained to the harness, but she'll still start getting fussy and scratch at it after 3-4 hours. Since she's inside we don't really worry about a collar for her (though we do have one, with all the tags and guff, in case our fire alarm goes off, when she goes to the vet, or something like that.)

Hoofmaiden's right, to make sure they have a breakaway snap. Personally, I dislike the elastic ones, because I'd rather have it break off completely then just stretch and stretch (and potentially choke my cat.) The elastic ones I've seen the the shops are definitely not satisfactory to me - I pretend my wrist is a 'cat' and one finger is a branch - if I can't wiggle my hand out of the collar quickly, or cause it to break off, I don't trust my cat to do so when she's panicked or falling.
 

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Just to make sure..... you said tomboys... they are fixed right? If they are outdoors unattended and unfixed they are going to start wandering and reproducing.

My two never got used to the collars. They always kicked up so much fuss I took them off. Since they don't go out and are both microchipped I didn't see a reason to force the issue.
 

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I got a bell collar for my indoor kitty and he hates it. We've been practicing since he was about 12-weeks. He's now almost 6 months and only forgets about the collar while we're playing. The minute I lose his attention, he takes it right off.

I have no real reason to have him wear one, but I want him to be reasonably used to it in case of fire alarms, vet outings, etc. I don't want him to break loose with nothing to identify him.

Please make sure they have break away collars as mentioned above! They might be able to get them off, and it's frustrating, but it may save their lives if they ever got caught on something. They could either injure themselves trying to break loose or become easy prey for something else while they're stuck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
the collars are advertised as breakway collars in case they get caught on anything....to me that at least was reassuring...nonetheless....i'm gonna see how they cope with them tomorrow. My cats ARE neutered but i do wonder how this will pan out. I know for a fact that as horrible and upsetting it is to see them come home with a dead mouse or bird, I just can't bring myself to put a bell collar on them...
I think it's natural for them to hunt....
i'm only doing it whilst i'm staying with my mother...
 

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You need to test the breakaway collars. I've seen breakaways that I couldn't break with my hardest yank...obviously they wouldn't break if my cat were to get caught on something either. Hold the collar with both hands, the connector at the top between them. Pull sharply in opposite directions.

The collar shouldn't slip apart easily (or you'll constantly be replacing collars, and they'll learn how to get them off...), but it shouldn't be too hard either. Have a few people try it, just to be safe. There should be some resistance, but it should pop free as well.

It's hard to explain the right resistance. When I worked at PetSmart I'd regularly test the collars to see which brands were the best ones.
 

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Some cats take to it more easily than others - Lottie takes them off and I've basically given up. Shadow used to remove them and leave them neatly under the rhubarb.

I might well feel differently if I lived in a different place but I think it's good for cats' mental and physical health to spend some time outside. If you are concerned for the local wildlife, however, please try to avoid them being out during twilight times when they are most likely of all to catch prey. I have doubts about the efficacy of the bells - the ones on mine aren't that loud. If there are any bird feeders about, please make sure they are not close to hedges or shrubbery - it makes it too easy for the cats.
 
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