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With hundreds of cat collar choices on the market, it can be a challenge to choose one that fits your unique needs, not to mention your cat’s personality. “There are no strict rules for choosing a cat collar,” says Nora Glover, a cat expert with more than 25 years of experience and the founder of cat care blog Catademy.com. “The only thing you must strictly avoid is flea collars. They are proven to be toxic to pets and children." We researched the best cat collars on the market based on their durability, color variety, and adjustability.
Here are the best cat collars on the market.
Best Overall: LupinePet Safety Cat Collar
More than 50 colorful designs
Scratching may cause the woven collar to fray and/or tighten
A durable woven nylon breakaway collar, the LupinePet Safety Cat Collar is a great collar made exceptional by its Guaranteed (Even if Chewed) lifetime guarantee, which allows you to seek a replacement should your cat collar get damaged, even if your pet chews through it. The guarantee doesn’t extend to replacing lost collars, so be sure to check the fit of your cat’s collar regularly.
Each Safety Cat Collar is 0.5 inches wide and adjustable from 8 inches to 12 inches in length. A steel D-ring is included for holding identification tags. While the collar's nylon webbing is ultra durable, the breakaway safety buckle is designed to unclasp if your cat ever gets stuck, potentially sparing your pet from injury by releasing when approximately 5 pounds of pressure is applied.
The real fun of the Safety Cat Collar are the over 50 stylish patterns available. Although they're made from a durable material, it is possible that scratching may cause the collar to fray overtime. Be sure to occasionally check your cat's collar in case they've accidentally tightened it as well.
Purchasing a Safety Cat Collar supports Lupine Pets initiatives, including support for New Hampshire area non-profits like the Tin Mountain Conservation Center, Conway Area Humane Society, and Jen's Friends Cancer Foundation, in addition to donations of their gear to animal rescues, service dog training, animal education centers, and other animal-centered non-profits.
Best Budget: Frisco Polyester Breakaway Cat Collar
More than 50 colors and patterns to choose from
Hand wash only
Made in China
Frisco Polyester Breakaway Cat Collars come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, and are available at prices that won't make it painful to replace, should you lose one when your cat gets snagged and the breakaway collar works as intended.
This breakaway collar is made with polyester webbing and has sturdy plastic hardware with rounded edges that don’t poke, a metal ring for an ID tag, and a quick-release breakaway buckle. The collar is designed to open when 11 to 15 pounds of pressure are applied, so it will release your cat should they become snagged and tug hard on it.
As with our Best Overall pick, the Frisco Polyester Breakaway Cat Collar can also be purchased with an optional bell. Each Frisco cat collar is 0.38 inches wide, and are adjustable in length from 8 to 12 inches. The Polyester Breakaway Cat Collar is suitable for cats weighing between 8 and 15 pounds.
Best Leather: CollarDirect Leather Cat Collar with Bell
12 solid colors to choose from
Elastic not easily repairable after breaking away
Some pet owners prefer leather for its long-term durability and classic aesthetic. The CollarDirect Leather Cat Collar is hand stitched from full-grain genuine leather, with metal hardware including a D-ring for holding your cat's ID tags. The buckle is affixed to an elastic section that gives a little extra stretch and is designed to allow your cat to break free if stuck. It also comes with a small metal bell to protect local wildlife from your cat.
This metal buckle collar is 0.38 inches wide and comes in two sizes: small, for cats weighing 2 to 5 pounds, and medium, for cats 5 to 10 pounds.
Best Breakaway: The Good Dog Company Hemp Cat Collar
Made in the United States
High quality, sustainable hemp and cotton
Some smart cats figure out how to use the breakaway to pull it off
The Good Dog Company Hemp Cat Collar is 55 percent hemp and 45 percent certified organic cotton, making it a great breakaway collar option for cats who have experienced irritation or other reactions to nylon, polyester, or other petroleum-derived plastic products. The collar's plastic "Kitty Klip" is designed to open should your cat gets stuck.
“Breakaway collars are generally a safer option because they prevent the risk of strangulation if the collar latches on something,” Glover told The Spruce Pets. “Breakaway collars allow your pet to escape even if there’s no one around to help. The only downside is that they are quite easy to lose.”
Each collar is 0.38 inches wide, with an adjustable length ranging from 7 to 13 inches. The Good Dog Company Hemp Cat Collar is available in ten different colors.
Best Bow Tie: Chiwawa Gear Harnesses Bow Tie Collars
Machine washable in cold water
Star-Seller on Etsy
Lots of fun, colorful designs including holiday themes
Only available on Etsy
Almost every cat looks adorable in a bow tie collar. Whether you want to add style to your cat’s everyday look, or save your bow tie for special occasions like birthdays and holidays, there is a huge selection of colors and patterns available to match any occasion.
Chiwawa Gear Harnesses Bow Tie Collars on Etsy are versatile, handmade and come in a huge variety of colors and styles. Most are made from a durable cotton fabric sewn onto polypropylene webbing for added strength and durability. Each 0.38-inch-wide collar can be purchased with either a removable flower or bow tie and there are three sizes of bow tie to choose from—2.5, 3 and 3.5 inches.
A small silver bell is also included which is attached next to the breakaway buckle. The flower and bow tie are attached with a double-sided Velcro that wraps around the cat collar for easy removal.
The collars are available in multiple sizes including small, for kittens with a neck size of 5.5 to 8 inches, medium (7 to 11 inches) and large (9 to 13 inches).
For similarly highly-rated bow tie collars, you can also check out Made by Cleo, another Etsy business with a huge selection of well-rated, adorable bow tie collars.
Cutest: Made by Cleo Felt Flower + Collar Combo Sets
Hundreds of colors and prints to choose from
Flower is easily removable
Limited refunds and exchanges with a restocking fee
Cats are cute all on their own, but finding the right collar to express your pet’s unique style can push the cuteness factor into overdrive. Enter these beautiful, felted flower corsages.
Made by Cleo's Cat Collar + Flower Set are available in a variety of configurations. You can choose breakaway or non-breakaway plastic buckles, gold or silver hardware, and three different sizes—from 6 to 10 inches for kittens all the way up to 12 to 16 inches for extra large cats. The felted rose flowers (a poinsettia design is also available for holiday looks) come in 15 different colors and two different sizes. The flower includes two green leaves in its design and is held on with an elastic loop, making it easy to remove.
Each collar is made in the U.S., shipping from Austin, Texas and includes a bell on a ring that can also hold identification tags. With more than 400 style combinations to choose from representing holidays, seasons and fun color patterns, the hardest part will be deciding which one to put on your cat first.
Best Luxury: Sambboho Cat Collar
Leather band and metal buckle
1-year replacement guarantee if the product breaks under normal wear and tear
Buckle uses holes, limiting adjustability
Splurge on your cat's birthday, or just because, with a cat collar unlike any other. The Sambboho Cat Collar is handcrafted in Brazil by women artisans. Each is decorated with Slovakian glass beads that are triple stitched to the collar and never glued—a beading technique that takes an average of 12 hours per collar, but gives the beaded pattern a reliable durability. The underlying collar is leather treated with beeswax.
Sambboho products are manufactured according to fair trade criteria and 10 percent of the profits are donated to no-kill shelters in the United States. The Sambboho Cat Collar is available in three sizes: small (6 to 7-inch neck), medium (7.75 to 9 inches) and large (9.75 to 11 inches).
We like the LupinePet Safety Cat Collar (view at Amazon) for everyday wear because it’s available in a range of patterns and comes with an incredible lifetime guarantee. For special occasions or to up your style points, choose from among hundreds of designs in the Made by Cleo Cat Collar and Flower Set collection (view at Etsy). The beautiful felt flowers are perfectly paired with elegant prints that will make any day feel extra special.
What to Look for in Cat Collars
Getting the right fit is important so the collar won’t fall off and get lost during play, or cause discomfort or injury if too tight. Most collars are adjustable, with either a sliding buckle or multiple punched holes for different neck sizes. Check the fit frequently, especially for kittens, as they grow quickly in the early months of life. Glover recommends ensuring that you can fit two fingers between the collar and your cat when adjusting for length.
You can measure your cat’s neck with a fabric measuring tape, or use a strip of paper to get the right fit and then lay it flat on a ruler.
Cat collars are available in a wide range of materials, including cotton, hemp, wool, leather, polyester, nylon, and other synthetic options. Each has advantages and disadvantages in durability, flexibility, comfort, adjustability, and ease of cleaning. For example, some cats are irritated by polyester or nylon collars, which can lead to durability issues when cats scratch at them.
While some collars made from synthetic materials use recycled sources, opting for organic cotton or hemp means that your collar can more fully biodegrade once you're done with it, rather than lingering in a landfill.
If your kitty spends time roaming outdoors after dark, consider a collar with reflective materials so they’ll be seen by cars and cyclists. For still growing kittens, a collar that’s easily washed and can be adjusted over a wide size range will have the longest life.
A product can be offered very cheaply and on a global scale, but that convenience sometimes comes at the expense and/or exploitation of a company’s workers. Whenever possible, spend your hard earned dollars with companies that pay their workers a living wage, provide a safe working environment and give back to the communities that help them grow and succeed. The term “fair trade” often encompasses these ideals.
Some third party organizations independently verify and certify fair trade practices so look for mention and/or seals on company packaging and websites, such as Fair for Life. However, be aware that some organizations have limitations while others simply issue certifications in exchange for membership fees so it’s important to do your research if you really want to shop fair trade.
Check out the “About” section of a company’s website for clues to their environmental and social responsibility. That’s where they’ll often list fair trade practices and any third party certifications as well as charitable programs in which they participate such as 1% for the Planet. Many pet supply manufacturers donate some of their products or financial support to animal shelters and hospitals. Whenever possible, choose companies and manufacturers that mirror your own environmental and social ethics.
Does putting a bell on my cat’s collar stop them from killing birds and other wildlife?
“Putting a bell on our cat’s collar can significantly reduce the amount of prey it catches,” says Glover. “Birds and mice can hear the bell ring from a distance and go away before your cat attacks.”
Studies have shown that belling a cat can decrease the amount of prey they catch by almost 50 percent.
But you also need to be sure the bell isn’t harming your cat. Cats that are prone to anxiety or fearfulness may be frightened by the additional noise so make sure your cat seems relaxed when you first introduce the bell. Or consider a separate accessory, like the Birdsbesafe Collar Cover, which can further warn birds about your cat's approach.
Some of the most clever kitties will find ways to remove the bell, prevent it from ringing, or alter their hunting style to account for it. But that is rare.
Make sure the volume of the bell isn’t too loud as its proximity to your cat's ears can interfere with their hearing.
Are collars bad for cats?
“If you decide to put a collar on your cat, you also have to take full responsibility for your cat’s comfort and check the collar tightness regularly to loosen the collar in time,” says Glover. “There were many cases of cat owners forgetting to loosen their cat’s collars that led to serious wounds.”
Breakaway collars are recommended for cats that spend time outside, especially if they're not being watched by their owners. Non-breakaway collars have the potential to get caught on branches or fences, preventing the cat from escaping and returning home.
Should indoor cats wear collars?
You never know when your indoor cat could accidentally get outside. Whether a visitor leaves the door ajar, a screen falls off a window, or your kitty makes a break for it as you’re heading out, some form of identification is important. “All cats should wear collars with owner information,” urges Glover. “It will tell a person who finds your runaway cat that it’s not stray and has to be returned to you.”
What information should I put on a cat’s collar or tag?
Most collars come with the ability to attach some sort of tag. At a minimum include a cell phone number you check regularly. A name on the tag will also come in handy if you ever need to put out a call on a poster or social media for your missing feline friend. Additional options to consider including are your address, any medical needs or allergies your pet might have, and if they have a microchip.
Why Trust The Spruce Pets?
This piece was written by Lorraine Wilde who has had at least two cat companions in her home for the past 35 years including some special needs kitties. Two of her cats lived happily and healthily into their early 20s.
When researching each product and brand, Lorraine evaluated the type and quality of each product, customer reviews, the company’s research and development and their business ethics.
Lorraine also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in environmental science. She is a firm believer that consumers can make healthy, informed and environmentally-conscious choices to protect their pets and our planet.
Nora Glover has been a cat care and training expert of more than 29 years. She is also the founder, editor-in-chief and lead author of the cat care blog Catademy.com. She has been an avid cat parent since her 6th birthday. Glover is working to earn her feline veterinarian certificate so she can open her own cat rescue center.