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Why Does My Cat Keep Losing His Collar? (Accident?)

If your cat keeps losing its collar you may be wondering why this keeps happening and what you can do about it…

Why Does My Cat Keep Losing His Collar?

Your cat most likely keeps losing his collar for two reasons. Either it snags on things in the environment and comes off, or he or she actively removes it. If your cat’s collar snags on things in the environment, this usually occurs when they pass by something or while they are playing. 

So, now you know. But, why would a cat purposely take off the collar? How can you prevent it from losing its collar? Do any cats like wearing collars? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

Why Does My Cat Actively Remove Its Collar?

Cat wearing a collar.

Cat wearing a collar.


If a cat actively removes its collar, this is usually because they are annoyed by it.

Although it may not be fun for you to be constantly tracking down your cat’s collar, it most often occurs for the other reasons, such as it snagging on something or a genuine accident. And many cat owners face this issue.

How Can You Prevent Your Cat From Losing Its Collar?

There are multiple strategies to prevent your cat from losing its collar, including getting a more streamlined collar, adjusting the tightness, and acclimating your cat to his collar.

If you get a soft and streamlined collar, your cat will be less likely to notice its collar or get it caught on things as it is close fitting to his or her body. Most pet stores sell collars that are designed for cats and will stay with them even with the most rambunctious of movements.

When you put a collar on your cat, make sure it is not too tight or too loose. If it is too loose, your cat may get caught on things more easily. If it is too tight, your cat may be annoyed by it, or potentially harm him or herself.

You may also try acclimating your cat to the collar slowly. Put it on for a few hours each day when you are present to supervise your cat. If he or she starts to try to remove it, distract them with a treat or attention.

Do Cats Like Wearing Collars?

Most cats do not like wearing collars at first and can find them annoying. Cats are sensitive creatures, and they may be disturbed by the presence of something new around their neck at all times.

However, acclimating your cat to a collar will reduce their dislike for it. Especially if you start at a young age, cats can grow used to wearing a collar and accept it as part of their life.

What Can Happen If Your Cat Has No Collar?

If your cat wears no collar, this increases the likelihood that they might run away and get lost. Personalized cat collars are a great way to show that your cat belongs to you. People often include the following information on a personalized cat collar:

  • The cat’s name
  • The owner’s contact information
  • The owner’s address
  • Medications or allergies the cat may need
  • The cat’s status as an indoor or outdoor cat

The above information will be extremely helpful if your cat becomes lost. If someone finds your cat, they can refer to the information on the collar and safely return him or her to you. Without it, you run the risk of your cat disappearing and not coming home.

What Can I Use Instead of a Cat Collar?

Many people choose to microchip their cats instead of putting a collar on them. Microchips are a device that is placed directly under your cat’s skin by a veterinarian and allows them to be identified if they are lost.

Although it does require a small procedure, microchips are noninvasive and most cats will not notice that they have one. If your cat hates wearing a collar but spends enough time outside that you worry about it running away, a microchip could be a good choice.

Why Does My Cat Keep Taking Off His Collar?

The most common reason why cats keep taking off their collars is that they are annoyed. They may not be used to wearing a collar, and they can find its presence bulky and limiting.

Additionally, if you have a tag on your cat’s collar, they may be irritated by the tag’s movement and presence. Cats are very active creatures, and they will try to get rid of anything that gets in the way of their physical movement. 

You can reduce your cat’s irritation by getting them a collar that fits properly, or taking steps to acclimate them to their collar. If you put a collar on your cat and leave it there without getting them accustomed, he or she will probably try to take it off.

Can a Cat Get Out of a Collar?

Cats can sometimes get out of collars, depending on how loose the collar is. If a cat finds that their collar is too loose, they can wiggle out of it, or potentially injure themselves trying to get it off. It is also easier for loose collars to get caught on something.

Make sure that your cat’s collar is snug, but not too tight. If a collar is too tight, your cat may choke. As a general rule, you should be able to fit two fingers under your cat’s collar to ensure that it fits well.

Is It OK If My Cat Doesn’t Wear a Collar?

Uncollared cat standing outdoors.

Un-collared cat standing outdoors.

Your cat should wear a collar unless he or she is microchipped. This is because they can easily run away and get lost, and with no collar, it will be hard for someone to identify them.

If you have an indoor cat, your cat is more likely to become scared or get lost if they do accidentally end up outside. Therefore, a collar is a must.

If you have an outdoor cat, he or she probably roams. If someone finds your cat and thinks they are stray, they will be reassured by the presence of a collar and know that it is typical for your pet to be outdoors.

Do Cats Get Used to Collars?

Cats can certainly get used to collars over time. Start by having your cat wear a collar for an hour or two at a time while you are there to supervise him or her. Then, slowly increase this time until they are comfortable wearing a collar for long stretches.

If you have recently adopted a kitten, get them used to collars from an early age. Habits introduced in youth will be more likely to stick with your cat.

It is important to never leave your cat unsupervised when you first put a collar on them. Make sure you are around at first to watch their behavior and know that they will not harm themselves and that the collar fits properly.

Additionally,  if you cannot get your cat to wear a collar no matter how much you try, this might be a sign that your cat should be microchipped instead.

Are Quick-Release Cat Collars Safe?

Quick-release cat collars are safe as they allow your cat to safely escape from its collar if it gets caught on something.

One risk of wearing a collar is that a cat may choke themselves if they get caught on something. Quick-release collars have built-in technologies that allow the collar to come undone if your cat becomes stuck.

Especially if your cat is new to wearing a collar or is a very active cat, a quick-release collar can be a great way to make sure that he or she stays safe.

Lindsey Browlingdon