I have a very strictly indoor cat, that has tried to dart outside a couple of times and sometimes succeeded, only making it to the edge of our patio before we caught him. My absolute worst nightmare is him getting lost. We have him microchipped and stamped. Should we have an ID tag on a collar for him too? If so, how can I get him warmed up to the idea of having a collar? He has been neutered.

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    Just my opinion, but I would put a collar on any of my pets... cat or dog. What if someone finds your lost cat and decides to adopt it and never takes it to the vet. Better safe than sorry! Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 0:55

5 Answers 5


Yes, you should put an orange collar on your strictly-indoor cat to mark him as an escaped convict. Check out The Kitty Convict Project

While having your kitty micro chipped is awesome, many lost kitties never get reported or brought in to the shelter to be scanned as outdoor cats are so common. While this project is still catching on, the orange collar will help indicate that your kitty isn't supposed to be outside. You can even add small tags or embroidery on the collar so your neighbors can return her without having to go get his chip scanned.

If you do decide to get her a collar, please ensure it's a breakaway safety collar.

  • Interesting concept, but the number of cat owners who know about it is vanishingly small and the number of non-cat-people is negligible. Nothing wrong with trying it, nothing wrong with publicising, but I don't expect it to do any good until you sell the SPCA organizations on the idea so there can be a real national campaign.
    – keshlam
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 20:51
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    Getting people to just start doing it is a start :)
    – Kwuz
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 21:04
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    Sorry keshlam, but if we don't let people know about it, then it won't catch on. Once we start doing it, other people will be like "why do so many cats have orange collars?" Then maybe the SPCA will catch on! I have also seen this featured in Catster (formerly Cat Fancy) which is a popular cat magazine. So it is catching on more than you think it is. Commented May 23, 2016 at 21:59
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    If you're getting a colar anyway, it might as well be orange. Also I report as at least one person who learned about it here and is getting an orange one now
    – Christian
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 12:25

You have a microchip, so presumably you live in a part of the world were it is reasonable to expect a lost cat will be scanned, by either the local vet or rescue. Only you can decide if a collar is appropriate for your cat.

Putting a collar on a cat has risks. see Collar Hazards & Cat Collar Injury (a couple random picks from google there are lots more)

Cats are territorial and not likely to run off and get lost ref, Dogs on the other hand do get lost and a collar can help them find a ride home.

Personally I think, the risks of adding a collar to cat who is always indoors and micro chipped are greater then the risk of the cat getting lost and not finding a ride home.

You don't say if your cat has been altered. If he is not neutered, I would get that done which should decrease the desire to go out. If spay/neuter alone does not alter the behavior I would look for other ways to modify the desire. An indoor house pet (of any species) who suddenly finds themselves outside alone, is going to have significantly more dangers then just finding their way home.

  • Old-style collars are a definite no-no, but the modern "safety" collars that come apart when pulled on too hard are fine. I use the two-finger rule (being able to easily slip 2 fingers under the collars) as the sizing guide.
    – tgharold
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 13:59
  • My experience with the safety collars is that they get lost easily. I have two indoor-outdoor cats and tried to put collars with name tags on both of them. They usually only lasted a few days before the cats would get them off and manage to lose them. I eventually gave up on collars.
    – jalynn2
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 19:27
  • Seconded, I have 3 identical black cats, and I have lost track of how many safety collars they have lost around my village in the past year... They are currently collarless after losing their last set within 24 hours of me buying them :/ It can get expensive, but I would still recommend the safety collars because at the very least it does the job of preventing them from getting stuck somewhere.
    – Piper
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 21:17

We have tried putting harnesses on our cats, then immediately taking them outside on a lead.

That way they are excited about getting to see what's out there and not really paying any attention to lead/harness.

After a couple of minutes, we bring them back in and take their leads off, leaving them with their harnesses on for extended periods of time so that they can get used to them

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    Sounds good. It also builds the lesson "no outside without harness", which is a good idea. My previous cat understood that rule about collars. (Current set are well-behaved indoor cats; I haven't tested but they might be trustable with an open door.)
    – keshlam
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 11:53
  • This is great, but doesn't really answer my question. I want to know if I should put the collar on in the first place, what benefits does this have? Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 22:00

I'd try initially applying the collar during an extended petting session, while the cat is effectively sedated... Just tried an around-the-neck grip on both of mine, who are curled up on me, and I think I could get away with it as long as I continued the massage thereafter. Not sure how they would react upon waking, though further distracting with a treat might distract them long enough to get past the initial surprise.

Then again, I've always deliberately gotten cats used to having paws handled and similar indignities precisely so they'll trust me on other things.


Personal opinion really is the answer to this question, but you have done the responsible thing and had the cat microchipped, which would be the first thing a vet or rescue centre would check. I have worked in a rescue centre for a number of years, and have seen some horrific injuries sustained to cats because of collars, ranging from dislocated forelimbs, split open armpits, jaw injuries and fatalities. I personally do not agree with using them, as these risks, though small, can have severe consequences for the cat in an accident, yet a microchip will always be looked for if the cat is found as lost.

I always advise people if they choose to put a collar on their cat to go for a loose 'quick release' buckled collar, so if any kind of accident occurs, the collar will simply snap off if the cat struggles, keeping it safe.

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    Wow, I did not know that collars could do that to a cat. Commented Apr 16, 2016 at 2:01
  • It's obviously a very rare event, but can be pretty nasty. Commented Apr 16, 2016 at 15:55

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