My cat Shiloh HATES his collar. When I adopted him I was told I need to keep a collar on him, even though I will never let him go outside (I was further informed that even though he is an indoor cat and never be outside, I could be fined $500 if he does not have a collar, Baltimore county). So I am wondering, is there anything I can do for him with his collar? He had a few times while trying to get it off, gotten it caught stuck with it in his mouth and paw stuck in his mouth trapped under the collar.
So my questions are:

  1. Is there something else I can do to help him be more comfortable with his collar?

  2. Is it true that my county (Baltimore county) has such a law?

I ask as I don't want my cat to hurt himself, and I also don't see the point of forcing him to wear it if I never let him out (he is microchipped just in case).

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    I think your second point would be better asked by calling Baltimore County. Even if we could answer the second point, not sure the answer would add any value to Pets.SE May 5, 2015 at 17:59
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    When I first put my girls collar on she got it stuck in her mouth a few times. It was when she'd wash her neck/chest she'd get her lower jaw under it and as she tried to lick down she'd get it stuck in her mouth. Once I made it smaller (I can get 2 fingers in it while it's around her neck but it's snug) it stopped being a problem. My mother's Tortie outgrew getting her paw/leg stuck through hers
    – SAM A
    Nov 2, 2018 at 8:19

2 Answers 2


As far as getting comfortable with the collar goes: Every cat initially hates collars. Think how you would feel if someone insisted you wear a necktie and you'd never seen one before ... "This is weird. It feels weird. Off!"

You could try standard training regimen, rewarding the cat every time you put the collar on and gradually lengthening the delay between collar and reward. Or you could take the traditional approach: cat wears collar until it gets used to the idea and stops complaining; get all the annoyance over at once but deal with a grumpy cat for a few days.

My previous cat knew that putting the collar on was an essential step in my letting her out of the house. ("You are not going out naked, young lady!") She didn't quite bring me the collar to request that she be allowed to explore, but she'd wait at an open door until the collar was on. Of course she was a siamese; meezers are generally easier to train because they care more about approval than most cats.

Note that you don't have to remove the collar indoors; many folks don't. O the other hand you don't need to let the cat roam outdoors; many folks don't. My current kids are allowed onto the screened porch (with permission) but that's as outdoors as they get.


It's not clear in your description if you are using a breakaway collar (one example). If not, definitely switch to that. Instead of getting stuck and waiting for you to free him, a breakaway collar would just fall off and you'd have to put it back on again when you found it (they end up in weird places, we use one to bell our youngest so he can't sneak up on the older cats).

Most breakaway collars are sold with bells, but you can remove the bell with a set of pliers if you don't want it.

From what I can tell, Baltimore County requires you to have your pets be licensed (number 3), but it doesn't say that license must be on a collar at all times. Additionally, neither the information page about licensing, nor the pdf form give any collar requirements.

Please don't take my word for it that there are no collar requirements, just that I couldn't find any documentation of them. I've also never heard of them (I live in southern Maryland, but I am aware of most of MD's unusual animal laws). Please call the animal control office to verify at 410-887-PAWS (7297).

  • Thanks for the number. I called and they confirm what you said. As long as he is inside he does not need it. Thanks again for the phone number.
    – mpop
    May 5, 2015 at 19:01

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