WWYD? Indoor animals and collars - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 09-09-2005, 12:27 AM - Thread Starter
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We have two indoor-only cats and we live on the third floor of a six-flat. Through the front door, if the cats were to go out our apartment door, they would be in the stairwell and at the bottom is a door, a vestibule, and another door to the outside. Through the back door, they would free access to outside, via our porch (down the porch stairs and into the yard). I am wondering if we should put collars on our cats even though they are not allowed outside and have never actually escaped to the outside. The one is actually afraid of getting too close the doors and I would doubt she'd ever try to leave. But the other has taken to going into the front hallway when the door is open for a minute or two and the other day our neighbor knocked on our door, cat in hand, saying she had found her going up and down the stairs. As there are two doors at the bottom that remain closed at all times, I'm not too worried, but her newfound interest in getting out scares me a bit. I just keep thinking that if she ever were to get out, if she had a collar with our phone number she might be returned quickly and if not, who knows (she is microchipped, but that means she'd have to be turned into a shelter).

Anyway, who has collars on their indoor-only cats? Is it a good idea or am I too worried? I ask because no one I know has collars on their cats that do not go outside (and in the city, almost no one lets their cats roam).
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#2 of 14 Old 09-09-2005, 09:40 AM
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I have one indoor cat and one who goes out. Neither one wears a collar. Our indoor cat, like yours, is afraid to even go near the open door. (She was rescued from a box in a city parking lot, don't know if something there scared her of the outdoors or what, but she knows the life for her is indoors on a nice soft sofa!)

Our cat who goes out does not wear a collar because of a fright we had with a cat when I was a child. The cat had gotten outside and got hung up on a shrub's branch by its collar. Probably not an everyday occurance, but scared me enough to think that a collar is not a good idea. Also, our outdoor-exploring cat stays in the neighborhood and knows her way around, so getting lost isn't a risk.

I don't think there's any one answer here--depends on how likely your cat is to get out, and then how likely it is to get lost, and how likely it is to allow a stranger to approach it to even SEE the tags, yk?

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#3 of 14 Old 09-09-2005, 09:47 AM
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Our indoor cat does not have a collar. However our last cat had a breakaway collar so that scary stories like Joan's are less likely to occur. If kitty gets the collar stuck on something, it will just pull off when the cat tugs. Obviously then the cat is collarless and you are then back to the original question. I do think it is a good idea though.
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#4 of 14 Old 09-09-2005, 10:34 AM
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My indoor-only cats have collars, though it can be a struggle to keep them on. One of my cats got outside and was missing for a few days earlier this year and did not have a collar on at the time. They asked if he had a collar when I went to the animal shelter and when I said no, the guy told me "I've been called out to pick up stray cats many times, but I've never been called out to get the body of a cat hanging from a tree by its collar."

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#5 of 14 Old 09-09-2005, 10:41 AM
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My indoor only cat is collared. He is microchipped too. If he got out and wasn't eaten by a coyote/fox/cougar, I would hope someone would call the number on his collar.

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#6 of 14 Old 09-09-2005, 01:00 PM
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Our cats are microchipped and have detachable collars (in case they get out and get stuck on a fence or something, the collar will detach so they dont strangle themselves) just in case, I figure even if a stranger cant get close enough to see the tags they will know its a pet and not a stray..
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#7 of 14 Old 09-09-2005, 03:46 PM
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Feel free to do the collars. I never did..but one thing about cats is mostly they come back if they are fixed. So the cat would most likely come back before it would allow someone to catch it to read the tag. So hopefully that will help with any worries if they get out uncollared.

You will want a detachable one tho..since cats love to jump everywhere and can get it caught.

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#8 of 14 Old 09-09-2005, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
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thank you for your opinions!

I do know about breakaway collars, so I would obviously use one of those. It's highly unlikely. I guess I'm thinking more if we have a house with more immediate access to the outside. They are both spayed, though, and as one poster said, would most likely come back. I just worry. But I know they wouldn't be happy about wearing collars.

I'll just have to think it over.
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#9 of 14 Old 09-09-2005, 11:34 PM
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Our indoor cats are microchipped AND wear collars with ID tags. You just never know what might happen. I would be heartbroken if they got out, were found, and weren't returned to me because they didn't have ID....
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#10 of 14 Old 09-09-2005, 11:53 PM
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O.k., this is just my experience and opinion. If you have cat that will wear the collar, it is worth having them wear one, especially if they express interest in escaping.

In '97 we moved to the East Coast and took our cat with us. We lived in a 2nd floor apartment that had a similar door situation as you described. She had been an indoor/outdoor cat over the course of her life, but had been an indoor cat for us, as we have always lived in the city. In this apartment building, cat had to get out our door, through the end hall door (usually open), down the stairwell and out the front door that was always locked. Well, she succeeded twice in getting outside. The first time, she came back after a few days. Likely, she didn't go far and it just took me a couple of days to spot her and catch her. I should have collared her then, but didn't. The 2nd time however, she wandered about five miles away into the next community over. She nipped a girl who was feeding her and was picked up by the pound. We searched everywhere for her, and reported it to the local pound. They never called us. However, she was picked up (as I mentioned). DH caught a lucky break and found her in the "bite" room about a week after she disappeared and a few days before she would have been euthenized. It ended well, but it was heartbreaking to think that we had lost her and could have prevented much of the trouble by collaring her.

My current cat (a different one) will not wear a collar. He makes a break for it frequently, but has only succeeded in getting outsde unnoticed once. I found him sitting his fat 14# butt on my front poarch when I got home. If I could keep a collar on him, I would.

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#11 of 14 Old 09-10-2005, 10:07 AM
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I've never had a problem with a cat wearing a collar... I've fostered over 300 cats in my lifetime and every one of them wore collars without a problem.
My three cats are exclusively indoors... would probably die of sheer terror if they got out, but they still wear collars with two tags (ID and the county) on them and they're microshipped. Two of them (the ones from the SPCA) are tatooed as well. Yeah, they're overly identified, but oh well.
Rosie put up a fight for the collar at first, but we didn't take it off. After about 2 days of her going haywire and biting at her shoulder and trying to "back out" of the collar, she gave up, and that was 2 years ago.
One of my cats (Schboogie) wears her bell too... she likes the bell for some reason... we tried a collar without the bell once and she hated it, but with the bell, she's happy.
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#12 of 14 Old 09-14-2005, 12:44 PM
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Collars on cats are genarally not recommended by most veterinarians. If you feel you must, get a safety breakaway collar. I have personally seen a very bad collar injury on a cat. She got a front leg through the collar, had been that way for a while, and it cut deep into her armpit. I had a vet tell me that collar accidents, even deaths are not uncommon in cats. The microchip is the best ID. Most shelters and vet clinics have a scanner.

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#13 of 14 Old 09-19-2005, 04:09 PM
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We used breakaway collars with ID tags on our indoor cats. They went out to go to the vet, sometimes people would open the door too long and one would run out, etc. And later (when I was nine months pregnant and tired of cleaning up cat vomit off my carpeting every day) they got dual citizenship (indoor/outdoor). I like that someone who finds my cat could call me - instead of taking her to the shelter and going through all that (for the person and for the cat).
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#14 of 14 Old 09-19-2005, 04:15 PM
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My vet recommended a breakaway collar with an id tag for our indoor cat.

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