Collars and Tags

ID tags provide a fast, reliable way to identify a lost pet. Learn why your cat should wear a collar with a tag.

Posted: Mon May 12 00:00:00 PDT 2003

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Cat with collarOne of the most common and least expensive ways to protect your cat is with a collar and an ID tag. It is also one of the most reliable and quickest ways to return a pet to its owner. Some shelters report that almost 90 percent of tagged animals are returned to owners.

Cat owners may think their pets won't wear collars, but the Humane Society of the United States assures that cats can become accustomed to collars. "An identification tag is a lost cat's ticket home. Every cat, even an indoor cat, should wear a collar with an ID tag to help it return home if it is lost. Many owners believe a collar can injure a cat. But a breakaway collar lets a cat escape if the collar becomes snagged," according to HSUS information.

Tags are available in pet stores, veterinary clinics and through mail-order companies and pet supply catalogs. You can send for or buy an application form, fill it out, mail it to the tag company and receive an engraved tag within days. Typical prices range from $6 to $20 depending on the material and the amount of information inscribed.

For cats that don't like to wear dangling tags, alternatives abound: thin rectangular brass tags that have slots in the metal allowing the tag to slip over and rest on top of the collar, plastic tubelike tags that slip over collars or tags with rivets that allow them to be hammered onto a leather or nylon collar. Nylon collars can be embroidered with your cat's name and your phone number. If your cat is an indoor pet, another useful piece of information to embroider on its collar or have inscribed on its tag is a statement such as "If I'm outside, I'm lost."

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Reader Comments

Vendetta    McMinnville, TN

5/24/2012 6:06:36 PM

I now have two cats that have both been strays. The first one I have had 7 years and she is declawed and never goes outdoors.When we travel with her we do put a collar and ID on. Our other wild one who just recently adopted us is about 2 years old and is strictly an outdoor cat. He is Black and has been abused. It took a long time just to get him to trust us as he always watched us from a field next door. Since I have spent a lot of money on him and dearly love him, I have tried two break away collars on him with the longest time he has had it on is two days. He loses them somehow. I know he gets into a lot of fights as he comes home all scratched up. The other day he came home with a toe missing on his back left paw. It broke my heart! He has a heated cat bed in our little shed with a pet door and all his food is in there. I have tried locking him in all night till morning but he howls and has a fit. Him and my other cat hate one another so I can't bring him in the house. I just know that had I had a regular collar on him instead of a break away he would have hung himself by now! He has been use to living on his own for over a year and is a hunter.

Michalle    Portland, OR

2/8/2012 10:04:03 AM

Collars and tags are very important. Microchipping is also very important,as collars can become lost.

Jenny    central, MN

2/4/2012 1:37:03 PM

My 8 month old Annabella likes to sneak outside. I am so glad I got a collar and ID tag just in case she goes too far. Thank you for this article.

Dana    Philadelphia, PA

1/5/2012 11:40:37 AM

All of my indoor cats have collars with updated information on them. If you live near a Walmart, you can get them made via a vending machine. They only cost 4 to 6 dollars each.

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