Should My Indoor Cat Wear ID Tags?

CatChannel expert Jeanne Adlon, professional cat sitter, discusses reasons for all cats to wear collars and ID tags.

By Jeanne Adlon | Posted: Feb. 13, 2009, 3 a.m. EST

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Q: Should my indoor cats have collars and ID tags?

A: I am a firm believer in giving your cat a fighting chance to be returned home if for some reason she gets lost, or she’s an indoor cat and unexpectedly bolts out the door. However, you have to make sure whatever you put on your cat is safe, practical and comfortable.

I remember meeting a new client to go over the details for the care of Buddy, a lovely gray tabby, who was also female. I noticed Buddy was wearing a cat harness. When I asked why, I was told she had access to an outdoor garden and the harness was put on to tell her apart from the other cats who played there. However, when I petted Buddy, I could feel the harness was tight — very tight. It seems the harness was on Buddy at all times and she had gained weight since being strapped into it.

Though her owner had observed Buddy scratching at the harness repeatedly, she thought it was probably fleas. I assured her the harness had to come off. Unfortunately, we could not even unbuckle it — there wasn’t a millimeter of spare space, poor kitty. We eventually had to cut it off, and you never saw a happier harness-free cat leap across the room.

Whether you have indoor or outdoor cats, I suggest getting them a breakaway collar and definitely attach an ID tag to it. Only a small percentage of lost cats ever get returned home and it only takes one time for your cat to run out the door for you to say,"He’s never done that before!” Also, I feel that a harness is best only when taking a cat out on a leash — and we all know how often that is! Make sure you periodically check collars for comfort and wear and tear. You will rest easier knowing your kitty can be identified, just in case.

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Should My Indoor Cat Wear ID Tags?

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Reader Comments

Teresa    Milton, ON

2/9/2013 8:01:01 PM

My two cats do wear collars and tags. I hope they never get out but if they do I hope that would be enough to get them back home..

karen    CBS, NL

10/21/2011 10:30:13 AM

this is definaltey a great idea for indoor cats. they have to be protected too. for sure.

KIMBERLY A.    WAPPINGERS FALLS, NY

12/18/2010 11:38:06 AM

DEFINATELY!!! I AGREE WITH THE AUTHOR. I HAVE 5 INDOOR ONLY CATS. SOME HAVEN'T BEEN OUTSIDE EXCEPT TO GO THE VET SINCE I RESCUED THEM. ONE OF THEM 9 YEARS AGO, BUT SHE STILL LOOKS AT THE FRONT DOOR AND YES IT ONLY TAKES ONE TIME OF HER GETTING OUT THE FRONT DOOR TO POSSIBLY LOOSE HER FOREVER. A BREAK-AWAY COLLAR WITH AN ID TAG IS ESSENTIAL (MOSTLY FOR MY PIECE OF MIND, WHICH MAKES A ME HAPPY CAT MOM). I DID RESEARCH ON TAGS AND WANTED ONE THAT COULD HAVE AS MANY LINES AS POSSIBLE BOTH FRONT AND BACK. I FOUND ONE ON BOMMERANGTAG.COM. IT FITS 5 LINES BOTH FRONT AND BACK ON A STRONG METAL (NOT TIN) TAG. I WROTE "WELL-LOVED INDOOR CAT ONLY. PLEASE RETURN." ALSO MY NAME, HER NAME, ADDRESS, ETC. I RUN A CAT RESCUE AND STRONGLY ADVISE MY NEW ADOPTIVE FAMILIES TO DO SO TOO.

blank    blank, TN

2/17/2009 2:47:54 PM

I keep ID tags and microchips on all of my cats. They are outdoor kitties, and I want to protect them in every way I can without putting their happiness at stake. I can't imagine why someone wouldn't put ID tags/microchip on their cats, it could save the life of your pet someday.

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