There’s a good chance you have an indoor cat and might not have seen the need to buy a collar for him. After all, if he’s in all the time, why bother?

Unfortunately, there’s a chance your cat can sneak out of the house at any time. If your cat is out and about without a collar, the possibility of him becoming lost increases substantially. If you have an outdoor feline, then the case for a cat collar is even stronger.

Buying a collar for your cat means you can equip her with ID tags complete with your contact information. Cats who wear collars are more likely to be found, and then returned home; those without collars get mistaken for strays more often than not.

It’s also a sensible idea to microchip your cat for some additional peace of mind. Most importantly of all, medical ID tags attach to collars and let a potential rescuer know about a cat’s specific health needs. This fact may even save her life.

Read on to learn about what to look for in a collar, and some tips for using them safely. We’ve also included reviews of our top picks for the year.

Our Top Picks: Summary

Best Overall: ROGZ Catz Breakaway Collar
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ROGZ Cat Collar

It features a breakaway load buckle that brilliantly allows you to adjust the setting based on the weight of your cat.

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$12.95 USD

Why we Picked It

The ROGZ Catz collar is our favorite overall cat collar this year.

It features a breakaway load buckle that brilliantly allows you to adjust the setting based on the weight of your cat. Depending on how large or small your cat is, the collar ensures that your furry friend won’t get in a sticky situation and breaks away if it’s under too much strain.

The wide collar adjusts for neck circumferences of 8-12″, so getting the right fit shouldn’t be a problem either. The collar even comes with a removable bell so you can choose whether you want to warn your feline’s prey or not.

We’re also pleased to say the ROGZ Catz is reflective—it’s made from a high-grade nylon webbing for increased visibility when your cat needs it the most.

It comes in 6 colors, so you aren’t short for choice.

Keep in Mind

Some customers would have liked the bell on the collar to be a bit louder.

In a Nutshell

  • Breakaway load buckle
  • Reflective and durable
  • Adjusts for different necks
Best Novelty: PetSoKoo Bow Tie Cat Collar
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PetSoKoo Cat Collar

With a delicate bowknot complete with a golden bell and fishbone charm, it unquestionably stands out from the rest.

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$30.00 USD

Why we Picked It

Well, if this isn’t the most attractive cat collar of the year, we don’t know what is. Yes, the PetSoKoo bow tie collar is all about the looks—rather smart indeed.

With a delicate bowknot complete with a golden bell and fishbone charm, it unquestionably stands out from the rest. In fact, most collars look positively dull compared!

Made from 100% cotton, this is a lightweight and hypo-allergenic collar that will feel soft and comfortable for your cat.

Featuring a breakaway buckle, the PetSoKoo ensures your pet is safe in a variety of situations and will open when enough pressure is applied.

We also love the adjustable size to fit your cat’s neck, which is suitable for both very young kittens to fully grown adult cats.

Keep in Mind

Some customers would have preferred a more comprehensive range of colors, so just be aware of that if you had something specific in mind.

In a Nutshell

  • Elegant design
  • Breakaway buckle
  • Adjustable size
Best Breakaway: Blueberry Pet Breakaway Cat Collar
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Blueberry Cat Collar

We were impressed with the breakaway buckle which assures your cat remains comfortable and safe.

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$14.99 USD

Why we Picked It

The Blueberry Pet is our top choice for the best breakaway cat collar.

We were impressed with the breakaway buckle on each, particularly the adjustability of them, which assures your cat remains comfortable and safe. The collars are adjustable to lengths between 9 and 13 inches, which should fit most cats with relative ease.

They also feature a durable high-density polyester webbing, and they are easy to take care of so you can keep up your cat’s appearance, no matter the occasion. The collars come in a two-pack, so you always have a backup. They’re also available in a variety of designs and colors.

A limited lifetime warranty covers both of the Blueberry safety cat collars.

Keep in Mind

Some people have mentioned the material may fray with heavy scratching.

In a Nutshell

  • High-density polyester webbing
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Adjustable size
Best Flea Collar: Bayer Seresto Cat Flea Collar
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Bayer Cat Collar

It’ll protect your cat from fleas and ticks continuously for eight months.

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Why we Picked It

Our favorite flea collar this year is the Bayer Seresto. It’ll protect your cat from fleas and ticks continuously for eight months. The Seresto cat flea collar works by slowly releasing low concentrations of imidacloprid and flumethrin over your cat’s skin.

The real beauty is that this completely removes the need for messy treatments each month, and gets the job done without the hassle.

This cat collar is also easy to use, odorless, and it comes with a ratchet-release mechanism that will break when enough pressure is applied—allowing your cat to run free from his dubious situation.

The Bayer Seresto is vet recommended too and contains optional reflectors for added visibility at night—something we always like to see!

Keep in Mind

This isn’t the cheapest cat collar available, so keep that in mind if you’re on a budget.

In a Nutshell

  • Protects from fleas and ticks
  • Vet recommended
  • Optional reflectors

How We Chose the Best Cat Collars

We looked at five main areas to decide the best cat collars. The material of the collar and the safety features it provides are a crucial part of our decision, as are the price and customer reviews.

Here’s everything we looked at in detail:

Material

We looked for cat collars that were durable, easy-to-clean, and comfortable. An excellent cat collar is one that strikes a deft balance between being sturdy and flexible at the same time. Weak materials, such as those that quickly lose threads or fall apart, didn’t make the list. These collars not only look bad, but they also increase the risk of danger for the cat wearing it. Cat collars should be comfortable enough to be worn even over long periods. They shouldn’t require more than a regular detergent to get them cleaned, either.

Safety

Safety features for collars are vital to ensure a cat doesn’t unnecessarily become trapped. We looked at collars with breakaway features that allow cats to escape and prevent them from choking. Essentially, these collars pop open and free the cat when there’s significant enough pressure. We also looked at cat collars with various fits to accommodate the full range of cats out there. Collars need to have reflective materials to help a cat stay seen and safe at night.

Various Needs

Different types of cats have different types of needs. That’s why we looked at an array of collars to account for them. For example, a cat may have the desire to wander off at night, so will the collar help keep them safe? Another cat may have a serious medical condition, so the collar will need to be able to make that clear. Other cats may lurk around in the dark and will remain very quiet—owners will have a better chance of hearing them if the collar features a bell. We take these various needs into account during our selection process.

Price

A good cat collar doesn’t need to cost much, and some of the best options shouldn’t break the bank. However, those cat collars with special features or ones that give off a designer look will cost more in most cases. We prioritize function over aesthetics, but we realize that this is an essential factor for some owners. That’s why we looked at collars that boost a cat’s style as well as those that provide key safety features.

Customer Reviews

Customers reviews are useful when used correctly. We ensure we look at a variety of different reviews to give us a broad consensus on how well a product lives up to its promises. When it comes to cat collars, we particularly look for those that have not broken down or where the material has quickly lost its threads. Other things we focus on are the customer service of the brand—did they resolve problems without fuss? Were they polite while doing so? We take all of this into account.

Does my Cat Need a Collar?

If you have an outdoor cat, then she needs a collar to reduce the risk of becoming lost—it’s imperative. With that said, there are various reasons why an indoor cat will probably also need a collar.

Here are the benefits of having a collar for your cat:

  • A cat without a collar will give off the impression of a stray or feral animal that doesn’t need someone to rescue her. On the other hand, a cat with a collar is a sign; it has a warm and loving home and may need help.
  • Outdoor cats are far less likely to get lost with dedicated ID tags that feature your address.
  • If a cat manages to sneak out of the house and has health issues, medical ID tags must be attached to their collar. For instance, if your cat needs medication or certain types of food—a medical ID can save his life.
  • Some owners want their cats to look fabulous at all times, and a collar will help to do that. Every cat has its style, so work with them to bring it out!

Cat owners may consider adding bells to the collars of outdoor felines. The addition of a bell will serve to scare away birds before a cat has the chance to go after them. However, it’s fair to say that cats are top predators, so realistically, while a bell will help to warn birds, it may not necessarily save them from their inevitable fate.

What to Consider When Choosing a Cat Collar

There are more things to consider when buying a cat collar than you might have first imagined, from the size of your cat to the design of the collar and how easy it is to clean.

Here’s what you need to consider:

Cat Size

The size of your cat determines the size of the collar you need. A properly fitted collar is crucial, so be sure to choose one that can be adjusted to match your particular cat. Most cat collars come in a variety of sizes that can be customized to ensure your furry friend can wear them.

It’s essential to measure your cat’s neck and then pick the size you think is closest to what they need. A good way of validating this: you should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your cat. Keep in mind that kittens need adjustable collars that will continue to fit them as they grow up.

Special Features

Think about your cat and what they need individually. For instance, there are cat collars that help to calm your furry friend, especially if they’re anxious and run away at the slightest sign of danger. These collars cleverly use a pheromone that mimics what mother cats produce to calm their kittens—these reduce stress, clawing, and other antisocial behaviors.

Flea collars are another example of a cat collar with unique features. Some of these collars emit a toxic gas that kills fleas, although there is a risk of illness for your cat. The better option: other flea collars release and spread a substance throughout the layers of your cat’s skin—this kills fleas hiding almost anywhere on the body.

Topical treatments, like Frontline and Advantage, have decreased the popularity of flea collars.

Cleaning

When it comes to cleaning your cat’s collar, you want one that doesn’t take any more time than it should. Synthetic materials tend to be the best here, especially polyester webbing, which is easy to clean. The more a cat stays inside, generally, the less there is to clean. Think about how important it is for you that a cat collar is easy to clean, and factor that into the buying process.

Design

The design of a cat collar isn’t as crucial as some of the other considerations, but it’s fair to say that some owners desire their cats to be as chic as possible. The good news is that cat collars these days come in a wide variety of colors and different designs. One of our top picks, for example, is in the style of a bow tie and features a bell!

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by choice, but keep in mind the style you desire, and that will help to form a good starting point. The best option is to get a collar that looks as good as you want it to but doesn’t skimp on critical safety features.

Cat Collar Safety

Buying a collar is the first step to keeping your cat safe. The pros of doing so almost always outweigh the cons. That said, there are a few small risks involved.

To mitigate the potential danger of your cat wearing a collar, here are some hints and tips:

  • Be aware of the potential threat of a poorly-fitted collar, especially those made with elastic or featuring buckles that can only be unfastened by owners; otherwise, this can trap your cat.
  • Quick-release collars are always a safer option. These collars are reusable if successfully retrieved too, so keep that in mind.
  • Adding a bell may help the local bird population (and can add elegance to your cat!).
  • Collars should be checked regularly, fitted correctly, and should also feature a safety breakaway piece to prevent strangulation. Cat collars get caught more often than you might expect, so this is crucial.
  • Reflective collars make cats more visible for road users, certainly at dusk.
  • Microchipping pets adds additional safety—cats are no different, and it’s worth considering.

As with most things, accidents are sometimes unavoidable. Still, if you keep these safety tips in mind, then you shouldn’t go far wrong using a cat collar.

Related Resources

For more on pets, you can check out our other guides below:

Jamie Giggs