Breakaway Cat Collars: Why They Are The Best And Safest Choice

Note: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for purchases using the links in this post. There is no extra cost to you and it helps me provide this information for free!

When picking a collar for your cat, it can be overwhelming to try to wade through all the options. While the pattern and style of the collar may seem like a top consideration, I encourage you to make your top priority finding a breakaway cat collar. They are the safest choice you can make and it isn’t worth the risk to your cat to get another style.

Types Of Cat Collars

Cat collars come in various types, each serving a different purpose. From basic identification to specialized GPS tracking collars, the options are vast. They may be held on using a clasp, velcro, a button, or even tied on. However, among these options, breakaway clasp collars stand out for their unique design.

A white with gray spots cat against a blue background. The cat has a blue collar.
A clip collar that may or may not be a breakaway collar. Some similar clasps breakaway while others do not. Photo by Jair Hernandez.

Why Your Cat Need A Breakaway Collar

Breakaway collars are specifically designed with your cat’s safety in mind. Cats are known for their curious and agile nature, often exploring nooks and crannies that can pose potential risks. Cats can leap up high in your home and onto your counters. When they jump back down to the floor, their collar may get caught on a drawer handle. If you allow your cat outdoor access, they could get their collar stuck on a branch.

A breakaway collar is designed to release when pressure is applied, preventing your cat from getting stuck or injured in various situations. While it may seem like this isn’t a great feature as the collar could slip off even at home, it’s much safer than the alternative Your cat could be choked or seriously injured if they get stuck by their collar. It’s a terrible way for your cat to go and will leave you without your precious cat.

The Problem With Stretchy Collars

While stretchy or elastic collars might seem like a comfortable option for your cat, they can pose risks. Cats can easily get their legs or mouth caught in the collar, leading to potential injuries. Moreover, a stretchy collar might not break away in certain situations, increasing the risk of your cat getting stuck. In other situations, the collar may suspend your cat by the neck or injure your cat as it violently slides up over their chin. That’s not that much safer than a non-breakaway collar!

How To Tell If You Have A Breakaway Cat Collar

Identifying a breakaway collar is relatively simple. These collars typically have a quick-release buckle or a specific breakaway clasp. You can check the collar’s packaging or product description to ensure it is designed to release under pressure. You can also see how easily the collar comes apart by pulling on it yourself while holding onto it.

If it comes off relatively easily, you may have a breakaway collar. A high-quality and safe breakaway cat collar should have a quick release mechanism so it shouldn’t take long to come undone with adequate pressure. If it takes too much effort or doesn’t come undone at all, it probably doesn’t have a breakaway mechanism.

When in doubt, consult with your local pet store or veterinarian for guidance. They may be able to point you in the direction of a high-quality breakaway cat collar.

Alternatives To Collars For Cats

While breakaway cat collars are safer, there’s still a chance they may malfunction and not break away. Some cats may not like collars at all. If your cat is not comfortable with a collar or you’re looking for alternatives, consider options like microchipping or harnesses. Microchipping provides a permanent form of identification, while harnesses offer a secure way to take your cat outdoors without the potential risks associated with collars.

Actually, microchipping is associated with the highest rate of having your cat return home after getting lost. Regardless of if your are using a harness or a breakaway cat collar, get your cat microchipped. You won’t regret it!

An orange and white cat sits on a brick path. They have a breakaway collar and name tag on.
Chips and clips go hand in hand! Photo by Lloyd Dirks.

Prioritizing your cat’s safety when choosing a collar is essential. Opting for a breakaway cat collar ensures that your feline friend can explore their surroundings without unnecessary risks. The safety and well-being of your cat should always be the top priority in selecting any accessory or equipment. Skip the cute but dangerous collar and go for one that will prevent your cat from having an unnecessary injury.

Need help with your cat’s behavior?

Share on Social!

Picture of Joey Lusvardi

Joey Lusvardi

Joey Lusvardi CCBC is an IAABC Certified Cat Behavior Consultant and professional cat trainer based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He runs a behavior consultation and cat training service, Class Act Cats, where he helps cat parents address a variety of unwanted behaviors. Joey is available for in home sessions locally or virtual sessions wherever you are located!