Do Collars on Cats Make Them Lose Their Hair on the Backs of Their Necks?

"This collar totally clashes with my eyes."

"This collar totally clashes with my eyes."

If your cat's baldness is limited to just where her collar meets the back of her neck, it's possible her collar doesn’t properly fit. Take the collar off and leave her indoors for a while. If the collar was the cause, her hair should grow back with time.

Fitting Too Snug

If Mia’s collar is too tight around her neck, every time she turns her head, scratches her neck or stretches out after a snooze, that snug-fitting collar rubs her skin. It winds up becoming abrasive, making your purring pal’s skin turn red, flaky and listless. Over time, dry and irritated skin from a tight collar can cause her hair to fall out.

Flea Collars

Flea collars are full of harsh chemicals that can aggravate Mia’s sensitive skin. If you leave a flea collar on her for too long, the fur around her neck could start to fall out as her skin becomes more and more irritated, according to the Feline Advisory Bureau. You can prevent fur loss from occurring by getting a recommendation from your veterinarian for a spot treatment instead. But if you decide a flea collar is best for your particular situation, check it regularly to ensure it isn’t leading to adverse effects.

The Reality

Sometimes cats’ collars can get stuck in shrubbery, or their paws can get caught up in the collar while they’re grooming. These problems aren’t common; the benefits of keeping a collar on your cat at all times far outweigh such risks. When you put a collar and an identification tag on your kitty, it’s like giving her a ticket home in case she ever slips out the door accidentally. The Humane Society of the United States recommends leaving collars and ID tags on all of your pets at all times, even if they’re also microchipped.

Proper Fit

Because you’ll ideally keep your fluffy friend collared at all times, check her collar daily to make sure it isn’t too tight. Her collar should be taut enough so she can’t slip out of it but not so tight that it binds against her skin. You should be able to slip one or two fingers between the collar and the neck once it’s in place, the Feline Advisory Bureau says.

Considerations

You might want to invest in a breakaway collar, which has clasps that pull apart when Mia applies pressure. So if her collar snags on the blinds while she’s parading along the back of the sofa, she'll work herself free without harm. Check her neck every night for early warning signs of abrasion -- like missing fur or redness. If she has an open wound at the bald spot or if it isn’t healing right, take her in for a checkup right away. Fur loss isn't necessarily caused by her collar. Allergies, hyperthyroidism and even fungal conditions like ringworm can cause fur loss around the neck and surrounding areas.

 

About the Author

Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.

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