Finding the right piece of neckwear for your kitty is a hard enough process. Then you have to get it to fit on her just right, all while making her to hold perfectly still. The proper fit is essential for her safety though, so take your time getting it on.
When Ruby’s collar is in place and secure, you should be able to comfortably slip one or two fingers between the collar and the back of her neck. It might take a couple tries to adjust her collar to just the right fit, but leaving it too loose or too snug can lead to problems.
When It’s Too Loose
If Ruby’s collar dangles freely from her body, like a necklace, she’ll be more apt to get things stuck in it. While she’s scratching her head, she can easily get one of her paws trapped in the collar, leaving her with only three free limbs to walk on. She could also wind up stuck to something -- blinds, a prickly bush or edge of the wicker furniture -- if she quickly rubs past it while chasing a toy. Some felines even get their lower jaw stuck in the collar while eating or drinking.
Collars That Are Too Tight
A collar that is too snug is equally as dangerous. When her collar is overly tightened, your cat could have a hard time swallowing or breathing, since the neckwear binds down on her throat. Over time, the abrasiveness of the collar can also lead to fur loss and open wounds on her neck.
Flea collars are in a whole different category of collars that are designed to treat and prevent critter outbreaks, although they still follow the same fitting guidelines. Typically flea collars come in a one-size-fits-all length. You’re going to have to put it on Ruby and size it, leaving enough space for a finger or two between the collar and her neck. Once you get the right fit, make a mark on the excess length hanging off, letting you know where to trim it away. Remove the collar and cut off the end at the line you drew. Then you’ll be able to once again, slip the collar on her and make sure it fits. Because flea collars are lined with chemicals, you’ll have to wash your hands thoroughly after handling them. You’ll also need to check Ruby’s neck daily to make sure she doesn’t have any kind of reaction to the flea medication.
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.