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Are Bell Collars Bad For Cats

Advantages Of Belled Cat Collars

There are some clear and undeniable advantages to fixing a cat with a belled collar. This is why these accessories are so popular.

Belled Collars Look Great

Aesthetics should never be at the forefront of your thinking with cats. Yes, felines are graceful and beautiful animals, but theyre still sentient beings with complex emotions. All the same, there is no harm in making your cat look pretty every once in a while.

A belled collar can be a striking accessory for any cat. Black cats, for example, could enjoy a flash of color with a bright collar. Alternatively, they could add two levels of safety when wandering at night. A belled collar with help a cat with dark fur being seen as well as heard.

Some Cats Enjoy the Sound of Bells

If you have a playful cat, a belled collar makes a wearable toy. Some cats, especially younger felines, love the sound of bells. This why small toys contain bells. They will be delighted that their every movement elicits a sound.

If your cat shows no interest in toys, a belled collar is unlikely to appeal. If the cat maintains a kitten-like enthusiasm for play, a belled collar may be a winner. Test if this will be the case by playing with your cat before a collar fitting.

Belled Collars Reveal Your Cats Whereabouts

A belled collar means that your cat will always be easy to locate. This could be beneficial to both feline and owner, for a number of reasons.

Belled Collars Protect Wild Birds

How Do I Get A Kitten Used To A Collar

The kitten may not like the collar at first, but with patience and persistence, you may educate it to accept it.

Choose a quiet time to introduce your cat to the collar. Youre going to have difficulty putting the collar on her if shes already anxious.

  • Place the collar on the ground first, so she may examine and play with it.
  • Spray with Feliway.
  • Another method is to gently wipe a facecloth over the cats lips and cheeks to pick up some of the cats fragrance, then rub the cloth over the collar to make it smell familiar. Rubbing the collar on the cats bedding may also be beneficial.

Once the collar is on, praise her with comforting words and plenty of goodies, and give her some time to become used to it before taking it off.

What About Bells On Cats’ Collars

Now that we’ve established that both indoor and outdoor cats should wear a collar and what type it should be, we’ve arrived at the question of whether or not a cat’s collars should carry a bell. Here are some of the reasons that a bell on a cat’s collar can be a good idea:

  • A bell can help you keep track of the whereabouts of a kitten in your home. Kittens can get into tiny little spaces, and it’s easy to lose track of where they are. A bell can help you keep tabs on your kitten, so you can be sure she’s safe.
  • In a multi-cat household, if one cat tends to bully the others, a bell on his collar can help warn meeker cats that he’s coming and give them time to leave the area and get away from him.
  • When cats go outdoors, a bell on the collar is often used to warn wildlife, especially birds, that there is a predator around. The problem is that cats are such good hunters that it’s been found that they can actually learn how to move without triggering the bell or so that it only makes a soft noise, so this particular benefit might not be all it’s cracked up to be. Not only that, but the bell might also let predators like coyotes or other, tougher cats know that your cat is around, putting him at risk.

Wearing a bell on his collar might irritate a sensitive cat because of its tingling noise every time he moves. It also might scare a timid cat and frighten him into freezing and avoiding moving around more than he absolutely has to.

Is Bell Harmful To Your Cat

8 July, 2020

We all know that cats are silent and independent animals. Most of the time we dont know where they are or what they are doing. For this reason, there are many people who place jingle bells on their cats collar. However, this practice could be harmful to the animal. In this article we talk a little more about this habit so that you are the one who decides if it is the best or not for your cat.

Red Dingo Circadelic Cat Collar

Breakaway Cat Collar Skull Print Safety Collars for Cats ...

Is your cat a rock n roller? They can always use more cat bell! They must have the Circadelic breakaway cat collar with bell. This washable nylon collar fits neck sizes 8 to 12.5 inches and is fine for kitties from 3 to 25 pounds. Tip: Check out Red Dingos other creative cat collar styles, such as snake eyes.

Should I Put A Bell On My Cats Collar Pros And Cons

To put or not to put, that is the question. In our last article, we discuss whether or not you should put a collar on your cat. In this article, we reach a little further to talk about putting a bell on your cats collar. Should I put a bell on my cats collar, you ask? Fluffy Kitty has the answers youre looking for.

First comes the collar, and then the bell. Once you make the decision to put a collar on your cat, you may decide to add a bell to it. Bells on collars can either be very efficient or simply quite annoying . Below we discuss the pros and cons of putting a bell on your cats collar.

In this article:

  • Why Put a Bell on a Cats Collar?
  • Why NOT Put a Bell on a Cats Collar
  • Pros and Cons of Cat Bells
  • Final Thoughts: Should I Put a Bell on My Cats Collar?

What Injuries Can Collars Cause

  • Minor problems, such as hair loss due to rubbing or a reaction to a chemical in a flea collar
  • Injuries caused by the cat getting the collar caught around its jaw
  • Injuries caused by the cat getting one front leg stuck through the collar
  • Strangulation by becoming hooked on something and the collar not coming off or breaking open
  • Problems cause by attachments or poor stitching.

How To Pick The Perfect Collar For Your Cat

When choosing a collar for your kitty their comfort and safety are the two things you should be prioritizing.

The cat market is full of choices and Id suggest avoiding the collars that serve mainly a decorative purpose. Dont forget that cats grow, and they grow fast, so the collar you bought them when they were a kitten will most likely need to be changed frequently. Once they reach their full-size potential, youll be able to finally settle on the one that works best for both of you!

As we will discuss in more detail later on, bells can also be a great addition for both indoor and outdoor cats. The bell can help you detect your cat inside your home, and avoid accidents, while outdoor cats will have a hard time catching any birds and bringing them to you!

Collar Bells And Cat Hearing

While many well-intended friends may say that bells can damage your cats ears, this is not true. Even with long-term usage, experiments show that bells dont affect your cats hearing. Bells have a sound of around 50dB, which is well below your cats hearing sensitivity. To give you an idea, your dishwasher has a volume of 80dB and this doesnt affect your pretty purr baby, either.

Jirakarn Dhejsawatdhirat/Shutterstock

Studies also show that cats quickly get used to the sound of a bell around their collar. Just like humans, they have the ability to ignore these sounds after a short time. But, if youre still unsure, the best course of action is to attach a bell to your cats collar. If they seem fine with it, its probably because it doesnt bother them.

Consider These Pros And Cons Before Attaching A Bell To Your Cats Collar

Does your cat bring you dead animals? While this common behavior is kind of yucky, its also sort of endearing your cat is bringing you what she believes to be an excellent gift. But despite their generous intentions, hunting by domestic cats is affecting ecosystems and pushing some species to extinction. So what can you do to keep your cat from catching wildlife? There are two primary solutions to consider: keep her inside, or attach a deterrent to her collar.

Veterinary Staff Warn About Potential Dangers Of Cat Collars After Pets Left With Serious Injuries

Most cat owners probably think theyre being responsible putting a collar on their cat.

After all, it shows their pet is not a stray and, if a tag is attached, allows strangers to identify them. But be warned not all cat collars are safe.

And there is increasing debate among vets and vet nurses about whether cats should wear them at all. At Vets Now, we have seen scores of cats left injured by their collars.

Is Putting A Bell On Your Cats Collar Cruel

While bells have potential to keep both your cat and unsuspecting wildlife safe, there are some concerns that they do more harm than good. One of those concerns is that the constant clang and clatter can negatively affect a cats hearing. Its a valid consideration, but studies show us theres nothing to worry about.

McGill Office for Science and Society reports the average cat bell produces sound at 50-60 dB. This is similar to a quiet conversation at home. Studies show cats are unaffected by sounds under 80 dB, which puts the sound of a bell firmly in the safe zone.

Theres still the question, however, of whether the sound is irritating to your individual cat. Some cats with high anxiety might react poorly to not being able to escape the sound. Most cats, however, get used to the sound quickly. They eventually learn to tune it out and dont show any outward signs of annoyance.

Taco had a miniature freakout when I first attached the bell to his new collar. But after a few minutes, he was back to prancing around the house without a care in the world.

Did you learn anything new about the best ways to care for our feline friends? Be sure to share this article with your fellow cat lovers!


The Best Cat Collars With Bells

YUDOTE Adjustable Cat Collar with Quick Release Clip and ...

We think youll find a collar to suit your cat in this great selection from brands like Necoichi, Frisco, and Rogzweve even included some copper bells you can put on a cat collar you already own. All the collars listed have either breakaway closures or elasticized inserts for your cats safety. Unsure about fit? Check out the Humane Societys guidelines on choosing a cat collar.

Choosing A Cat Collar

It can be difficult to place the first collar on some cats, especially kittens or adults that have never worn a collar. Even though the process can take some patience, dont let the challenge stop you from putting a collar and ID tag on your feline friend. A collar and ID tag may be your cats ticket home if she accidentally escapes or wanders off. Even indoor-only cats should wear collars, because if your cat does get out, a well-meaning person may think your cat is a stray and take her to an animal shelter. With an ID collar, your cat has a better chance of safely and quickly getting back home.

Your cat may scratch at the collar at first, since it feels foreign, but she should adjust to it with time and patience. Try using a tasty treat, catnip toy or climbing post to distract your cats attention from the new collar. By the time she finishes the treat, she may have forgotten the collar entirely. You may have to repeat this trick a few times, but stick with it the benefits are certainly worth the effort.

Pain in the neck

Break-away safety collars

Be sure to buy a break-away safety collar that can easily come open if it gets caught on something. This will prevent the collar from accidentally strangling your cat.


Until Recently The Only Way To Make A Cat Flap Selective Was To Use A Magnetic Or Electronic Key Attached To Its Collar Now There Are Cat Flaps Which Are Activated By The Cats Microchip Allowing Selective Entry And Negating The Need To Wear A Collar

Protecting wildlife

Some owners want to minimise the number of birds and other wildlife their cats catch and work done by the RSPB has shown that attaching a tinkly bell to the cats collar can reduce the number of birds which cats catch. However, Cats Protection advises: While you might want to attach a dangling item, like a bell or ID tag, this isn’t advised. Cats are at risk of trapping small items in fences or small areas, often resulting in injury.

International Cat Care agrees: Bells, discs and other bits hanging from the collar can be hazardous the cat can either become caught on something by one of these attachments or get claws caught in the bell.

PDSA adds: If your cat is a stealthy hunter then you might think putting a bell on their collar will help wildlife like garden birds, mice and shrews hear when your cat is coming. But many cats are too clever for this to work for long and will learn to move to keep the bell quiet and still manage to bring you presents. Other steps you can take to keep wildlife safe include making sure any bird feeders arent surrounded by trees or bushes birds will be able to see your cat coming. Raise feeders or birdhouses on metal poles as cats cant climb these. Keep your cats inside when birds and wildlife are more active an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset.

Disadvantages Of A Bell

A bell can really improve the aesthetics of a cat but, unfortunately, it comes with a number of disadvantages: the first is the sound. Not only is the bell repetitive and annoying for the owner, it can be dangerous for the cats health, being in close proximity to his ears and thus the ear canal. The animal will be constantly subject to stimuli that will deprive him of his auditory acuity and, in a worst case scenario, could amount to permanent hearing damage if the bell is loud and/or kept long enough .

At the same time, the bell can alter the cats state of mind. Cats are indeed quiet animals that often get scared by surrounding noises.

The constant ringing can make your feline nervous to the point of stressing him. This is not even taking into account how bothersome a bell is, with many cats trying to bite it or remove it, while many others learn to keep it in their mouth just to avoid its ringing.

Speaking of hunting: the cat will not understand why you put around his neck such a bothersome sounding thing that prevents him from hunting or even scratching in peace, will feel betrayed and most likely will hold a grudge against you. Then the issue is all yours!

Why Should I Put A Bell On My Cats Collar

Historically, bells are of great importance. When the school bell rings, it signals all the children to go to their class. Church bells ring out to signal worshipers that the service is about to start, to mark the hours of the day, or to come together in times of celebration or grief. They alarm us, bring us together, and represent joy, freedom, and peace.

A bell on your cats collar, though perhaps less grandiose, also serves many functions.

Here are a few reasons why it may be a good idea to put a bell on your cats collar.

Beaus Bells For Cat Collars

You can also equip your cats regular collar with bells. Beaus Bells are designed to be extra loud, giving birds a warning that your cat is approaching. This study from the Australian journal Wildlife Research found that simply attaching a bell to the collar your cat wears can reduce the number of birds caught by half.

Beaus Bells come in pairs and are larger and louder than the single bells included with most cat collars. These handsome copper bells come in small, medium, and large sizes . As always, use them with an elasticized or breakaway collar for your cats safety.

The Pros And Cons Of Bells

A of have looked at whether or not bells help prey escape from cats, and the general consensus is yes! Bells on collars seem to reduce the amount of prey caught by about half, which could be enough to no longer pose a threat to ecosystems.

Effectiveness aside, many pet parents worry that a bell will hurt their cats ears. According to Veterinary PhD student Rachel Malakani, a collar bell will produce sound at about 50-60 dB, but have shown cats to be unaffected by sounds under 80 dB. While some cats with anxiety may not react well to the bells sound, its likely that the majority of cats simply wont care.

Some owners worry that as well as alerting prey, a bell would also alert large predators to a cats presence. While this is possible, given most predators acute hearing, its unlikely that the relatively quiet noise of a bell would make the difference between your cat getting detected or not. If you live in an area where your cat is at risk of being attacked by large animals you should probably be keeping your cat indoors anyway, or at least supervise their outdoor activities. You can also invest in a cat enclosure, which will allow your feline to enjoy the fresh air safely!

Select A Stretch Collar

Breakaway collars simply pull open with enough power, so once theyve figured out how to get it off, it might be tough to keep your cats collar on. Choose a cat collar with a stretchy elastic section instead. This, too, breaks if the cat becomes tangled, but it is more difficult for the cat to remove on her own.

Do Cat Collar Bells Stop Bird Catching

ABIsedrin Cat Collar with Bells and Safety Quick Release ...

It’s long been thought that a bell on a cat’s collar can help to audibly warn birds, mammals and reptiles in the neighbourhood that your cat might be eyeing them up for their next meal. But is this actually true?

For decades, each new scientific study seemed to deliver a new, conflicting answer to this question! But luckily newer, more comprehensive studies have finally delivered an answer – in England at least, a collar bell reduces a cat’s mammal and bird kills by 34-50%.

It’s not a 100% reduction, but it is enough to make a significant impact on the wildlife in your area, and it’s comparable with the two other main anti-hunting collar attachments available: 

The is a collar attachment that works by gently interfering with the precise timing, and coordination a cat needs for successful bird catching. It was found in Australian studies to reduce predation on birds by around 50%, mammals by 80% and amphibians and reptiles by a third.

Another option is the  collar cover which is designed to give a visual warning to your cats prey. An Australian study tested the collar covers and found that they reduced captures of birds, amphibians and reptiles by 54%. However, they didnt reduce predation on small mammals.

A shorter study in the USA found an even stronger anti-bird effect and even an anti-mammal effect of up to 50% in the fall, so there are probably differences in how effective all of these methods are depending on the particular wildlife in your area.

Disadvantages Of Belled Cat Collars

If your cat seems miserable in a collar, there will be a reason. A belled collar could also detrimental to your own quality of life.

Some Cats Hate Belled Collars

Some cats intensely dislike belled collars. Felines prefer to remain silent and undetected while moving. This helps them feel safe. If it appears distressed by a belled collar, it should be removed.

This desire for silent movement is not solely predatory. It is also a defense mechanism. Cats are aware of their stature. They are conscious of their own safety, and instinctively mask their presence from larger predators. Belled collars remove this safety net.

The problem may be as simple as a cat hating collars, period. Most cats tolerate them, but there are always exceptions. Cats are likelier to accept wearing collars if they did so from kittenhood. As felines are averse to change, suddenly applying a collar in middle age may not take.

You could start with a standard collar to help your cat adapt. Science Daily confirms that 75% of cats will tolerate this. From here, you can consider switching a regular collar for a belled counterpart. The noise will become a separate issue, though.

Belled Collars are Noisy

Before fixing a belled collar, remember that they are noisy. You may think this is no big deal. Thats the point of fixing such a collar, after all. After a while though, this noise may start to drive you crazy.

Belled Collars Restrict Hunting

Belled Collars Can be a Safety Hazard

Should Cats Wear Bells On Their Collars

As you look for the perfect collar for your kitty you will surely see the option of a bell. This simple addition isnt just a decoration, but a way of preventing your cat from catching smaller prey. Cats are known for their great hunting skills and you mightve witnessed this side of them by stepping out on your porch and finding small tokens of their love in the form of dead bugs, rats, or birds.

Despite the endearing message behind those gifts, hunting by domestic cats is affecting ecosystems around the world, pushing some species to extinction. An experiment done in New Zealand studied the success of cats hunting while wearing belled collars for 6 weeks and the results showed that the predation of birds and rodents was reduced by 50% and 61%, respectively.

If you live in an area that has big bird populations, especially if some of them are endangered, then you could also look into a special cover for collars designed by . The rainbow colors of the cover help warn birds that a predator is nearby.

If you have an indoor cat you could skip the bell, even though it could still prove beneficial. For example, if you have kittens at home, the bell can let you know where they are and prevent .

You could also remove the belled collar or any collar for that matter when you go to bed if youre afraid that the sound will keep you awake.

Gear For Outdoor Cats

If your cat is comfortable with a collar, you might want to consider training them to walk using a leash. Weve checked out a wide variety of and and have several recommendations. Many urban cats also enjoy getting out and about in the fresh air in a . For the relentlessly independent cat, check out these GPS trackers.

Is It Cruel To Have A Bell On A Cat Collar

You may have heard that wearing a bell is cruel because it can harm a cats hearing, but this is not the case. Experiments have revealed that long-term exposure to noises of about 80dB has no effect on a cats hearing.

A cat collar bell, on the other hand, has a maximum level of only 50dB, which, due to the way the decibel system works, is really 1000x quieter than the 80dB sound. As a consequence, even loud cat bells will fall inside your cats hearings safe zone.

As for whether your cat will find the sound of its bell unpleasant, there is plenty of research to suggest that, like humans, cats quickly phase out predictable or routine noises. If youre still concerned, the best thing to do is to test a bell on your cat and watch how they react.

Keep an eye on your cats body language and behavior, and remove the bell if they exhibit any symptoms of discomfort. Weve discovered that most cats are unaffected by their bells.

If your cat is new to wearing a collar, we recommend leaving the bell off at first and gradually introducing the bell afterwards.


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