How to troubleshoot frequent collar losses
Supakit collars are designed to keep collar losses to an absolute minimum. If your cat is losing their collar frequently, here are a few simple things to check:
1. The breakaway buckle
If you've opted for a collar with a 'kitten' buckle but your cat has since grown to over the weight threshold for our 'adult' buckle, this could be causing your collar losses.
Our 'kitten' breakaway buckle is designed to trigger safely on the littlest of cats. It's perfect for keeping small, lightweight kittens safe, but once your little one has grown to over 2.5kg/5.5lbs, the sensitive buckle can start to trigger and fall off during the rough and tumble of their normal play.
If your cat has been wearing their 'kitten' buckle collar happily, but it has recently started to come off, it's a good indication that they might have crossed this weight threshold.
What to do:
Weigh your cat (you can do this at home by weighing yourself whilst holding your cat, then weighing yourself without the cat, and subtracting the two figures).
If your cat's weight is 2.5kg / 5.5lbs or above, it's time to switch up to a collar with our firmer 'adult' breakaway buckle that will stay with them through their adult adventures!
2. The fit
A loose collar is the most common cause of frequent collar losses. It can be tempting to leave your cat's collar loose in the interests of their comfort, but counter-intuitively, the looser a cat's collar is the more uncomfy it can feel for a cat! That's because a loose collar will tend to slide across their fur as they move around (rather than sitting snugly in one place), and these sliding sensations of a loose collar can be disconcerting for a cat. Cats will then use the extra room in the collar band to take matters into their own 'hands' - hooking their paw underneath it to simply remove the offending collar!
In addition, the extra slack in a loose collar can increase the risk of the collar getting snagged as your cat brushes against things or explores, which is another main cause of collar losses.
What to do:
Getting the fit right is easy - simply adjust the length of the collar until you can slide one fingertip only, between your cat and their collar when it is on (with fur flattened). Don't forget to re-check the fit of your cat's collar frequently as it may change as they gain or lose weight, or due to seasonal changes in the thickness of their coat.
Read our Collar Fitting Guide by clicking here
Does your cat's collar have any accessories attached? Large dangly accessories - especially bells, but also ID tags - can make a cat more aware of their collar, and also give them something to grasp onto if they want to remove their collar.
What to do:
If you're noticing frequent collar losses, it's worth removing all accessories from your cat's collar to see if this resolves the problem. Once your cat has settled in their accessory-free collar, you can then gradually reintroduce any accessories over time. We recommend re-introducing accessories one by one, waiting until your cat is happy and settled in each one before adding the next.
Is there a tracking device fitted to your cat's collar? We do find in particular that the significant size and added weight of a tracker can unfortunately increase the likelihood of collar losses. Supakit collars are designed to be very slimline and sit snugly against your cat's neck. This slimline profile is essential to ensure that your cat's collar doesn't get caught on anything and get lost. Sadly, trackers tend to protrude outwards and are more likely to get snagged. In addition, the general weight of them can make the breakaway safety buckle more vulnerable to opening, resulting in collar losses.
What to do:
If you are experiencing collar losses with a tracker fitted to the collar, then unfortunately you may have to decide which is a higher priority for your kitty - tolerating more frequent collar losses but carrying a tracker, or removing the tracker and decreasing the risk of losses. We know it's a tough decision, and one that will be personal to each case. We can't wait for the day that trackers become small and light enough to work properly with breakaway safety cat collars. Until then, we do know that some of our customers choose to continue with a tracker and then use the tracking device itself to locate the collar if it comes off.
If you've tried all of the above and had no success, it's possible that your cat has become a little unnerved by wearing their collar, and could benefit from a gradual re-introduction to collar wearing. Think of it like a soft reset - if your cat has inherited any anxieties about their collar, either due to past experiences or factors completely out of your control (they may have been anxious about something else - like a neighborhood cat spotted from the window - on the days that you introduced them to their collar, and made a negative association) - then this is a great way to start fresh and introduce them to collar wearing anew.
What to do:
Take your cat's collar off for a few days, then reintroduce them to their collar gradually, following our step-by-step collar introduction guide.
6. Conflict with other cats
If your cat has access to the outdoors, the final factor to consider is whether your cat may be getting into active (i.e. not play) fights with other cats in the neighbourhood. Sadly, this is the hardest factor to correct with the collar alone as it’s important for your cat's safety that the collar does break away if a rival cat hooks a claw onto it, for example. Checking the fit is definitely worthwhile, so that their collar is as snug as possible. Beyond that, we often find that spending time outdoors with a cat can help them ‘reclaim’ outdoor territory and keep any invaders at bay.