This all started when I decided I wanted to find a collar that my cats wouldn’t shred in a week and that wouldn’t wear down their neck fur. Also, a breakaway/pull apart buckle was a must, for safety.
Cloth collars were out because even normal scratching makes them fray and fall apart, and look tacky. I had some Whisker City reflective collars, ones with plastic reflective material sewn on, not just the “paint” which wears off, but those still wear down the fur. Most other collars were out, such as leather, because I knew they’d wear just as bad, if not worse, and I have yet to see one with a safety buckle.
I finally came across a collar made of climbing rope. It was adjustable, thin, durable, and had a safety buckle. I thought about buying some for my cats, but the more I thought about it… Why would I spend money on something I could make?
How I did it: My husband has rope/cord from his military supplies. It is very durable, but still thin like the climbing rope. It’s plain black, which is fine, and with my kitties you can’t even tell they’re wearing anything, if not
for their tags. I cut the safety buckles from their Whisker City collars and threaded a piece of rope through, measuring it to fit each individual kitty (I did not make them adjustable), and sewed the rope together so it would not come out–I tried just knotting it, but the rope is too “slick” to stay knotted simply and was too bulky. I cut the excess rope down and singed the ends so it will not fray.
After the first collar, the second two went very quickly. My kitties seem to be content with the new collars and time will tell if they help on the rubbing or not.
You can buy safety buckles on the internet, if you don’t have an old collar to snag one from, and I am sure there is cord/rope comparable to army cord. I’m sure you could sew a line or even designs into the cord, but I didn’t find it necessary as this is a very discreet collar. The point is for it to be functional, not fashionable. But, for those of you who have run into the same problems as I have, with shredded collars or worn neck fur, I suggest giving this a try. If you are using parts from an old collar, you could use the plastic piece that makes the collar adjustable. That would be ideal for a young cat/kitten with some growing left or a cat that you are planning to help change the weight of (overweight cat on a diet or thin cat needing to gain weight).
I will post an update as to the effectiveness and durability of these collars when sufficient time has passed.
NOTE: This cord is NOT stretchy. I made the collars to fit the cats’ necks, leaving two fingers of space besides. A collar that is too tight may negatively affect the cat’s health and will most likely still rub the fur on their neck. A collar that is too loose can slip off or worse, get stuck on their bottom teeth/jaw (I have heard people complain about collars doing this and it is because the collar is not fitted right). If you wanted to make a collar out of thick, stretchy cord, you could probably exclude the buckle altogether and make it one connected piece. The stretch should be enough for the cat to pull free if stuck. Please use your best judgment.