One of the most common and least expensive ways to protect your cat is with a collar and an ID tag. It is also one of the most reliable and quickest ways to return a pet to its owner. Some shelters report that almost 90 percent of tagged animals are returned to owners.
Cat owners may think their pets won’t wear collars, but the Humane Society of the United States assures that cats can become accustomed to collars. “An identification tag is a lost cat’s ticket home. Every cat, even an indoor cat, should wear a collar with an ID tag to help it return home if it is lost. Many owners believe a collar can injure a cat. But a breakaway collar lets a cat escape if the collar becomes snagged,” according to HSUS information.
Tags are available in pet stores, veterinary clinics and through mail-order companies and pet supply catalogs. You can send for or buy an application form, fill it out, mail it to the tag company and receive an engraved tag within days. Typical prices range from $6 to $20 depending on the material and the amount of information inscribed.
For cats that don’t like to wear dangling tags, alternatives abound: thin rectangular brass tags that have slots in the metal allowing the tag to slip over and rest on top of the collar, plastic tubelike tags that slip over collars or tags with rivets that allow them to be hammered onto a leather or nylon collar. Nylon collars can be embroidered with your cat’s name and your phone number. If your cat is an indoor pet, another useful piece of information to embroider on its collar or have inscribed on its tag is a statement such as “If I’m outside, I’m lost.”