Skip to main content

Here are the types of collars your indoor-outdoor cat needs

When you think of pet cats, you typically think about indoor cats or outdoor cats. There is a third option, however. Some people have indoor-outdoor cats. This when you let your cat roam freely and come and go inside your home as they please. Indoor-outdoor cats are great because your cat gets to explore their adventurous side but still come home to a warm, cozy house. Before you let your indoor cat go explore, however, it is important to look into what types of collars your indoor-outdoor cat needs. There are a lot of types, so check out all of them to determine which will help your cat stay safe, comfortable, and happy.

Black cat wearing collar and tag

Traditional buckle collar

Everyone knows what a traditional collar looks like. It is typically a nylon fabric that has a buckle for quick and easy clipping and releasing. It is great for indoor cats but can be a potential issue for indoor-outdoor cats. Indoor-outdoor cats get into a lot of tight places. They climb through bushes, over fences, across fields, and more.

Because of this, a traditional buckle collar could potentially be a choking hazard if your cat’s collar becomes snagged on a branch or fence.

Breakaway collar

These collars were specifically designed for outdoor cats or indoor-outdoor cats. Breakaway collars are just what they sound like. They snap off, or breakaway, whenever the collar is pulled or tugged. This way, if your cat is ever scavenging through bushes or climbing a tree, they are never at risk for their collar getting caught. Breakaway collars help ensure that your cat comes home to you safely.

While your cat becoming snagged on something is not a daily risk, it is definitely a very possible one. So, it is important to ensure your cat has a way out. The only real negatives to this type of collar is that you may have to buy a new one occasionally, but they are definitely worth it for the safety of your beloved pet.

Reflective/light-up collar

Cats like to roam around in the early hours of the morning or the late hours of the night. This is why it is important for them to have some kind of reflection on their collar to let people and drivers know they are there.
Reflective or light-up breakaway collars will definitely be the best option for your indoor-outdoor cat. It combines the flexibility of a breakaway collar with the brightness of reflective or light-up material. This type of collar is all about safety. Cats are little animals and often cross the road like they own the place. So, it is important that drivers can see them, even during the darkest hours.

No collar

Another type of collar is no collar at all. Collars for indoor-outdoor cats are just for identification purposes. The whole purpose of putting a collar on your cat is for someone to be able to easily return them to you if they wander off or try to make a new home at your neighbor’s house.
These days, however, you don’t necessarily need a cat collar at all for your indoor-outdoor cat. Microchipping is a big trend these days. Microchips hold information like your name, address, and phone number. When the microchip is scanned at the vet’s office, it brings up your information so that your loveable pet can be returned to you. The downside to a microchip is that your cat may look like a stray cat, causing concern among neighbors. Or, if someone finds your cat, they may not think that it belongs to anyone and might decide to keep your cat for themselves.

One great way to resolve this issue is to combine a microchip with a breakaway collar. This ensures that your cat will always have your contact information, even if the collar falls off.

Additions to your indoor-outdoor cat’s collar

Since cat collars are all about being able to find your beloved pet if they ever go missing, there are some additions you need to get for your pet’s collar.

ID tagsID tags fit on any collar. They typically feature your cat’s name, your address, and your phone number.
GPS collars or GPS attachments — There are many GPS attachments that you can add to your cat’s collar. They are designed to help you find your cat at a moment’s notice. You can track their paths and see where their favorite places are to go.
Bells — Bells are a classic addition to cat collars. They are a helpful way to hear your cat coming home every day.

Cat wearing red collar with bell
Suppawat Suetrong /EyeEm/Getty Images

There are many great options and ways to keep your furry feline safe with collars. The best collar for your cat is one that is safe for them and provides the best benefits for both you and your cat. If your indoor-outdoor cat spends most of the day inside and only wanders around your immediate yard area, then a traditional collar can work great. But, if your cat is on the more adventurous side, then a breakaway collar is typically safer and more efficient.

No matter what tendencies your cat has, it is important to find a collar that is comfortable, effective, and keeps them safe.

Editors' Recommendations

How to tell if your cat is a Maine Coon mix (and why you should care)
Should you consider a Maine Coon mix? Here's what you need to know
Closeup of a Maine Coon's face

There are plenty of big and fluffy cats out there, but one of the best-known breeds fitting this description is the Maine Coon. These cats are not only impressive in size, but they also tend to have fantastic personalities that make them beloved family pets. While purebred Maine Coons are a little more uncommon in rescues and shelters, it's possible to adopt a Maine Coon mix that still has some of the breed's distinctive characteristics.

While telling exactly which breeds your cat is can be a little tricky, it's worth doing some investigative work to better understand your feline's background and what that might mean for the care he needs during his life.
Where do Maine Coon cats come from?
You may have heard that the Maine Coon Cate originated from a fantastical cross between a feline and a raccoon. Of course, this didn't really happen, but it could be where they get the name. (Another option, from a ship's captain who brought the first of these kitties ashore.)

Read more
There’s a totally normal reason cats throw up after eating grass – here’s why
Learn about this cat behavior and if there's cause for concern
Calico cat lying on its back in a grassy yard

If your cat throws up after eating grass, there's probably no reason to be concerned. Eating grass is a natural behavior for most cats, and throwing up after eating that grass also is pretty common. There are physical reasons for why your cat throws up grass, and aside from dealing with the inconvenience of having to clean up cat vomit in the house, this behavior usually isn't a problem.

But excessive vomiting and unusual grass consumption can be a cause for concern. If your cat likes to munch grass, then it's best to familiarize yourself with what's normal and what might be a reason to worry.

Read more
When do kittens start eating food? Know the facts for your fur baby’s health
Consider this your guide to weaning kittens from milk or formula to solids
a white kitten with blue eyes in a cat tree

By the time you usually bring home a brand-new kitten at eight to nine weeks old, they’ve already gone through a significant transition: being weaned from milk to solid foods. However, you may find yourself in the trenches of new kitten parenthood at an even earlier stage. If you are fostering a kitten or have found a newborn, you have likely been bottle-feeding them milk or watching their mother nurse.
In these cases, you may wonder, “When do kittens start eating food?” Weaning is usually a natural process, particularly if the Mom is involved. If you’re bottle-feeding, the process may be a bit trickier, and you may have to help lead it. Regardless of your situation, understanding what to expect can help you know when to have kibble and water on hand as a kitten gets ready to wean. Consider this your guide.

When do kittens start eating food and drinking water?
The weaning process involves going from the mother’s milk to kibble and water, which is what a kitten will eat and drink in some form for the rest of their life. If the mother cat is around, she’ll know when the time is right to start weaning, and it’s best not to interfere.
Generally, kittens will start to be ready to take small tastes of solid foods and water at around three to four weeks. The food and water are complimentary at this young age, so don’t worry too much if they play with it more than they eat it. They’re still getting most of their nutrition from Mom or a formula in a bottle.

Read more