As we edge our way into Spring, felines who love to roam will most certainly start to get more adventurous – spending more time outdoors and venturing further from home. Our friends at British luxury cat collar and lifestyle brand Cheshire & Wain excel at helping kitties look stylish on their ‘catwalks’ but they also ensure they are safe and protected too. In fact, it was safety that first inspired the much-loved brand, with Founder Sonja Farrell designing a luxury leather collar, complete with superior quality breakaway buckle, for her gorgeous cat Percy and now for cats across the globe.
So as the temperatures start to creep up (paws crossed), the days get longer and our kitties are more tempted by the call of the wild, Cheshire & Wain share five easy ways to keep your feline friend safe on their adventures.
1) Decide if you need to visit the vet?
Whether you have an exclusively indoor cat or let your kitty outdoors (remember indoor cats can escape), pet vaccinations are key to a healthy and protected cat. If you do let your feline friend outside, regular vaccinations throughout their life are even more vital, as there’s a higher risk of exposure to germs and diseases that may have serious consequences for their health. Additionally, avoid your cat bringing home pests by speaking to your vet about an ongoing flea and worming programme.
Neutering also contributes towards keeping cats safe on their adventures. It not only avoids unwanted pregnancy but prevents diseases that can pass on through mating. Also, unneutered kitties tend to be more territorial, which can create tense situations and catfights, putting your cat or another cat at risk of injury. So, if you plan to let your cat outside and they are not yet neutered, book in with your vet!
2) Make your cat easy to ID
If you have an outdoor cat, you always have the underlying worry of them going MIA. Make your cat quick and easily identifiable with:
A safe cat collar, which we explain in more detail in tip 3.
An I.D. tag fixed to their collar, complete with your name and contact number. If you want something fancy, fabulous and inclusive of complimentary engraving, check out Cheshire & Wain’s fun range of pet I.D. tags in a choice of metal finishes.
A Microchip, so you can be contacted if your cat is far from home or injured without their collar on. Ensure that the contact details for your cat’s chip are always up to date too, with your current address and telephone number. Bear in mind that only vets and animal shelters can read your cat’s microchip, so it’s for this reason we always advise pet owners to fit their cat with a collar and I.D. tag, so anyone who finds your cat in need of help can reach you immediately.
Note that later in 2023, it will become a legal requirement in the UK for cats to have a microchip and failure to comply could result in a hefty £500 fine.
3) Choose a safe cat collar
A beautiful cat collar may give a puss a little edge on the style stakes, but they are not purely for decoration. Cat collars help with I.D. purpose as highlighted above but need to be fit for purpose if you don’t want your cat to risk one of their precious nine lives. Always choose a collar with a breakaway-style safety buckle, so your cat can escape should they find themselves dangerously entangled. Forgo elasticated cat collars can cause nasty leg injuries brought on in their attempt to break free and NEVER fit a collar meant for a small dog.
Be aware that not all safety hardware is created equal – many catches are mass-produced abroad with varying quality control and testing levels. Cheshire & Wain leather safety cat collars feature a clasp that has been designed in-house from scratch, which is made and rigorously tested in the UK. Cheshire & Wain breakaway clips are strong, sturdy, and designed to break apart when it matters most.
Reflective collars can also help keep cats safe on low-light adventure, highlighting their presence to cars and such, but don’t forgo the breakaway aspect for enhanced visibility. If you have an early riser or late night prowler, you might want to check out Cheshire & Wain’s Lumino Lux Reflective Cat Collar range, which offers both high vis properties and a safety breakaway clasp, in vegan-friendly materials.
4) Keep track of their whereabouts
For additional peace of mind when your cat is out of sight away from home, a pet tracking device will help you keep tabs on their whereabouts and help you build a profile of where and how far they like to roam. If they suddenly go AWOL for longer than normal, a tracker may be incredibly helpful in pinpointing a missing cat that has become trapped in a local outbuilding or an injured cat who is out of sight but unable to meow to attract attention.
Many companies now offer pet trackers, so with some research, you can find one that suits your needs and budget. Apple AirTags are not specifically designed to be cat trackers, but we know that many cat owners use an AirTag to track their cats. An AirTag is a small, robust and lightweight solution that doesn’t involve additional fees or the need for a subscription, which is why Cheshire & Wain recently launched their lightweight Reflective AirTag Collar Case. The new case features an anti-slip pocket to keep the AirTag secure. It’s also easy to clean and tear and water-resistant to protect the device.
5) Establish a cat curfew
Creating a routine around your cat’s return home is good practice, so should they suddenly not come home as expected, you are immediately aware something might be up. With the help of positive name-calling, treats and lots of rewarding affection, you want to create a situation where they return home regularly (ideally on command) and don’t stray too far from home.
If you use a cat flap, consider locking it at night and putting a litter tray down until morning to avoid scrapes with other animals who like to come out at night.
If you have an indoor cat, it might be easy to think these tips don’t apply to me, but there’s always the risk of escape, whether from home or breaking out of their cat carrier in transit. Lacking in the street-smarts of their outdoor kitty counterparts, the sudden and wider world is terrifying to an indoor cat, causing erratic and reckless behaviour such as running out into a busy road. For this reason, you might want to consider protecting your feline home bird with a collar and I.D. tag and use a tracker if you take them for a walk or in the car.
Whether indoor or outdoor, upgrade your cat’s safety in style at Cheshireandwain.com.