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5 best cat collars for 2023, approved by vets

Updated February 2, 2023

Tested and vet-approved, these are the best cat collars you can find for your feline friend.

Best cat collars, reviewed

Our team of humans and cats (in exchange for some treats) volunteered to narrow down the best cat collars for your furry best friend! Keep reading to find 2022’s best cat collars on the market.

#1 Best overall cat collar: Blueberry Adjustable Cat Collar

Why we recommend this collar

This Blueberry Adjustable Cat Collar features a safety breakaway clasp and bell. This means that the collar can fit most cats properly and will break off should they get hung up or snagged while outdoors and adventuring. The bell alerts birds and other wildlife (or you, if your cat tends to get underfoot) to their presence.

We also like the eye-catching designs ranging from cute and glamorous to camo cat collars — whatever your style, there are a variety of styles to suit it.

pros cons
✓ Adjustable to fit older kittens and slightly larger cats ✗ Doesn’t have reflective materials
✓ Breakaway collar allows for safe release when snagged ✗ Breakaway may be tricky to open for some
✓ Bell alerts prey animals to a cat’s approach
✓ Made of durable material and weave

Features of the Blueberry Adjustable Cat Collar

  • Sizes: 9” – 13” length, 3/8” wide
  • Colors/patterns: Pink, orange, geometric pattern with the words “LOVE” and “PEACE”
  • Material: Polyester
  • Number to a package: Two

Blueberry Adjustable Cat Collar

How the Blueberry Adjustable Cat Collar fits

Because it’s adjustable, this cat collar fits most cats well. It’s not too wide, so it isn’t restrictive on the neck and doesn’t cause discomfort when laying or moving.

#2 Best decorative cat collar: Breakaway Cat Collar with Bow Tie

Why we recommend this collar

This three-pack features cute cat collars that are durable and well-made. The Breakaway Cat Collar with Bow Tie also has safety features that make a cat’s adventures safer for them and other animals. The removable bow tie also makes it easy to add extra glamor to your cat’s collar!

pros cons
✓ Well-fitting and easily adjustable ✗ Breakaway buckle isn't a clamshell, like some other brands
✓ Comfortable for most average-sized cats ✗ Lighter colors may get dirty more easily
✓ Removable bow ties to show some style
✓ Bell to alert other animals to cat’s presence

Features of the Breakaway Cat Collar with Bow Tie

  • Sizes: 7” – 11” length, 3/8” wide
  • Colors/patterns: Light blue and dark blue collar, and a black and white one. All have sharks in their design and on the bow ties.
  • Material: Polyester
  • Number to a package: Three

How the Breakaway Cat Collar with Bow Tie fits

It’s a cinch to adjust this collar even once on, no easy feat, as anyone with a cat knows. It’s too small for cats on the larger side though, or ones with voluminous coats. It fits our lanky, long-haired cat tester well.

Mr. Sherlock Holmes tests one of the Breakaway Cat Collars with Bow Tie.

#3 Best calming cat collar: Sentry Calming Collar for Cats

Why we recommend this collar

In our tests, the Sentry Calming Collar for Cats soothed our nervous cat. While he could still be reactive to quick movements, he seemed to grow more comfortable with simple actions, like walking past him, while the collar was on. This should make it easier to put an ordinary collar on cats prone to nervousness or anxiety. Calming collars are not a good fit for pets with severe anxiety, according to betterpet veterinary advisor Dr. Michelle Diener. However, calming collars may help a dog or cat that has mild anxiety around other pets or is being introduced into a new home.

pros cons
✓ Works quickly ✗ Isn’t a breakaway collar
✓ Reusable tin packaging ✗ Easy for craftier cats to slip out of
✓ Lasts for four weeks ✗ Somewhat difficult to adjust

Features of the Sentry Calming Collar for Cats

  • Sizes: Up to 15” neck
  • Colors/Patterns: Purple
  • Materials: Pheromones, plastics
  • Number to a package: One

How the Sentry Calming Collar for Cats fits

The one-size-fits-all Sentry collar is a blessing and a curse. You’ll need a pair of scissors handy to trim the collar to size and some patience while fastening the buckle. This can be extra tricky with anxious cats that dislike sitting still, but a snug fit is critical. In our tests, cats easily slipped out of their too-loose calming collars.

#4 Best holiday-themed cat collar: Frisco Flying Ghosts Breakaway Cat Collar

Why we recommend the Frisco Breakaway Cat Collar

Aside from some great pattern choices (including the scary cool ghosts), the Frisco Breakaway Cat Collar is adjustable, has a bell, and features a tab breakaway clasp. This makes it easy for cats to free themselves from being caught, whether they are indoors or outside.

pros cons
✓ Safety breakaway clasp ✗ Adjusting can be challenging
✓ Fun design options ✗ Lacks reflective materials
✓ Bell for alerting wildlife
✓ Affordable price point

Features of the Frisco Breakaway Cat Collar

  • Sizes: 8” – 12” length, 3/8” wide
  • Colors/patterns: Halloween-themed with ghosts and the word “BOO!”
  • Materials: Polyester and synthetic fabric
  • Number to a package: One

How the Frisco Breakaway Cat Collar fits

This collar is a good width for an adult cat with a length that allows younger cats and kittens to grow into it. The lightweight material makes it a good first choice for cats that aren’t accustomed to wearing a collar while cats that are should find a seamless, comfortable transition.

Midnight tests the Frisco Breakaway Cat Collar.

#5 Best durable cat collar: YOULY Breakaway Cat Collar

Why we recommend the YOULY Breakaway Cat Collar

While the YOULY Breakaway Cat Collar appears darker in person than in photos online — we tested a floral pattern — it’s a well-made collar with two layers of fabrics. There’s one thick layer and one thinner, more decorative layer and tight stitching. What makes this collar a challenge to adjust is also what makes it durable.

pros cons
✓ Well-made ✗ A bit hard to adjust
✓ Breakaway clasp for safety ✗ Breakaway clasp might be fragile
✓ Loud bell ✗ Product tag might be a chewing hazard
✓ Removable bowtie

Features of the YOULY Breakaway Cat Collar

  • Sizes: 10” – 16” length, 3/8” wide
  • Colors/Patterns: Dark floral print
  • Material: Nylon
  • Number to a package: One

How the YOULY Breakaway Cat Collar fits

Because it’s so adjustable and thin enough for a petite cat’s neck, the YOULY collar performed well in our tests. Adjusting it on the cat was a little awkward, so it was taken off and adjusted before being put back on (much to our cat’s chagrin).

YOULY Breakaway Cat Collar

Batman tests a YOULY Breakaway Cat Collar with a floral pattern.

Cat collar sizing and selection guide

Selecting the right cat collar isn’t as simple as choosing the design that works best with your cat’s coat. Measuring for the best fit and considering your cat’s needs are both important when selecting a collar. Keep reading for our guide on how to measure your cat’s neck and select the perfect cat collar for them.

How to measure your cat for a new collar

Before shopping, measure your cat’s neck to know what size cat collar they’ll need. Many collars offer a wide range thanks to adjustable clips and straps, but for extra-large cats or small kittens, the collar you pick might be too small or oversized.

To measure your cat’s neck, use a cloth measuring tape and fit it snugly against their neck. Don’t squeeze, but try to get it as close to the skin as possible to get an accurate measurement. For short-haired cats, this might not be a challenge, but for particularly fluffy breeds, it might require a little guesswork.

👉 No measuring tape? No problem! Simply use a strip of paper and tear it where the end meets the strip. Then, measure the piece of paper using a ruler. 

Once you have that number, you’ll be able to start shopping for a collar. Keep in mind that your cat’s collar shouldn’t be too tight. You should be able to comfortably fit two fingers between your cat’s neck and the collar. Too tight can be dangerous for your cat, but too loose can also amount to a lost collar or one that gets snagged more easily.

Also, keep in mind that your cat’s coat might be thinner during summer. If they are right on the cusp of a collar’s range, it might be best to size up.

How we chose the best cat collars

The betterpet lab developed a set of criteria and then put them to the test in real-world situations. Those factors included:

  • Fit. We matched manufacturer sizing charts to cats and then judged whether the sizing ran too small, too large, or fit as advertised.
  • Features. We also looked at each collar’s particular features. Did it come with a bell? Breakaway fastener? Our testers evaluated how well the cat collars performed with those features in mind.
  • Durability. We know pet parents expect gear that lasts. We determine how durable a cat collar is so that you can make an informed decision.
  • Maintenance. Our testers also considered how well a collar would stand up to cat jumping, playing, and even chewing. While our testers may not be able to say if a collar will last for years, we can let you know if this is a collar that your kitty can only wear for show.

Why trust betterpet?

The writers, editors, and staff of betterpet are pet parents, and we know the value of accurate, trustworthy information. Because of this, the content we create is reviewed and approved by our vets. We tested these cat collars so that when we say a cat collar is best, it comes from firsthand experience.

Frequently asked questions

Is a breakaway collar better for cats?

Breakaway collars are often the best cat collars for both indoor and outdoor cats due to the risk of cats getting caught on various objects around the home or yard. Without a breakaway collar, pets may struggle or, worse, find themselves in potentially life-threatening situations.

Should indoor cats wear collars?

Even cats who stay exclusively indoors should wear collars. There is always the risk that cats might escape through a door or window and, when this happens, they should be able to be easily identified. Microchipping, but also picking the best cat collar for your cat’s lifestyle, is important.

Should I take my cat’s collar off at night?

The best cat collars can be worn day and night, and they should be! Collars don’t have to be taken off except when swapping out with another one either due to wear and tear, a new design, or a size upgrade. It’s even best to avoid taking off collars for any necessary bathtime — the risk of your cat bolting through the door is higher when they are stressed by water.