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6 DIY Cat Cone Plans You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

ginger cat with e collar

There is nothing like a good old-fashioned DIY project. The next time your cat needs the help of a cat collar to protect itself from an injury, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that there are some thrifty and effective ways to create a homemade version rather than footing the expense of buying one outright.

No one wants to see their poor kitty trapped in a cone, as these cones are for the sole purpose of preventing them from licking, biting, or irritating an area that needs to be off-limits for healing.

They may not be convenient, and there is no doubt that your cat is going to hate it but look at these six options for DIY cat cones before you rush to purchase one. You may even be able to make a cone that is more comfortable than the standard cones from the vet or pet stores!

Understanding the Cat Cone

Cat cones are also referred to as Elizabethan Collars, or “E-Collars” for short. Most will refer to these cone-shaped contraptions like the “cone of shame.” These cones are designed to prevent pets from scratching, licking, or irritating wounds or surgery sites that need healing. These cones are essential in preventing further injury and infection from the wound or incision site.

The Top 6 DIY Cat Cone Plans

1. DIY Sock Cat Cone

Got socks? Chances are, you probably do. Instead of sticking them on your feet, how about using them to make a DIY cat cone? It’s not as bad as it sounds (if you’ve washed your socks.) Let’s look at how you can turn your laundry into a makeshift cat cone collar.

Materials:
  • Tube sock
  • Plastic bags
  • Rubber bands
  • Collar

The E-Collar alternative is quite simple. Get a tube sock and fill it with plastic bags (like those you get from the grocery store.) You then attach the sock around their collar with rubber bands. Seriously, that’s all there is to it!

The perk to this? It’s very cheap and you do not have to go out of your way to get the material. Socks are a no-brainer and most of us have a stash of plastic bags hanging around the house. In addition, this is one of the more comfortable options. It may not be your cat’s cup of tea but it’s worth a try!


2. DIY Paper Plate Cat Cone

Are you one of those people that keeps a stash of paper plates laying around so you can avoid doing the dishes? Nothing to be ashamed of, this habit can be handier than simply avoiding that dreaded chore that everyone loves so much. Paper plates can double as one of the easiest and simple cat cone collars. You only need a paper plate and something to cut with. Check it out:

Materials:
  • Paper plate
  • Scissors or knife

Simply cut a straight line to the center of the plate with a pair of scissors then cut a circle out in the middle of the plate. You will then test it out on the cat’s neck to make sure the hole is big enough to ensure it will not rub or choke the cat, but tight enough so they can’t pull it off.

Then, simply place it around the neck so the cut to the center of the plate overlaps half an inch and staple the edges together. Yes, it’s that easy!


3. DIY Fabric Cat Cone

If you are stitch-savvy, this simple DIY fabric cat cone can be constructed in a breeze. If you are not good at stitching or lack the equipment to do so, you may have to ask a friend or family member. This soft, convenient DIY cat cone collar leaves room for creativity and personal touches.

Materials:
  • Two pieces of fabric (shaped as pictured)
  • Cat collar (rope or ribbon work as well)

To throw this quick solution together, you simply place the two pieces inside out on top of each other and stitch the shorter inside ends together,

With the new seam facing up, splay out the fabric. Place fabric glue or baste fabric on the inside. This will make it stiff. Don’t put it too close to the stitched end. Then fold and iron the fabric.

Tread the rope, collar, or ribbon through the stitched end. It is recommended to use a chopstick to help guide, then stitch the two ends together.

Additionally, it is advised that to best keep this on your cat, makes the ties extra-long. You know it as usually around the neck with fingers space between then make another know approximately one inch away from the first. You then lay the knots between the shoulder blades and loop the remaining ties around the chest and then tie it.


4. DIY Foam Pool Noodle Cat Cone

It turns out, you do not need a swimming pool for those noodle floats to provide you with some use. If you are a pet owner, these handy noodles are the perfect way to make a fast and easy DIY cone collar. Be careful not to leave the noodle or the cut pieces laying around, especially if you have a dog or cat that likes to chew!

Materials:
  • Small pool noodle
  • Yarn or burlap string’

Cut the small pool noodle into sections that are approximately 2 to 3 inches in length. Pull the yarn or burlap string directly through the center of the pool noodle sections. Once you have ensured the proper length based on your cat’s neck circumference, then tie off the yarn or burlap string. Voila! You have a cat cone that quickly!


5. DIY Posterboard Cat Cone

If you want an easy DIY cat cone that will also help you home in on your math skills, this DIY project is the one for you. You can even get your kids in on it for a little extra math lesson. On the plus side, these are all materials you need for school anyway.

Materials:
  • Scissors
  • Posterboard
  • Tape
  • Ruler
  • Pencil

Measure from the tip of your cat’s nose to where their collar usually rests on their neck then add an extra inch to this measurement. Cut out a circle from the piece of posterboard with a diameter equal to double the initial measurement.

Cut a line down the radius of the circle, then measure your cat’s neck circumference then divide the measurement by four. After you get your total, create a smaller circle that has a radius of that number. You will then cut this sized circle out of the larger circle you previously made.

You can then place the larger circle with the cutout onto your cat and form it into a cone shape. Your goal is to ensure this makeshift cone will easily slip on and off your cat without falling off on its own or being easy for your cat to remove themselves.

You then use tape to secure the cone and ta-da! Posterboard DIY cat cone complete!


6. DIY Cardboard Cat Cone

The photo may be of a cute and huggable dog, but this cardboard DIY cone works for cats as well. The good news? You will not need as much cardboard. What’s more, you can put all those Amazon boxes to some use!

Materials:
  • Cardboard
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Collar
  • Zip ties (or shoestrings)

Start by measuring a piece of cardboard into a rainbow shape that is size appropriate for your pet. Cut two pieces of duct tape together to make strips of make-shift fabric (or use vinyl or fabric itself), then fold the strips over the inside edge to make loops for the collar.

Duct tape the loops in place and feed the collar through the loops. Measure the collar around your cat’s neck, poke holes through the overlapping area and weave a shoestring or zip ties through the holes to tie the cone shut.

History of the Elizabethan Collar

Now that we know what the Elizabethan collar is, what it is used for, and have some savvy ways on how to do some DIY versions, let’s take a quick look at how the E-Collar came to be.

Where Did It Get Its Name?

If you are a history buff, you probably already have a good idea as to where the name comes from. It is derived from the Elizabethan era that last from November 17, 1558 – to March 24, 1603. In this timeframe, the Elizabethan ruff was an easily identified piece of attire.

A large, stiff, upright, collar that would typically be made of lace was a fashion statement in the late 16th and 17th centuries. This collar was an indicator of wealth and high social status. This collar is now etched in history not just for its unique look, but for the ideas that sprouted among the animal-loving world.

Veterinary Usage

Said to patented in the United States sometime in the 1950s, the veterinary usage for the E-Collar has never wavered. In addition to the DIY projects mentioned above, these collars are also sold and/or supplied by veterinarians and pet stores.

Benefits of DIYing

DIY projects may not be everyone, but they definitely come with several benefits. Whether you are making your cat a homemade E-Collar or are looking into building something around for home, DIY is at least worth a try!

  • Saves money
  • Help reduce stress and improve mood
  • Spend more quality time
  • Teaches you new skills
  • Builds confidence

Conclusion

You do not have to be a particularly creative person to make a successful DIY cone collar for your cat. Not only will it save you money, but it may also even be a more comfortable alternative to the regular e-collars sold by veterinary clinics and pet stores.

Remember, do not use these collars for fun or to get a quick picture. These cat cone collars should only be used to protect your cat’s health. Make sure you speak to your veterinarian about how to properly use the collar and the length of time it will need worn.


Featured Image Credit: Lena Miava, Shutterstock

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