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What Is a Breakaway Collar & When Does My Cat Need One? Facts & FAQ

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Breakaway Red Collar Cat

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Let’s face it, cats are curious little creatures, and they love to explore. They will try almost anything to see if it is something that they can chew on or pounce on. This is why it’s important to keep them safe when you have them outdoors. That’s where breakaway collars come in.

Breakaway collars are made with a special design where the collar will break away from your cat if they get caught somewhere. We have compiled a list of the top benefits and disadvantages of buying a breakaway cat collar. If you’re looking for collar options for your cat, then continue reading to learn more!


How Does It Work?

A breakaway cat collar is designed to literally “break away” if your cat gets caught on something. This is important as it ensures that your cat’s collar doesn’t snag on something, and lead to choking or neck trauma.

These types of collars are especially beneficial for outdoor cats. Cats that are kept indoors don’t necessarily need to wear a collar, though other forms of permanent identification are still a good idea. Collars are necessary for outdoor cats as they can get lost outside. A breakaway collar ensures that your cat stays safe outdoors while being immediately identifiable as well as having a home.

tabby cat with gps collar sits behind a tree trunk
Image Credit: Heide Pinkall, Shutterstock

Where Is It Used?

Breakaway collars are very important for outdoor play, which is where they are used the most. If your cat gets caught by a small branch or something similar, their collar will break away to prevent them from getting choked. These collars are very useful if you have a cat that likes to climb trees.

These types of collars are also helpful if you have a cat that likes to pounce on bugs or rodents that may crawl into small spaces, encouraging your cat to follow. A breakaway collar will ensure your feline’s safety outdoors.

We all know how curious cats can be! Keep your cat safe with our Hepper Breakaway Collar, made of 100% natural hemp. This collar's quick-release mechanism will make sure your cat never gets stuck, and the metal slip-locks will ensure a tight fit for any breed. Plus, the included jingle bell will protect your local wildlife.

Hepper Hemp Safety Breakaway Cat Collar with Bells
  • Hemp-Hemp Hooray - hemp breakaway cat collars are long-lasting and resistant to UV rays – The...
  • What the neck?! - Our cat breakaway collar has adjustable sizing with metal slip-locks, and softens...


Advantages of Breakaway Cat Collars

  • It will keep your cat safe in case they get caught up somewhere outdoors.
  • If your cat’s collar gets caught on something, it will break away, so they don’t get choked.
  • You can attach your cat’s name and address on the collar so if they get lost, they can be returned home, provided that the collar doesn’t breakaway
putting a collar on a cat
Image Credit: Patara91, Shutterstock

Disadvantages of Breakaway Cat Collars

  • These collars are not all created equal. Some brands may not be as effective as others. It is important to buy a collar that is made from high-quality material.
  • Having your pet’s identification on these collars is not effective if the collar breaks away and your pet gets lost. (In this instance, having permanent identification such as a microchip is a good backup option!)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What to Look for When Buying a Breakaway Cat Collar?

The materials used in the collar, the design, and the type and quality of the buckle are all things to look out for when trying to identify the right collar for your cat. Collars made from leather can be very durable and long-lasting, but they are also more expensive and take longer to break in. Nylon and polyester are cheaper and softer materials, but they can be less durable if the collar is caught on something. Ensure you test the buckle to make sure it works to quickly release under tension, as well.

It is also important to buy a collar that fits your cat properly. A collar that is too loose may fall off, and a collar that is too tight can cause the cat harm. Generally, being able to slide two fingers under the collar means it is a good fit.

cat collar_dexmac_Pixabay
Image Credit: dexmac, Pixabay

Should Cats Wear Bells on Their Collars?

If your cat is going to be outside often and you would like them to have a bell, you can attach it to their collar. However, you should note that a collar with a bell is more likely to get caught and pop off.


hepper cat paw divider


Cats are curious creatures, and they love to explore. It’s important to keep them safe while they are outside by investing in a breakaway cat collar. These collars are designed to break away if your cat gets caught on something, so they don’t get hurt. Keep the tips mentioned in this article in mind when you’re shopping for a breakaway collar for your cat.

Featured Image Credit: Daniel Rajszczak, Shutterstock

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