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Will a Bell Collar Hurt My Cat’s Hearing? Vet-Reviewed Facts

Chantelle Fowler

By Chantelle Fowler

putting a collar on a cat

Vet approved

Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo

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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There are many great reasons to put a collar on your kitty. But the best reason to invest in a collar is to help strangers identify your cat if it were to escape from your home or become lost one day. Not all collars are created equal, however.

Some collars have quick-release buckles that will unfasten if they get pulled at (highly recommended), while others have traditional closure buckles (not recommended). You can find other options such as reflective patches, while fancier options include GPS technology. One of the most popular options is the bell collar. As the name suggests, these collars have a bell attached. But is having a bell so close to your cat’s ears dangerous? Can it affect your pet’s hearing?

The consensus is that a bell collar will not hurt your cat’s hearing.

Keep reading to find out more.

Will the Bell Sound Hurt My Cat’s Ears?

Bell collars have a very low volume (50–60 dB) and are not loud enough to cause any physical damage to your cat’s hearing. Studies suggest that an individual’s hearing is generally unaffected by sounds under 80 dB.1 To give you an idea of what this sounds like, your home’s dishwasher has a volume of around 80 dB.

Serrade Petit Cat With Collar
Image Credit By: JoeSang, Pixabay

Why Choose a Bell Collar?

Many cat parents opt for bell collars for two reasons.

First, the handy little bell will warn any critters that could potentially become prey that your cat is nearby. While you might like your kitty to kill a stray mouse here and there, cats, especially feral ones, are considered an invasive species and super predators.2 Whether you want to believe it or not, your cute and fluffy kitty can do considerable ecological damage. When it wears a bell collar outside, the tinkling sound will alert nearby birds and other wildlife that trouble is afoot.

The bell can also be helpful if you have a multi-cat household. Cats are territorial creatures, so you may have one cat that likes to pick on another to assert its dominance. The bell on the collar will help the meeker kitty sneak away when it hears the alpha cat approaching.

Second, the bell will help you keep track of your cat’s whereabouts. This is especially helpful if your cat goes outdoors, as you can follow the sound of the bell to find where your sneaky kitty went.

Cat with bell collar
Image Credit By: Ivi li, Pexels

Are There Downsides to Bell Collars?

There are downsides to choosing to outfit your kitty with a bell collar.

While the sound of the bell will keep prey privy to your cat’s location, it can also alert predators that your pet is nearby. The sound of the bell may make your kitty more vulnerable to attacks by coyotes or wolves.

If you have a nervous cat, the sound of the bell can cause them stress and anxiety.

Are Bell Collars the Best Option?

Breakaway collars are by far the safest collars for pets. This type of collar unfastens when something pulls on it with force. Collars can get caught up on anything, and if it doesn’t quickly release when tugged at with force, your kitty could choke itself or become seriously injured.

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
25 Reviews
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...

Final Thoughts

A bell collar should not significantly impact your cat’s hearing. The tinkling sound may annoy you and your pet, but it can also prevent your kitty from harming your local wildlife. Plus, if your pet is an avid outdoor adventurer, its bell collar will help you find it when it’s time to come inside for the night.


Featured Image Credit: Patara91, Shutterstock

Chantelle Fowler

Authored by

Chantelle is passionate about two things in her life – writing and animals. She grew up on the prairies in Canada surrounded by animals. As an adult, she chooses to share her home with five cats, two guinea pigs, and a bearded dragon. Chantelle, her husband, and their child take great pride in being THOSE kind of animal parents - the ones who spend a thousand dollars on wall-mounted cat shelves so that their cats can ha...Read more

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