If your fur baby gets stressed out easily, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a quicker and more effective fix than a cat calming collar. Most cat owners choose to put a collar on their cat anyway, even if they are indoor-only. So, it makes sense to swap a standard collar for a calming one if you are trying to reduce your cat’s stress levels.
How We Choose
If we recommend a product it’s because we have done the research on it and we believe it has the ability to help you and your cat. In our research, some products have been tested directly by us, while others have been researched using other methods, including reviewing comments from users online to ensure we have provided good coverage of what is working well for cats. As a team of qualified veterinarians, animal welfare experts, and cat parents, you can be assured we only choose the best products.
1. Best Overall: Sentry Calming Collar for Cats
The Sentry Calming Collar for Cats is our number one pick because it contains the patented Good Behavior pheromone technology.
This is designed to replicate the scents given off by mother cats when they are around their kittens, which has been proven to calm cats of all ages. You can see our full review of this collar here.
This reaction is very similar to the way we feel when we hear our mother’s voices as adults. Sentry calming collars have been proven to significantly decrease anxiety related behaviors like scratching, marking and clawing. They are intended for adult cats and each collar is effective for around 30 days. However, some users reported that the collar falls off easily so it may not be the best choice for cats that will repeatedly try to remove it. We found that it stayed on fine in our testing.
- Patented Good Behavior pheromone technology
- Effective for 30 days
- Some people have reported it falls off easily (we didn’t experience this)
- The chemicals it contains can cause skin issues in some cats so monitor your cat closely. You should do this for any new collar.
2. Runner Up: CPFK Cat Calming Collar for Cats
The CPFK Cat Calming Collar is perfect for stressed or hyperactive cats as it gets to work in as little as an hour and lasts for up to 30 days.
We liked that it contains plant-based essential oils, including lavender and chamomile, which are completely natural so there is no risk of addiction. This is a big plus for us as we look for tools that will enhance life not add to the stress of it later.
This calming collar is also hypoallergenic which makes this a great choice for cats that have sensitive skin. Some owners state that the CPFK Cat Calming Collar breaks easily so it may not be the best option for cats that will repeatedly try to pull it off. This collar is designed to be adjustable (a big bonus in our eyes!) and will fit cat necks up to 15 inches.
- Gets to work in an hour
- Can break easily
- Some cats can be allergic to the essential oils it contains
3. Premium Choice: Comfort Zone Calming Collar for Cats
Like the Sentry calming collar, the Comfort Zone Breakaway Calming Collar is aimed at older adult cats who suffer from anxiety associated with external stimuli.
It is not suitable for kittens.
These calming collars are designed to last for 30 days, but some users reported that the effects began to wear off before this. We didn’t notice this in our trial, but as it’s slightly pricier than other options, you may want to try them out first.
The Comfort Zone calming collar has a breakaway clasp, which means that it will come off cleanly if your cat gets it stuck on anything. This makes it a great purchase for adventurous outdoor cats who are more likely to get their collars snagged on branches or shrubs.
- Breakaway clasp function
- Flexible and comfortable design
- Can easily slip off your cats head
4. Best for Kittens: Healex Cat Calming Collar
If you’ve got a young kitten at home, you’ll know how sensitive they can be to external stimuli. Strong smells can send them running in the opposite direction and they can point-blank refuse to eat a new food product until they become accustomed to its scent. The Healex Cat Calming Collar is designed specifically for younger cats (over 10 weeks old) as it releases a weaker pheromone than the other collars we have mentioned. Saying that, some owners have reported that the scent can be a bit overpowering.
This collar is compatible with other Healex products so you can make sure your kitten gets used to the new pheromones quickly.
- Suitable for kittens and young cats
- Safe to use alongside other Healex products
- Scent can be overpowering
- Can cause allergic reactions in some cats
5. Best Budget Buy: Relaxivet Calming Collar For Cats
If you’re looking to save money or you don’t like changing your cat’s anxiety medication too often, then the Relaxivet Cat Calming Collar is for you.
Each collar comes with a 60 day lifespan, double that of their competitors, and they contain a proprietary de-stress technology that is drug free. A big bonus in our opinion.
This collar is ideal for multi-cat households because it can reduce the frequency of fighting and dominance behaviors. However, some users have reported that the Relaxivet collar is very hard to remove. The packaging can also leave sharp edges on the sides of the collar that could harm your cat if they are not trimmed down.
- Reasonably priced
- Difficult to remove once it has been fitted
- Packaging can leave sharp edges on the collar
Overall Best Cat Calming Collar: Sentry Calming Collar
The Good Behavior technology in the Sentry Calming Collar is a proven winner and it fits most adult cats easily. Pricewise, it’s right in the middle of the market, so you won’t break the bank when you go back for more. We recommend trying out the Sentry Calming Collar to help your furry friends live their best stress-free lives.
How Do Calming Collars Work?
Calming collars for cats use the science of pheromones to help reduce your kitty’s anxiety-driven reactions to stressful stimuli. Doctor Questen explains the benefits of cat pheromones here. Pheromones are subtle chemicals that are given off by humans and various animal species to convey messages to one another. Cats, along with most other common household pets, are much more sensitive to pheromones than humans. This could explain why they react to us in different ways. They are more than likely reacting to the pheromones we give off instead of our body language and tone of voice.
A calming cat collar replaces your cat’s normal collar but it often looks and feels the same. So, your furry friend shouldn’t notice the difference. These collars gradually release calming pheromones right under your cat’s nose, which means they have an immediate effect on the brain. Alternatives, such as plug-in pheromone diffusers, are often less effective unless your cat physically walks up to them.
What To Look For In A Calming Collar For Cats
As with all cat anxiety medication, the effectiveness of a cat calming collar will be determined by the size and age of your cat. It will also be dependent on the severity of your cat’s anxiety, as well as how often you choose to use it. The technology behind calming collars for cats is fairly straightforward, so there are plenty of options out there for you to choose from.
Firstly, you’ll need to measure your cat’s neck and observe the frequency of their anxiety behaviors. You’ll also want to do some research around the age and weight limits recommended by each collar as they can vary. In addition, you will need to choose between calming collars that release synthetic pheromones and collars that use more natural essential oils. The best thing about calming cat collars is that most of them have an average lifespan of 30 days. So, if you find that one doesn’t work for your cat, you can always switch to a different brand the next month.
Key Features of the Best Calming Collars for Cats
A. Material and durability
The collar’s material should be long-lasting, comfortable, and safe for your cat to wear. Collars made of soft, flexible material that is gentle on your cat’s skin are ideal. The buckle should be strong and able to withstand normal wear and tear.
B. Ease of use and comfort
The collar should be simple to put on and take off, and it should fit snugly around your cat’s neck without being too tight or too loose. A good collar should not obstruct your cat’s ability to eat, drink, or groom itself.
C. Effectiveness in reducing anxiety and stress
The most important feature of a calming collar is, of course, its ability to reduce anxiety and stress in cats. Look for collars that have been tested and proven to work, and read customer reviews to see if the collar has helped other pet owners’ cats.
D. Compatibility with other medications or treatments
If your cat is already on medication or receiving other treatments for anxiety or stress, make sure that the calming collar you choose is compatible with those treatments. The best way to make sure is to consult with a veterinarian.
How to Choose the Right Calming Collar for Your Cat
A. Consider the cause of your cat’s anxiety or stress
Identifying the source of your cat’s anxiety or stress is the first step in selecting the right calming collar. A collar that emits a calming scent, for example, may not be as effective as a ThunderShirt Anxiety Jacket if your cat is anxious due to a fear of thunderstorms.
B. Consult with a veterinarian
If you’re not sure about the best way to reduce your cat’s anxiety or stress, ask your cat’s vet for advice. They can assist you in finding the underlying cause of the problem and can recommend the best course of action.
C. Take into account your cat’s age, breed, and personality
Consider your cat’s age, breed, and personality. A senior cat, for example, may prefer a calming collar that is lightweight and easy to wear, whereas a more active cat may require a more durable collar.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cat Calming Collars
These collars use pheromones or essential oils that are known for their calming effect on cats. The pheromones mimic the scent of a mother cat, creating a sense of comfort and security in cats.
Essential oils and herbs are also often used, sometimes combined with pheromones, and can help create a calming environment for cats.
Because cats produce pheromones naturally, they are safe for healthy cats and should not cause any serious symptoms or adverse reactions. But always watch your cat for any kind of skin sensitivity or reaction.
Breakaway calming collars are usually the lowest risk for potential choking. Unfortunately most calming collars are not designed this way, so for cats that spend a lot of time outdoors or climbing, a calming collar is not likely to be safe for them. You will need to evaluate this based on your cat.
For most indoor cats, calming collars are safe for them to wear, but be sure to select the correct size so that it is not too tight or too loose for your cat.
If your cat is used to wearing a collar, base the sizing on the size of his or her current collar.
If your cat is not used to wearing a collar, be aware that they may panic when you try to place a collar on them. If this is the case, you’d be better to try a different type of calming tool.
Remember that patience, time, and some positive reinforcement such as treats, calm, soothing talk and plenty of pats may help them.
Some collars can last up to 30 days, while others may need to be replaced more frequently. Follow the instructions on the collar for the best chance of it lasting as long as possible.
The effectiveness can vary depending on the cat and their specific needs. Some cats may respond well to calming collars, while you may not see a noticeable difference in others. So being open to trying different options and observing your cat’s behavior will allow you to see what works best for them.
Yes, calming collars can be used with other treatments for cat anxiety, such as medication or behavior modification. However, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian before starting any new treatment for your cat just to make sure it’s safe and effective for their specific needs.
Thankfully there are typically no side effects of using calming collars for cats. But keep a close eye on your cat’s behavior and check for any signs of skin irritation or discomfort. If you notice any symptoms that are unusual or worry you, stop using the collar and check with your vet.
How to Fit A Cat Collar
Choose the right size of collar: Use a soft tape measure or a piece of string to measure your cat’s neck. To ensure that the collar is not too tight, add a couple of centimeters to the measurement. Make sure two fingers can fit between the collar and the cat’s neck.
Decide on a type of collar: Cat collars come in a variety of styles, including breakaway, buckle, and elastic collars. Choose the best type for your cat’s personality and needs.
Put the collar on your cat: Hold the collar open and gently wrap it around your cat’s neck, being careful not to over-tighten it.
Adjust the fit: Slide the collar up and down to ensure that it is snug but not overly so. The collar should also not be too loose, as it may fall off or become entangled in something.
Attach the tag: Attach a tag to the collar with your contact information, such as your name, phone number, and address. This can help ensure that your lost cat is returned to you.
Get your cat used to the collar: Let your cat wear the collar for a few minutes a day, gradually increasing the amount of time as they get used to it. Some cats might be nervous or try to scratch the collar, so be patient and give them time to adjust. Don’t force it. If they start panicking, remove the collar immediately. It may be best to try another calming tool or technique.
Check the fit regularly: Make sure to check the fit of the collar every week or two to make sure it is not too tight or too loose. If the collar is too tight, it can cause discomfort and even restrict breathing, while a collar that is too loose can fall off or get caught on something.
Replace the collar when necessary: Collars can wear out or stretch over time, so it is important to replace them as needed. If the collar is frayed or the buckle is worn, it is time to replace it.
To sum up, calming collars can be a really helpful tool in reducing stress and anxiety in cats. But it’s important to choose a collar that is safe, comfortable, and effective for your cat. Each cat is different, so always choose one that has been recommended and we’d suggest checking in with your veterinarian, just to be sure, before starting any new treatment for your cat.
If you want to learn more about these collars, we talk more about how they work in our article How Do Calming Collars for Cats Actually Work?