10 Best Breakaway Cat Collars in 2021

As a cat owner, your cat’s health and safety are your top priorities. You do your best to feed your cat well, you take him to the vet when necessary, and you try to make smart choices where he’s concerned.

So, are cat collars a safe choice?

Many pet experts recommend cat collars because they can be used to identify your cat. Simply wearing a collar shows that an outdoor cat isn’t a stray and, if the cat is wearing ID, the owner can be located. The trouble is collars are not without their risks and cats are more likely to get them caught on something than dogs are.

Breakaway cat collars are designed to improve the safety of even the best cat collars. They reduce your cat’s risk for being injured or strangled if he gets caught. Read on to learn more about choosing a cat collar and to see our top picks for the best breakaway collars for cats.

Are Collars Safe for Cats?

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When considering something new for your cat, the first thing you have to ask yourself is whether it’s safe. You wouldn’t give your cat medicine if your veterinarian didn’t recommend it and you wouldn’t feed your cat something made with ingredients that might harm him. When it comes to things like cat collars, however, the waters get a little muddy.

These are some of the risks associated with collars for cats: 

  • The collar could become too tight, irritating the cat’s skin or interfering with breathing.
  • Things could become wedged under the collar, causing potential injury.
  • The collar could get stuck on something, increasing the cat’s risk for injury or strangulation.
  • The cat could get its foot stuck in the collar trying to remove it.
If your cat is microchipped, wearing a collar with and ID might be redundant. Keep in mind, however, that while microchipping is a permanent way to identify your cat, anyone who finds him will need to take him to a vet or shelter that can scan the chip. You also need to keep your contact information on file updated for it to do any good.

Whether you have your cat wear a collar is your choice, so consider the pros and cons carefully. If you do decide to use a cat collar, take your time shopping for the best cat collar you can find.

Tips for Choosing the Best Cat Collar

There are all kinds of cat collars on the market from simple nylon collars to cat collars with bells. For the most part, however, cat collars can be divided into three categories: buckle collars, stretch collars, and breakaway collars. Some collars incorporate aspects of all three.

The buckle collar is the most common design – it typically uses a plastic buckle to secure the collar. Stretch collars, on the other hand, slip over the head and because they are elasticized, they have a little stretch to them. Breakaway collars incorporate a quick-release snap or buckle that releases under pressure in the event that your cat gets it caught on something.

Here are some things to consider when shopping for cat collars: 

  • Materials – Cat collars can be made from just about any material. Nylon is inexpensive and fairly durable while other materials like fabric or leather may be more attractive. Avoid anything that frays easily because your cat will likely scratch it.
  • Adjustability – Make sure the collar you choose can be adjusted to fit your cat properly – you should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your cat’s neck. Stretch collars tend to be trickier to fit than standard collars.
  • Security – Check the hardware on the collar to make sure it won’t loosen or slip off.
  • Safety – Cats tend to get into trouble, so it’s a good idea to choose a collar with a breakaway safety feature so your cat can get loose if his collar gets stuck on something.
  • Durability – Consider the durability of the collar you choose – low-quality materials may fray or break, causing you to have to buy another collar sooner than you’d like.
  • Tag Ring – The primary reason to have your cat wear a collar is so he’ll have identification – make sure the collar you choose has a ring to attach the ID tag.

When shopping for cat collars, look for a breakaway collar. Veterinarians and animal experts generally agree that these are the safest option for cats, and you can find this safety feature in a variety of different types of collars. Read on to see our recommendations.

The 10 Best Breakaway Cat Collars

While the main reason to put your cat in a collar is so he’ll be able to carry identification, the collar can serve another purpose: to look cute! Cat collars come in all colors of the rainbow with many patterns and designs, so you can choose one that suits your cat’s style and personality. Be sure to consider the factors listed above and don’t compromise your cat’s safety for the sake of style, but don’t think that your cat can’t look cute while staying safe.

Here are our top picks for the best breakaway collars for cats: 

Red Dingo Classic Cat Collar

When it comes to cat collars, this Red Dingo Classic Cat Collar is always a solid choice. Available in five solid colors and affordably priced around $6, this breakaway cat collar also features a cut fish-shaped clasp and a tiny bell. This collar is made from quality nylon webbing and abrasion resistant ribbon to ensure both long-lasting comfort and durability. It is machine-washable for easy cleaning and has a stainless-steel K-ring for your cat’s ID tag. It also has the requisite quick-release safety clip.

Pros: Durable nylon webbing and abrasion-resistant ribbon, K-ring for ID tag, machine washable

Cons: Some found the collar sizing too small

Pawtitas Glow-in-the-Dark Cat Collar

The outdoor life can be risky for cats, but you can help keep yours safe with this Pawtitas Glow-in-the-Dark Cat Collar. In addition to the breakaway feature, this cat collar is also reflective for improved nighttime visibility. It comes in eight different colors in two patterns, all priced under $18. This cat collar is made from reinforced, tear-resistant ripstop nylon with sewn-in reflective ribbon. It features a durable D-ring for your cat’s ID tag and comes with a removable bell.

Pros: Durable ripstop nylon materials, sewn-in reflective ribbon for visibility, comfortable to wear

Cons: May not glow as bright as expected

Necoichi Japanese Kimono Style Bow Tie Cat Collar

Give your cat the gift of style AND safety with this Necoichi Japanese Kimono Style Bow Tie Cat Collar. Made from kimono-grade chirimen rayon fabric, this collar features a unique bow-tie design complete with a gold charm. The collar is adjustable for your cat’s comfort and comes in three colors priced under $18. It’s durable enough for daily use but still fun and playful.

Pros: Made from kimono-grade chirimen rayon fabric, unique bow-tie design, adjustable for comfort

Cons: Bow may too big for very small cats, may come unbuckled too easily

Frisco Solid Nylon Breakaway Cat Collar

Why spend a lot on a cat collar if you don’t have to? This Frisco Solid Nylon Breakaway Cat Collar is priced at $6 and it offers the ideal combination of simplicity and security. Made from high-quality nylon webbing in four different colors, this collar is ideal for indoor and outdoor use. This collar has a quick-release buckle with a breakaway design and includes a metal ring for your cat’s ID-tag.

Pros: Affordable price, made from durable nylon webbing, good for indoor/outdoor use

Cons: Not intended for cats under 8 pounds, nylon materials may fray with scratching

Safe Cat Adjustable Snag-Proof Breakaway Cat Collar

When it comes to your cat’s safety, you want a collar that will break away if it gets caught but you also want it to be made from materials that won’t snag on your cat’s claws during grooming. This Safe Cat Adjustable Snag-Proof Breakaway Cat Collar is made from snag-proof nylon and comes seven different colors. Affordably priced under $7, this collar is adjustable for neck sizes from 8 to 12 inches and it comes with a tiny bell in a matching color.

Pros: Made from snag-proof nylon, comes in 7 different colors, comes with a matching bell

Cons: Some users found the buckle tricky to open, doesn’t come with ring for ID tag

Pettsie Heart Cat Collar with Friendship Bracelet

Your cat is your best friend, so why wouldn’t you want to match him? This Pettsie Heart Cat Collar with Friendship Bracelet is the perfect solution for pet owners who share a special bond with their pet. This collar is made from 100% cotton for lightweight, breathable comfort and comes with a matching friendship bracelet for you to wear. The collar is adjustable from 8 to 11 inches and features a breakaway safety buckle. It all comes in a cute box perfect for gifting.

Pros: Matching collar and bracelet, made from lightweight cotton, both are adjustable

Cons: Some cats disliked the wooden charm, cotton may not be as durable as nylon

Country Brook Design Summer Pines Cat Collar

Your cat will stand out in this brightly colored Country Brook Design Summer Pines Cat Collar. This collar is made from lightweight, soft polyester webbing in a vibrant multi-colored geometric pattern. It features the breakaway buckle that keeps your cat safe and comes with a tiny bell. You can also attach your cat’s ID tag using the ring the bell is hung from.

Pros: Vibrant design and geometric pattern, lightweight polyester material, comes with a bell

Cons: May not be as durable as some materials

FriendshipCollar Kitty Love Cat Collar with Friendship Bracelet

You and your cat will be perfectly adorable matching in this FriendshipCollar Kitty Love Cat Collar with Friendship Bracelet. Both the collar and the bracelet feature a chic pattern printed on cruelty-free vegan leather with gold-plated hardware to add a touch of luxury. The collar is adjustable and comes with a D-ring for ID tags and the bracelet is one-size-fits-all but adjustable as well.

Pros: Matching collar and bracelet, made from vegan leather, breakaway clip and ID tag ring

Cons: Materials may not stand up well to chewing, fairly expensive compared to other options

Zee.Dog Skull Cat Collar

Who says you can’t be both cute and edge? This Zee.Dog Skull Cat Collar is the perfect way to dress up your cat without compromising his tough image. It is made from soft polyester for weather-resistant durability in a one-size-fits-all design. This collar features a breakaway buckle for safety and it has a ring so you can easily attach your cat’s ID tag.

Pros: Made from comfortable polyester materials, weather-resistant durability, cute skull design

Cons: May be too small for very large cats

Li’l Pals Adjustable Breakaway Kitten Collar

If you like skulls but the previous collar is a little too dark for you, this Li’l Pals Adjustable Breakaway Kitten Collar could be the perfect fit. This pink skull-pattern collar is perfectly sized for kittens, but it can be adjusted for neck sizes ranging from 8 to 12 inches. It features a breakaway buckle and a bell, so you’ll always be able to find your cat. Plus, you can’t beat the low price.

Pros: Ideally sized for kittens, adjustable fit for 8-12 inches, includes a bell, low price

Cons: Breakaway mechanism may be too sensitive

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do breakaway cat collars work? A breakaway collar is simply a collar that has a special clasp designed to break under tension. The idea is that if your cat gets the collar stuck on something, it will break when he struggles. This reduces the risk that your cat will injure or strange himself.
  2. Are breakaway collars more likely to fall off? You want a collar that will break if your cat gets stuck, but you don’t want it to come off all the time. The trouble with breakaway collars is that some of them are too sensitive – this can definitely be a problem for outdoor cats who tend to be more active. An option to consider instead of a breakaway collar is a stretch collar – your cat can still get out in a pinch, but it won’t come off as easily the rest of the time.
  3. What are the benefits of cat collars with bells? When you’re shopping for different types of cat collars, you’ll come across many with bells. Having a bell on your cat’s collar will warn prey and other cats of his approach. This may help reduce an outdoor cat’s negative impact on the ecosystem and, in a multi-cat household, may help limit conflict. It also gives you an idea of your cat’s position.
  4. What should I look for in a collar for kittens? Collars are recommended for all cats to carry their ID, but you may need to wait until your kitten reaches a certain size to put one on him. Some veterinarians recommend waiting until the kitten is 4 to 5 months old – big enough to fit into a standard collar. Make sure the collar is loose enough for comfort and growth, but not so loose it might snag on things. Check the collar’s fit often and only leave it on for a few hours at a time until your kitten gets used to it.

Cats are different from dogs in just about every way you can imagine, but they should still wear collars. Of course, it’s your decision whether you put a collar on your cat, but you should consider the benefits. If your cat gets out of the house, having a collar will make it clear he isn’t a stray and if he’s wearing an ID tag, he’s more likely to be returned to you.

When shopping for cat collars, be sure to consider a breakaway collar for your cat’s safety. If you need help sifting through the options, consider one of our recommendations above.

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