Despite the movement to promote an indoors-only lifestyle for cats, behaviorists and other experts believe that all cats should still wear a collar with an ID tag, even if they are microchipped. Consequently, manufacturers are taking this catcall seriously and producing collars in a variety of new colors and designs along with matching harnesses and leashes to enhance an outdoor experience.
“Breakaway cat collars that are designed to release if a cat gets entangled are our best sellers,” said Diane Thomas, marketing manager for Coastal Pet Products, Inc. “Our newest merchandise includes glow-in-the-dark and magnetic breakaway collars. The Glow in the Dark line charges during the day, even indoors, to glow all night and features a pivoting breakaway buckle. The magnetic buckle breakaway collars self-align and provide a consistent breakaway point for maximum safety.”
“Cats love texture, and so do people,” Thomas said. “Indoor cats in particular can indulge in the luxurious comfort of collars that are fuzzy or made from velvet or suede. Jeweled and glittery options add dazzle to the indoor cat’s wardrobe.”
“Bright colors and festive patterns are in high demand,” Thomas continued. “Many people gravitate toward colors that complement a cat’s coat and even eye color. Blues and greens are particularly popular, and animal prints are traditional favorites. Fish, flowers and fun, fresh designs keep cat owners satisfied.”
“There is increasing demand for leashes and harnesses to have a safe and effective way to take indoor cats outside,” Thomas said. “Harnesses not only allow cats to go for a walk but also to enjoy the outdoors. They are comfortable for the cat and provide the safety necessary when traveling. Our Comfort Soft Mesh harness/leash combo is fully adjustable for the perfect fit; this cozy harness is lightweight and breathable. A metal D-ring helps to ensure outdoor safety. The included leash features our patented E-Z Snap, making attaching to a harness as easy as it sounds.”
According to Tracy McCarthy, marketing manager for Lupine Inc., the company’s range of cat collars with bells remain their most popular items.
“And bright colors remain our top sellers too,” McCarthy said. “I always advise pet specialty retailers to create a cat section in-store, as it generally helps all products in the category. Alternatively, you can cross-merchandise cat collars on a clip strip in the cat food section. Clip strips are a wonderful way to increase impulse buys.”
The company’s Club Collection by Lupine range is inspired by the distinctive look and feel of the classic polo shirt. The collars are available in six rich color combinations, such as purple and green, pink and orange, and pink and lime green. They are made from recycled plastic bottles. The upper layer is a soft woven material with a luxurious silky feel, embellished with the Lupine logo.
McCarthy added that the company has noted that sales of walking harnesses increase during the summer months.
PetSafe is now marketing all their nylon cat collars under the Come With Me Kitty brand.
“Previously, we had a variety of collars under the Premier brand,” said Mandie Sweetman of PetSafe. “We made the switch because they are more in line with our very popular Come With Me Kitty harnesses and bungee leash. The Come With Me Kitty harness has been such an important and successful harness to cat lovers everywhere. We felt it was an added benefit to release a matching collar that provides added safety features.”
“The collars are one size and made of snag-proof nylon with breakaway buckles and also include a bell,” Sweetman said. “They are available in six colors, namely red, royal blue, electric lime, lilac, dusty rose and black that match the Come With Me Kitty Harness.”
The FriendshipCollar line is the world’s first PETA-approved vegan pet product.
“The FriendshipCollar adapts the tradition of giving friendship bracelets and extends the symbol of love and trust to our pet friends instead with matching collars,” said Alessandra Moscucci, American publicist for the British-based company. “They are available in a variety of colors and patterns and are made from animal-friendly and vegan materials. They come packaged together in pouches.”
Finally, the Glow In The Dark range from Petmate also combines fashion and additional functionality.
“At Petmate, we take safety seriously,” said Emilye Schmale, corporate communications manager for the Texas-based company. “Our collars feature multi-directional patented breakaway buckles to make sure that, if the collar gets snagged in a tight spot, the cat is still able to get free.”
Nighttime visibility is becoming a popular selling feature and this line combines this functionality with a variety of fun fashion colors and trendy designs.