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Is there an alternative to a cone for cats?

The Cat Cone: The Best E-Collars for Cats

cute orange tabby cat looking out the window

Dogs in an e-collar or cone? You see it all the time, but felines? We don’t see it enough! Cats undergo procedures that leave healing wounds vulnerable to licking and itching too. Not sure how your cat would do with a cone? Here are a few e-collar suggestions or cone alternatives that protect your cat’s coat while healing or from obsessive compulsive habits.

What is a Cat Cone?

Similar to the canine cone that you see around dogs’ necks, there are smaller and more feline-friendly versions available to cats. These open-ended cones encircle the cat’s face and extend outward, so they are unable to bite or lick beyond the sides of the cone. These cones are also commonly referred to as e-collars in the veterinary industry and are humorously known as the cone-of-shame.

cat in saf t shield e collar by kvp

One of the first industry-standard collars to become well-known in the veterinary industry is the Saf-T-Shield. The tried-and-true, secure e-collar provides full-body coverage, has an opaque tint, and has been around for over 50 years. For our fidgety feline friends that can “Houdini” their way out of just about anything uncomfortable, there is a padded collar that rests comfortably on their neck, unlike many collars that you’ll see with rough edges.

cat in bitenot e collar by kvp

The BiteNot collar is an alternative to the traditional plastic e-collar, but is only ideal for body-only/ torso coverage for cats. While impractical for protecting limbs from licking or scratching, the collar acts as a light cervical stabilizer, preventing felines from twisting their neck enough to lick or bite at any healing wounds or bandages on their body. This is especially favorable to cats that strongly dislike their line of sight being obstructed.

The EZ Soft e-collar is a veterinary industry favorite and is the preferred choice for cats by many veterinarians and clinics. This cone stands out not only because it is blue, but because of its soft, Flexstay material that allows the cone to maintain its shape and fold in as cat’s maneuver around their environment. This cone is a great option for active cats and has a cinch-tight toggle for an adjustable fit while providing full-body coverage.

The Feline No Flap Ear Wrap is a new kind of e-collar available to cat parents specifically designed to protect felines’ ears. This collar is utilized for everything cat-ear-related! It protects head and ear bandages, aural hematomas, and can retain ear medication. This is a great option for outdoor cats as well that are subject to a more hazardous environment when it comes to unwanted species or plants making a “home” in or on their ears.

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The old-fashioned Elizabethan collar, also called cone of shame, is still used after medical procedures to prevent dogs, cats and rabbits from getting to their wounds and sutures. However, a scientific research has been published to highlight the welfare implications of the Elizabethan collar.

A recent research from the University of Sydney and University of Glasgow, in which 434 dog and cat owners participated, shows that 77.4% of the owners reported a poorer quality of life in their dogs and cats when wearing a pet cone. They indicated that their pets were hampered in their daily activities, especially in their ability to move, eat, drink and play. Partly as a result of this, the owners indicated their pets seemed more stressed.

Results research

The cone of shame often interferes with moving freely. Dogs and cats can struggle to eat and drink while wearing the cone. Moreover, the pet cone can obstruct view, causing dogs and cats to bump into furniture, other animals and people. As a result, they can damage objects, injure people due to the cone’s sharp edges and have unfriendly interactions with other animals. In addition, the Elizabethan collar can amplify sounds, which can disorient or scare pets.

If a dog or cat wears a cone, the problem area is still open and unprotected. Other animals and small children can easily reach the wound or sutures for example. Moreover, dirt and bacteria can enter the wound, which can increase the risk of infection.

Medical protective apparel

Medical Pet Shirt®

There is an animal-friendly alternative for the cone: medical protective apparel. The Medical Pet Shirt® protects and covers the pet’s body after a medical procedure like neutering, during recovery, in case of skin problems or whenever protection is needed. Thanks to the comfortable design, pets can move, eat, drink and play during recovery. Available in version Dog, Cat and Rabbit. This results in less stress for a faster recovery.

Front leg protection

The MPS-TAZ® and MPS-TAZ2® front leg sleeves cover and protect hot spots, wounds, bandages and other skin problems on a dog’s front legs. Moreover, the sleeves prevent excessive licking, which can cause infections. The front leg sleeves have an additional advantage: the gentle pressure around the chest offers a calming effect for most dogs. The MPS-HLS® Hind Leg Sleeves protect in case of hind leg problems.

Head Cover®

For dogs that need protection for wounds, bandages or skin conditions on the ear and/or head, we have developed the Head Cover®. Ear problems are a difficult and frequent problem in dogs. Most dogs will do anything to reduce the pain and itching. Intense head shaking and scratching could lead to an ear hematoma, in which blood collects within the ear flap. The Head Cover® is a comfortable solution to protect the head and ears.

Less stress for a faster recovery!

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