Top positive review
313 people found this helpful
Dangerous, but effective - so I fixed it.
on December 3, 2016
The collar works - no doubt about that. That's why I gave it 5 stars. However, if I was rating it on safety, it would be 0 stars. The collar is dangerous. I read all the reviews about it getting caught in the cat's jaw, but I stupidly figured it was "user error," and bought one anyway.
It's not user error. It's a careless, negligent manufacturing flaw that should have been fixed long ago. It's stiff, with a horrible buckle, and extremely difficult to adjust after you put it on. It also stretches out pretty quickly.
Your cat WILL get its mouth caught in it eventually. All they have to do is bend their neck down to clean themselves, eat, whatever, and they're caught like a horse with a bit in its mouth.
Once that happens, you're dealing with a panicked, fighting cat. She'll run, and she'll hide, and trying to catch her becomes a battle. Once you catch her, it gets worse.
You probably know what it's like to try and hold a cat just to clip its nails. Add her sheer panic and pain, and then YOUR own panic (and then pain) as you try to pull this stiff, non-breaking collar over her head, or away from her neck long enough to cut it. Done it. Twice. Not fun. And she didn't get over it for days.
I tried a dozen different ways to make it safer - adding elastic, tying the ends to breakaway buckles scrounged from an old collar, but she still got caught. Nothing worked.
But then I finally figured it out.
All you need is a regular safety (breakaway) cat collar, three very thin zip ties, and a pair of scissors.
1) Cut the calming collar's ridiculous buckle off and curse it as you send it to Hades. Take the rest of the calming collar and cut it in half (or thirds if you have a small cat) - all you need is enough to go around the front of the cat's neck.
2) Use tiny zip ties to bind the calming collar to the OUTSIDE of the regular collar in at least three places - the middle and at both ends (pictures attached) and with the nubs facing away from her neck so they don't poke her.
3) Cut off the rest of the zip ties as close as you can. I usually file or sand the little nubs left if they're sharp.
4) Put the collar on your cat and fit it correctly - you shouldn't be able to get more than two fingers between the cat's neck and the collar.
This fix solves both major problems with the calming collar, a) the danger of it getting caught in her mouth, since it now fits correctly and has a true breakaway buckle, and b) the loss of fur and/or irritation of the skin, because there's very little contact with the cat's neck.
On top of all that, you'll save a lot of money because you're able to make at least two collars out of one, since you're cutting it in half or smaller. I actually get six, because my cat is so tiny I had to cut the collar in half lengthwise too to fit the regular collar (see pics). Just keep the extra pieces in a sandwich baggie till you need them so the pheromones stay active.
Hope this helps, because the collar really does work. But I think someone should sue the crap out of Sentry because this collar is so dangerous and they know it. I'm surprised there hasn't been a class action against them considering the number of cats hurt.
If you have any questions, just let me know. Good luck!