What is a quick release cat collar?


A quick release cat collar has a special plastic clasp designed to release quickly if your cat gets caught on something. A cat collar needs to include this feature, otherwise it is potentially dangerous. However, not all quick release clasps have the same release strength.

The clasps we’ve chosen are strong but safe, designed to stay on during normal life/play but open if your cat is in danger. We’ve tested other clasps which were either too weak (they’d fall off all the time) or too strong (they’d be potentially dangerous), and chose not to sell them.

We used to stock cat collars from a well-known manufacturer that I won’t name. They changed their clasps so they look the same (oval with prongs) but they’re so weak that they fall off the cat. Because of this, we stopped selling them, but they’re still sold by many of the big retailers. Unfortunately, if someone tries one of those collars, and their cat loses it immediately, they might think that all quick release cat collars are like that and give up on them.

Quick release cat collars are the type recommended by UK vets and animal welfare organisations. Other names for this type of collar are breakaway cat collar or snap-open cat collar. However, all of these terms are misused by retailers who sell unsafe cat collars, so keep this in mind when choosing a collar.

It’s important to note:

  • The chemicals in some spot-on flea and worming treatments can melt a quick-release clasp, gluing it together and causing it not to release when it’s supposed to, which of course would be dangerous. These chemicals can also glue the collar to the cat’s neck! Therefore, before applying spot on-flea or worming treatment, you must remove your cat’s collar (not just move it out of the way) and allow its fur to dry fully (overnight) before refitting the collar. This applies to all types of cat collars.
  • Quick release cat collars cannot be used with leads or tie-outs. We would never recommend leads or tie-outs anyway, but if used with a quick release cat collar you would lose your cat!
  • Quick release cat collars and quick release dog collars are completely different. A quick release cat collar has a clasp that is designed to release quickly if your cat gets caught on something. A quick release dog collar has buttons on the side of the clasp which allows you to open the clasp – it doesn’t release automatically.
  • You can’t tell if a clasp is quick-release just by looking at it. There’s one type of dog collar clasp that looks just like one brand of cat collar clasp, but it isn’t quick release and therefore isn’t safe for cats.

The term “breakaway cat collar” is usually interchangeable with “quick release cat collar”. A breakaway cat collar should have the same plastic clasp which releases quickly if your cat gets caught on something. However, this term is sometimes misused by retailers who sell unsafe cat collars.

By Marla
co-owner and chief cat-cuddler
Kitty Collars

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