Every pet owner knows about the cone of shame. Cats and dogs alike tend to chew and bite at surgical sites and other injuries. While a natural reaction, it can rip stitches or result in worse injuries. Cats are particularly prone to re-injuring themselves. Likewise, when you use the Elizabethan collar, cats are more likely to find a way out of it. Between dogs and cats, cats are more sensitive when it comes to the dreaded cone. Most cat owners find their feline friend somehow breaking loose or they catch them fighting harder to get out of it.
The cone of shame is not your only option. For cat owners and dog owners too, there are several alternatives for the dreaded cone of shame. Not only will you protect your pet from further injury but also you’ll make your cat more comfortable.
How to Choose an Alternative
Before you look through the alternatives, it’s important to keep a few details in mind:
With all of the options available, it’s important to consider your pet’s personality. There are no wrong alternatives. Think about preference and what works for you.
When it comes to any injury or surgical procedure, you should also consult your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to tell you which alternatives are more likely to protect your pet. Every cat and dog has a specific situation. Your vet understands the circumstances better than anyone else does and so he or she would be the best person to ask for advice from.
Soft Flexible Collars
Soft flexible collars are a more comfortable alternative. These are flexible, soft and may look similar to a poncho in appearance. The one thing that you need to think about when it comes to these collars is that they do not offer the same protection that other alternatives might. Many owners prefer these collars to traditional ones because they are flexible and soft. However, if your pet has a serious injury, you may want to think about other options too.
Inflatable collars might remind you of a cone. However, unlike a cone, they are not hard plastic and they will not cover your cat’s face or make it more difficult for the animal to navigate your home. The wideness of a traditional cone tends to be a problem for most pets. Many animals struggle when it comes to doorways when they wear a cone. Cats particularly like to climb in and out of small places. The inflatable collar is a smaller alternative.
Protection wise, you do need to keep in mind that a collar isn’t going to offer the same amount of protection as a cone or some of the other alternatives. If your cat has an upper body injury, then the inflatable collar will be perfect. For every option, it’s crucial that you think about your cat’s specific injuries. Some alternatives work better than others do.
Small Dog Sweaters
For dogs and cats alike, dog sweaters are more than just fashionable outdoor wear. Dog sweaters tend to have higher necks so that you don’t have to worry about uncovering neck and shoulder injuries. Not only can you find dog shirts in a variety of sizes but also you can find them in a variety of weights and thickness. If your cat has a longer coat, you might want to think about lighter shirts, like dog polos.
When it comes to dog clothes, you can expect them to fit both dogs and cats. For cats, consider smaller sizes. For instance, a sweater that might fit a Chihuahua will fit a smaller cat. Keep in mind that this option isn’t exclusive to cats. Dogs can also benefit from sweaters and shirts instead of using the cone of shame.
When it comes to cats, one of the most underrated alternatives is baby clothes! Baby clothes come in a variety of options. You have onesies in all colors and patterns along with soft flannels. Onesies keep your cat completely covered when they need to heal. This is particularly helpful if your cat recently underwent surgery. When it comes to shopping for baby clothes, most cats are between 3-6 months and 6-9 months sizes.
If you need to cover your cat’s legs, these are the best option. Onesies with feet may also keep your cat from clawing at the injury. Likewise, onesies are easy for you to pull on and take off. For more options, you can consider baby shirts that button up. Always consider what’s going to be easiest to get off your cat when necessary. Also, make sure that you’ll be able to get it on your furry pal.
If you have a mellow cat, then you might be able to get away with a DIY option. Of course, some of the best options include dog shirts or baby clothes but there are a few other alternatives. If your animal is calm and you can trust that your craft project will stand up to your cat, then you might want to consider DIY. Some owners will take a piece of fabric or towel and construct a soft collar on his or her own. Your first consideration has to be whether it will stay attached, no matter what your cat does.
While dogs may be able to break out of a collar, cats are even more likely to. They tend to be a lot sneakier when it comes to finding ways out of collars. This is particularly true of DIY collars because they do not always attach as securely as what you find in a store.
Most owners don’t want to have to resort to the cone of shame. While all of these options are better than the cone itself, it is important that you make sure that the whole experience does not feel like a punishment. If you choose to dress your pet, then you don’t want him or her to feel like they did something to deserve it. Give them extra love and treats so that they don’t see the clothing or collars as a form of discipline.
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