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Should I Put a Bell on My Cat Collar?

3 Comments11 April 2014  |  kelly

There's been quite a bit of discussion around using bells on cats collars to help deter them from catching birds and many would endorse this view that they do help to protect our wildlife and so we should use them.

However, not everyone would agree with this commonly held view in the UK.

A comment I had once from a customer in France illustrates cultural differences which exist across Europe. He emailed me to thank me for the very fine collar but said that he had had to remove the bell because it stopped his cat from hunting effectively.

So it was very interesting for me today to receive this from a customer in Austria

Actually, do you have regular feedback about bells? I bought some (and
> > find them quite fun), and my cats did not seem to mind them ... and I
> > thought that, perhaps, I was giving birds a chance ... although my cat
> > regularly brought in birds and mice so the bell did not hinder his
> > hunting ... and then more and more Austrians told me how cruel bells are
> > in the sense that they interfere with the cat's own delicate hearing ...
> > which I can understand ... and might hinder it from hearing, say, a car
> > coming along the road, ... thus leading it to have an accident ... and
> > in the end I took the bells off the cats' collars ... don't you get
> > feedback of this sort in the UK too? I would be interested to hear ...

My daughter likes to have a bell on her cat so that she can hear where he is and what he is getting up to around the house and I have heard this from other cat owners.

So, to bell or not to bell,  that is the question

We'd love to hear your views on this enlightened

12 April 2014  |  10:25

When I first had my cats, and especially when they were very young and had not yet learned a little more to stay away from my feet when I moved around the house, especially when going upstairs, they wore collars with bells. I liked the sound and the 'warning'. Animal rescue people and vets I know here, though, told me they believe the bells harm the cats' hearing and ability to hear cars/danger for themselves, and they advised me strongly to remove the bells, which I did. One of my cats was, though, an excellent hunter with or without a bell on his collar (which brought 'for whom the bell tolls' to mind'). My other cats can't tell me, but I suspect they're happier without the bells (and one did somehow manage to break the bell off his collar, although this was not a bell from this site/shop). In all, I might now only add a collar for Christmas for a short time, just for fun, as one sees also with horse sleighs (at least in films), but I think I won't have them on their collars anymore. They can be re-cycled into toys if fixed very securely to something which will jingle for them, I think. Here's to health - and happy cats and 2-leggeds!

Heather Irvine
10 June 2014  |  14:25

I put a bell on Billy Calum Dunbar's collar because he has only just started to go and I like to be able to hear him in and around the garden. When he is old enough I will take off the bell. It must be deafening for him as their hearing is so acute.