Image of a cat with a bell on its collar

Why do most cat collars have bells?


If you’re a cat owner, you might have noticed that most cat collars come with a small bell attached to them. But have you ever wondered why this is? There are two main reasons why a bell is incorporated into a cat’s everyday collar. Firstly, it alerts small prey of your pet’s approach, preventing them from becoming a victim of your cat’s hunting instincts. Secondly, it helps to locate your feline friend, especially if you have multiple cats in your household. While most cat collars come with a bell attached to them, it’s important to consider your cat’s individual needs before making a decision. Some cats may not like bells, and it’s crucial to ensure that the collar doesn’t make them anxious or frightened.

1. Alerting prey of your catโ€™s approach.

The most common reason why a cat collar comes with a bell is to help alert birds and other small animals of their presence. Cats are instinctive hunters by nature. No matter the size, all cats have extraordinary hunting instincts. Even the most well-fed, contented cat may not resist the urge to stalk and catch small prey when given the chance. By wearing a bell, you can alert potential prey of your catโ€™s presence and provide them with the opportunity to escape.

Also, a bell will help reduce your catโ€™s ability to catch and play with their prey and prevent them from bringing unwanted โ€˜presentsโ€™ to your door. A bell can be particularly helpful and important for cats with access to a larger outdoor space.

2. Locating your feline friend.

Another reason bells are an important addition to your catโ€™s collar is to help owners find their precious pet. Our feline friends can be tricky to find, tending to sneak around and hide themselves. This is particularly true of kittens who can get into tiny little spaces, making it easy to lose track of where they are. A bell can be incredibly beneficial to help you locate them when needed and ensure their safety.

In a household with multiple cats, a bell can also help alert one another when they are being approached. This can be specifically helpful if you have a dominant or bully cat.

Whilst a bell on your catโ€™s collar serves multiple practical purposes, our feline friends are incredibly intelligent and, over time, can learn how to move without triggering the bell or moving in a way that only creates the softest noise. For some cats, a bell may not be the right option if it causes them to be timid, frightened, or overly irritated. Every cat owner will make a different decision based on their individual catโ€™s needs as to whether a bell is the right approach for them. Whilst most cat collars now come with a bell, they are generally relatively easy to remove if you do not wish your cat to wear one or it makes them anxious.

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