5 Different E-Collars for Cats Following Surgery

Black cat with green eyes wearing a cone around head while laying down

Surgery is difficult on our cats, especially during the recovery time. Most doctors will prescribe an e-collar, a simple but effective garment that keeps your cat's healing wound safe from, well, your cat, to make treatment as quick and painless as possible.

An e-collar, also known as an Elizabethan collar, is a simple device that is also known as the cone of shame. E-collars have gone a long way from the rigid, clear plastic cone of your childhood. Alternative e-collars are now available that are typically more pleasant for your recuperating kitten. They're also rather inexpensive, with both alternative and traditional e-collars costing between $10 and $20.

How to Choose the Best E-Collar For Your Cat

The last thing you want to do after your cat's operation is to add to them worry or misery. When choosing an e-collar, make sure it is as comfy as possible while still keeping them away from their wound.

Finding out which e-collar your cat loves may require some trial and error. Request a suggestion from your veterinarian, especially as the optimum form of e-collar depends on the type of operation your cat underwent and where the recovery is taking place. Fortunately, other e-collars aren't prohibitively costly, so if you buy one that your cat dislikes, you may try another to see if it's a better fit.

If your cat is due for surgery, now is a good time to look at alternative e-collars to assist them get through the recovery period in comfort and with less stress. Here are five suggestions to think about.

  • 01 of 05

    Inflatable (Donut) E-Collar

    A donut e-collar is an inflatable tube worn around your cat's neck to restrict their head's range of motion. It's similar to an airplane cushion, but it totally surrounds the neck.


    • Come in a variety of materials, including soft ones like felt
    • No sharp edges
    • Lightweight
    • Doesn’t block your cat’s vision


    • Possible for your cat to “pop” the donut with their claws or teeth
  • 02 of 05

    Soft E-Collar

    These look like your standard cones of shame, but instead of being made of hard plastic they’re made of soft, pliable materials that are often a lot cozier around your kitty’s head.


    • Softer and more flexible than traditional e-collars
    • Machine washable
    • Makes it easier for your cat to sleep


    • Determined cats might be able to navigate around them
    • Drawstring closure may come undone
  • 03 of 05

    Recovery Suits

    If you want to avoid using an e-collar completely, recovery suits and other clothing choices such as puppy sweaters and even baby clothes may be a viable solution. Recovery suits safeguard your cat's wound by covering it and keeping it out of the elements, rather than restricting its range of motion.


    • Doesn’t limit your cat’s movement
    • Can protect healing wounds from dirt, , and other types of harmful debris


    • Not all cats are willing to wear a full body suit
    • Cat may still chew or claw at the wound, even if they can’t directly access it
  • 04 of 05

    Neck Control Collar

    A neck control collar is a lengthy collar that spans from the base of a cat's ears to its shoulders. While more often associated with dogs, there are several cat neck control collars available, albeit they aren't always the most comfortable e-collar choice.


    • Keeps your cat from twisting their head around
    • Maintains your cat’s peripheral vision


    • May be uncomfortable, especially for sleeping
    • Makes it hard for your cat to lower their head to eat or sleep
    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Specialty Collars

    There are also specialist e-collars that add a bit extra pizzazz if your cat won't need their e-collar for long and you want to have some fun with it. These are pretty much conventional recovery collars, except instead of a solid design, they're designed to look like a lion's mane or a crab.


    • Made of soft materials
    • Often feature Velcro closures, which are more durable than drawstring


    • Extra embellishments might impede vision or annoy your cat
  • How can I take an e-collar off my cat?

    Carefully! Since your cat likely isn't very happy about its collar, it may be ecstatic when you start to remove it. Try doing so when your cat is just up from a snooze and a bit groggy.

  • How do you put an e-collar on a cat?

    Carefully! Cats do not like e-collars, and will likely fuss when you try to get it on. Stay calm, offer treats, and speak to your pet calmly and you slip on the collar.

  • How should an e-collar fit on a cat?

    It should fit snugly around the neck, with just enough room to slip a couple of fingers between the collar and the neck.

  • How do I feed my cat with an e-collar?

    Elevating the bowl is an option, as is holding the food dish as your cat enjoys dinner.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.