How can I stop my cat from removing her cone?

If your cat is recovering from an injury, she may need to wear a cat cone. These big, plastic cones prevent your cat from licking or chewing wounded areas. It can also stop a cat from biting on the stitches of a recent surgery site. Most cats don’t like cat cones and refuse to wear them. 

So, how can you stop your cat from removing her cone?

The answer lies in making your pet comfortable and tying a cone to their collar. Make sure that it is the right fit so that it won’t come off easily. You can also choose a softer collar for your cat’s comfort. 

Read on to find out more about cat cones and how to prevent your cat from removing them.

What is a Cat Cone?

Before we talk about how to prevent cats from removing cat cones, let’s start by learning more about them. 

Your vet might give you a cat cone to protect your cat’s injury. The cone can also prevent your cat from scratching her face. It can be useful following eye surgery or a facial skin surgery that the cat wants to scratch.

Cat cones are open-ended cones that envelope a cat’s face. These apparatus-shaped devices have different names such as Elizabethan collars, Buster collars, E-Collars, and other humorous terms like “cone of shame,” “lampshade,” and “pet radar dish.” Despite the playful names, cat cones play a serious role. They act as a barrier between your cat and a sore spot. It’s essential for your cat’s good health.

Historically, veterinarians used to provide home-made pet cones for their clients. They would use cardboard or pliable plastic sheets or cardboard to create them. Nowadays, you can find a variety of ready-made commercial cat cones on the market. You can buy them online or at your local pet store. If your cat refuses to wear one, you can explore other varieties, including soft-plastic and soft-cloth cones. Keep reading to learn about different types of cones and choose the best option for your cat.

Types of Cones

Cat cones are available in different sizes and materials to suit your cat’s preference. So, you might find a cat cone that your cat wants to wear. Quality cat cones are comfortable to wear and prevent your cat from inflicting self-harm. Here are some types of cat cones:

A Traditional Cat Cone

This is the most common type of cat cone found anywhere. It is easy to spot because it has a round and robust shape. Some traditional cat cones have a softer edge that won’t poke your cat’s neck. Plastic cones can also be transparent to help your cat have better vision. You can ask your vet to trim and file the length of the traditional cat cone.

Soft Cone

These cones have soft foam and colorful fabric. These protective cones are more comfortable for cats. However, your cat might press against a hard object and ruin the soft cone. Owners have to supervise cats wearing a soft cone.

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Fabric Cone

Some cats enjoy wearing soft fabric cones. These are tied to the cat’s neck with a drawstring. Experts suggest attaching a fabric cone to a collar as some cats may not prefer the attached drawstring. The strings may cause discomfort or itchiness on your cat’s neck, forcing her to remove it.

Inflatable Cat E-Collars

These are doughnut-shaped, inflatable collars for your cat. They are light-weight and less obstructive, making them ideal for fussy cats. Inflatable cat e-collars are comfortable, and cats love them.

How to Stop Your Cat from Removing Her Cone

If your cat freaks out when you introduce the cat collar, there’s no need to panic. Sometimes your cat needs time to adapt. Here are some tips and tricks to help your cat:

  • Tie the cat cone to their collar

If you look at the bottom of the cone, you will notice holes or openings. These openings serve a purpose and allow owners to tie gauze or a piece of fabric to the collar. You can tie the cat cone to the collar. This will prevent it from falling off anytime your cat hits her head or scratches at it.

  • Fit the cone properly

Incorrect cone size can be ineffective, so it’s important to buy a right-size cone for your cat. Here’s how to ensure your cat cone fits properly:

Step 1: Measure your cat’s neck size

All you need is a flexible measuring tape to accomplish this. Alternatively, you can use a traditional cat collar to measure the circumference of your kitty’s neck. Put the collar on and notice if you have space left to slip one or two fingers between your cat’s neck and the collar. Then, measure the length of the cat’s collar. This will give you the correct size of your cat’s neck.

Step 2: Put the cone on.

The same rules apply to cat cones as they do to collars. Once the cone is on, you should be able to fit one or two fingers in between the cone and your cat’s neck. If you can’t, the cone may be too tight. If you can fit more than two fingers, the cone may be too loose.

Finding the right size cone can stop your cat from removing it.

Step 3: The length of the cone

A cone should extend slightly past the tip of your kitty’s nose. Some vets may recommend shorter or longer cat cones depending on what area of the cat’s body you are trying to protect. For example, areas near the feet or tail are easier for a cat to reach with their mouths. You may require longer cones to protect these areas. On the other hand, head wounds aren’t easy to reach and may not require a long cone. If you are unsure, you can ask your vet to recommend the perfect cone size for your cat.

How to Help Your Cat Adjust to the Cone

  • Move your furniture

While adapting to a new cone, your cat might bump its head into furniture. This can be frustrating for your cat and make them want to take off their cone. You don’t want to make it harder for your cat to navigate and move around. 

To make things easier for your cat, try moving some furniture around the house. Having ample space to move can make your cat comfortable. If your cat likes to sit under the table, move the chairs out. If they prefer a space in your bedroom, remove all the obstacles in their way.

  • Monitor your cat
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A cat cone is a big commitment for a pet owner. If your cat succeeds at removing her cone, she could be at risk of self-injury. It’s important that you monitor your cat at all times. When your cat tries to remove the cone, stop them in its tracks. Eventually, your cat will learn to adapt and quit removing the cone.

  • Help them navigate

Your cat will bump into walls, doors, and other things in your home when wearing a cone. You can reduce their frustration and help them navigate. Doors and stairways can be difficult to navigate with a cat cone on, so give extra assistance when they’re attempting to move around the house.

  • Praise for good behavior

Your cat may need a little praise for good cat behavior. Anytime your cat is not attempting to remove the cat cone, give them a treat. It may take some time to train your cat, but eventually, you will succeed.  

  • Keep the cone on

The longer you keep the cat cone on, the quicker your cat will adapt. Every time you take the cone off, you set back your pet’s progress. So, it’s important to keep the cat cone on.

  • Remove cone for meals

If your cat has trouble eating, try picking up the food bowl for them. Alternatively, you can try hand-feeding your cat. If you have no luck, you can remove the cone for some time. Put it back on after the meal. Monitor your cat to ensure they don’t scratch or bite a sore spot.

  • Never leave your cat alone

You may think that your cat is adapting well to the new cone, but they can surprise you! Cat cones are a commitment and the owner’s job to keep their cat safe. If you leave your cat alone for a long time, she may remove her cone.

  • Be patient

Helping your cat adapt to her new cone takes patience. Give your cat love, attention, and praise when they remove the cone. And don’t forget to keep an eye on them at all times.

Related Questions

How long do cats have to wear a cat cone?

For owners who are lucky, your cat will have to wear a cat cone for a few days. In many cases, cats have to wear a cone for up to three weeks. You can ask your veterinarian for details on this subject.

How long will it take my cat to adapt to a cone?

Some cats adapt to their cones in less than 24 hours, and others may take weeks.

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

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