10 Better Alternatives To The Cat “Cone Of Shame”

Cat Health October 26, 2021

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10 Better Alternatives To The Cat “Cone Of Shame”

E collars or “cone of shame” are devices sometimes prescribed by veterinarians to prevent our cats from scratching, biting at sutures, or harming themselves. These cones resemble more of a lampshade than a collar.

E collars can be irritating and awkward for some cats. However, there are other options that are more convenient, inexpensive and get the job done. Depending on the size of your cat, and the severity and the location of the injury, there are some great alternatives to the cone of shame.

In this article, we will provide alternatives to an E collar or cone of shame and which may work best for your cat’s situation.

1. Inflatable E-Collar

Image Credit: EntirelyPets

An inflatable e-collar is a tube that is positioned around your cat’s neck to limit the head’s range of motion. This is similar to a travel pillow, but it completely encircles the neck area. The greatest benefit of this type of collar is that it will move and mold according to your cat’s position.

This means your cat will be more comfortable lying down and moving around. This type of collar weighs less than others and does not stick out as far, which means that your cat should run into things less.

2. Cloth Covered Cones

cat wearing a Cloth Covered Cone
Image Credit: Amazon

Cloth cones have the same basic design as the cone of shame, but they are made with or covered in a soft cloth. This will prevent rubbing around the collar area and will be more comfortable than hard plastic for your cat.

But beware, the soft cloth is much easier for the cat to maneuver, and it does not provide as effective of a barrier as the hard plastic cone does. however the benefit is cloth cones look less surgical, and they come in many kinds of colors and designs.

3. Paper Plate Collar

cat wearing a DIY Paper Plate Collar

This is the ultimate do-it-yourself collar and it is made with a paper plate! All you need to do is cut a hole out of the center of a paper plate that can fit over your cat’s head and then gently push the plate collar over your cat’s head. Make sure that the collar is loose enough around your cat’s neck for comfort and safety but tight enough that he can not remove it. You may need to replace it daily because paper does not hold up well but it is still one of the less expensive options.

4. Surgical Suit

cat wearing a Surgical Suit
Image Credit: Amazon

A surgical suit is a closely fitting dress for your cat so that they can not scratch or lick at wounds. These surgical suits do not work for every cat and it is recommended that you ask your vet if the surgical clothing is the best option instead of E collar and the other alternatives.

5. Baby Clothes Or Onesies

cat wearing onesie
Image Credit: Chewy

One of the easiest alternatives for the cone of shame is to put your cat in baby clothes or a onesie. These options will give your cat full coverage while covering the body and preventing them from licking or tearing at any sutures.

Depending on where the area you are protecting is, you may want a full onesie. This means one that snaps at the bottom and you will also want to cut out a hole for the tail.

If you don’t need quite as much coverage, you can also use a baby shirt, which will cover the shoulders and upper torso areas. This option is by far the cutest!

6. An Old T-Shirt

Image Credit: Instructables

If baby clothes or onesies are not available another alternative is to cut up an old t-shirt to make your own post-surgical suit. You will want to cut out a large square of fabric, cut four holes for the arms and legs, and then position your cat in the leg and arm holes. You will need to customize the arm and leg holes for your cat.

Next you will want to use safety pins to fasten everything along the top of your cat rather than along the belly, for the sake of comfort.

7. Cloth Cones

cat sleeping in a Cloth Cone
Image Credit: Amazon

This is still a cone but as the name suggests it is made from cloth. These are comfortable, and cute, but not as sturdy as the plastic ones because these are not very strong, some cats may be able to collapse it and reach parts of their body with their mouth.

Cloth cones are usually the shape of the plastic cone of shame but are available in a variety of shapes, colors, and patterns to choose from.

8. Neck Control Collar

These are the collars worn on necks to keep your cat’s head straight and can be made out of a towel or bandana. These are similar to a human cervical collar and can be purchased on pet supply websites. This can be a good option, but well but some clever kitties and high-energetic cats may get this off.

9. Small Dog Sweaters

Image Credit: Caring Vets

Most cats can safely fit into small dog clothing made for chihuahuas and teacup-type breeds. These sweaters can be a great alternative and are easily found at big box-type stores and pet-related stores.

Usually, these sweaters come up high on the neck and cover most of the torso areas of your cat. Depending on the location of the affected area, this is not only a cute but easy alternative to the cone of shame.

10. A Pillow Collar

cat wearing a Pillow Collar
Image Credit: Pin On Kitties

A pillow collar is basically a pillow that is fitted around the shoulders and over the neck similar to the inflatable collar. It tends to be much shorter than an E collar and much softer, meaning it is more comfortable for your cat.

It also works as a barrier to stop your cat from licking the affected area, but it depends where it is. Like other types of collar alternatives, these tend to be shorter than hard plastic collars, so your cat will have a larger field of vision.

What To Consider When Choosing A Cone Of Shame Alternative?

Before you start considering cone alternatives, check out the following details to be sure you buy a product that will work for your cat and the issue at hand.

Wound Location

  • What part of the body are you trying to keep your cat from reaching? Trying to keep your cat from chewing the tail vs. licking the front paw will help decide which product is better than another.

Things That May Annoy or Irritate Your Cat

  • The sound of Velcro
  • Navigating around with limited vision
  • Banging hard plastic into walls and furniture

Other Issues Your Cat May Have With Cone Alternatives

  • Does your cat have chewing tendencies and will try and chew through or around the alternative cone?
  • Does your cat have high energy and climb or run around causing him to bang into things or the cone get in the way?
  • Is your cat skittish and may fear the cone alternative and maybe cause other behavioral issues?

Final Thoughts

It may take some trial and error to figure out which E collar or cone of shame alternative works best for your cat. Ask your veterinarian if they have a recommendation, especially if your cat has had surgery and there is an area that needs protecting. The good news is, these E-collar and cone alternatives are reasonably priced, so you can try a few to see which one your cat prefers.

Amy Brown is a Certified NAVC Pet Nutritionist and pet lover. She is the proud owner of two cats and a dog and her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care, nutrition, and product reviews.
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