We all know that cats are silent and independent animals. Most of the time we don’t know where they are or what they are doing. For this reason, there are many people who place jingle bells on their cat’s collar. However, this practice could be harmful to the animal. In this article we talk a little more about this habit so that you are the one who decides if it is the best or not for your cat.
The fable of the bell in the cat
There is a fable by Lope de Vega called “Who puts the bell on the cat” that many of you may know. The short story tells how a group of small mice lived in a house but were afraid to get out of their hole because a cat also lived in that house, for which they feared they would be hunted. After much discussion, the mice agree that in order to get out without being eaten they had to devise a way to know where the cat was at all times. One of the smartest mice in the group, proposed to place a bell to locate it. The problem came when it was time to place the bell: none of them dared to try. The moral of this fable is that it is much easier to say things than to do them, but it has also allowed us to be aware that placing this object on the necks of cats comes from far back, in order to give noise to these small and stealthy pets, and make them visible or alert others to their presence.
Does the use of bell have advantages in cats?
To decide whether it is a good or bad practice for your animal, it is important to assess all aspects. For hundreds of years the bell has been used in cats as a locator, to keep felines located. Cats are very quiet animals, so the use of a bell allows owners to have more facilities to know where they are.
Another of the most common uses of the bell in the cat is the same as in the fable that we have previously told you: it can serve to warn possible prey (such as mice or birds) of the presence of cats. In this way, the dams have enough time to escape and avoid their death. At the same time the owners of the cat, who feed it with feed, also prevent them from eating unwanted food.
What are the disadvantages of using bell in cats?
We are used to the image of a cat with a bell hanging from its collar. It can be very aesthetically beautiful, but it has some disadvantages. The first is the same reason why it is placed: noise. Bell noise can be detrimental to your cat’s health. As it is hanging from the animal’s neck, it is located very close to the ear, so the cat is exposed to constant stimuli that will eventually lose hearing acuity, and in some cases where the bell is too big and noisy , you could be deaf.
Similarly, belling noise can stir the animal’s mood. Cats are naturally quiet and stealthy, so they are also easy to scare by noise. The constant sound of the bell of the bell can make the feline too nervous and even cause stress.
It can be a very uncomfortable object to carry, since it prevents them from scratching naturally or hunting normally, that is why some cats try to take it off tirelessly, even biting and tearing it if they have a chance.
Are there alternatives to the bell?
If you look for them, you will find many other alternatives to the typical bell necklace, starting with necklaces that do not emit any type of noise. If what you want is for your cat to wear a collar, we understand it, it may be easier to identify it if someone found it outside your home. There are necklaces of many types: identification, antiparasitic, aesthetic, or they can even carry a chip that allows them to open the door of the cat flap to enter the house. There is no need for them to carry a constant noise with them and everywhere.
The important thing about a necklace is that it is comfortable, that it does not tighten and that it cannot get caught anywhere. What’s more, if you want to have your cat located, nowadays you can already buy collars with an integrated locator to follow the steps of your furry from your mobile.
Still, if you decide that your cat should wear a bell, talk to your vet first so they can advise you of an approved collar, and talk to you about your cat’s hearing and health. We hope this article has helped you. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to inform you and always advise you the best for your pet.