Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How to Make an Easy, Inexpensive E-collar For Your Cat --or Dog--or Bird...

Ways to up-size for our canine friends will follow  

This is a fast, easy, lightweight e-collar for convalescing pets. I recommend having a few extra sheets of foam on hand for replacement collars, as these tend to get beat-up and worn out.
Alas, the Pewter Panther is gone, but his memory will live on. He suffered from bone cancer, and had a leg amputated. Unfortunately, the cancer moved to his lungs and did him in this February. 

Following his surgery last year, we had to find a way to keep him from worrying the scar. Hence this post.

You will need:

  • A placemat sized craft foam sheet, which can be found at your local craft store/discount retailer for about $1 a piece, generally in the "kid art" section. It comes in lots of colors and patterns. I found some in zebra stripes.
  • Duct tape
  • Measuring tape
  • Calculator
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors

Optional add-ons (for our wilier fur-people)

  • Sewing elastic (or yarn/string) to secure e-collar to a regular collar
  • Hole punch

Lets get started:
  1. Measure your cat’s neck and add an inch. Divide this number by pi (3.14). The resulting number is “A”. Write it down.
  2. Measure from where a regular collar would normally sit on your cat’s neck to the tip of its nose. Write down this number. Call it “B”.
  3.  Find the midpoint on the long side of the craft foam.


  1. From the midpoint, measure out number “A” (cat’s neck divided by pi). Mark at several points in a half-circle on the craft foam:

  1. Next, measure out from the first circle the second number “B” (from neck to nose). Mark a semi-circle again. Make sure you mark from the first circle, not the initial midpoint.


  1. Cut out the white part.

  1. Tape the straight edges of the collar together, edges meeting, but NOT overlapping. Leave one inch open on the inside edge. You should be able to slip this over the cat’s head, small end first.
The taped part of the collar is the heaviest, so it will work its way around to beneath the cat’s chin.
If your cat is inclined to remove the collar, it can be secured to a regular collar with elastic or string. Make several holes, just big enough for the elastic, along the inside edge. String the elastic through the holes and around the collar, like you’re sewing it to the collar.

For our bigger fur-people:
  • Larger sheets of craft foam (36’ x 36”) are carried at Michael’s craft store. They can be ordered online as well for up-sizing.
  • If you can find it, clear, flexible plastic sheets will work well so the animal can see through them. Your cat will bump into a lot of walls and corners before it gets used to the collar.
  • In a pinch, you could use poster board to make an e-collar, just don’t plan on it lasting for more than a day or two.
 I plan to upgrade this with pictures and a video at a later date.

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