If you read Monday’s post, you know that Baseball has been forced to wear The Cone of Shame, because he won’t stop pulling out his tail hair. The issue seems a bit resolved now, thanks to a bath, and breaking the scratching cycle with the cone, but I’m still looking into ways to prevent it from happening again in the future!
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to prevent your animals from scratching/licking irritated areas. In the past, the only option was the traditional hard cone. If you’ve tried this route, you know how much it can prevent them from doing other important things as well – like getting into/out of the litter box, and eating food or drinking water.
Then, along came the soft cone, which although a huge step up, still didn’t quite fit the bill. As I mentioned in my previous post, the soft cones were still a bit awkward – and they can get dragged through the litter, food, or water. Also, Baseball still tried to groom himself while he was wearing it, and ended up licking the cone instead. After a few days…well, it started to smell kinda funky, and washing it off with soapy water didn’t help.
Another thing I brought up before, was the fact that it really only prevents them from being overly mobile until they get used to wearing it. After that, even though it impedes their movements, they trip over it, and can’t use their peripheral vision or their whiskers to gauge the depth of things…they get bored and start trying to accomplish all of their favorite tricks anyways. I cannot tell you how many times I watched Baseball attempt to fit in a space he just couldn’t, or fall off/completely miss what he was trying to jump onto while he had his soft cone on! I’m not going to lie, sometimes it was pretty funny, and a couple of times he got mad at Mom for laughing at him for being a klutz…but most of the time I was worried that something would happen and he would hurt himself while I wasn’t at home, or even while I was asleep.
Enter my investigation into the world of e-collars! There are several different options, but the one that stood out to me as the best one for Baseball and Zooey was the “Pro-Collar.” This collar is awesome for a couple of different reasons!
1. The outside cover is made of a lightweight, durable material. Not only is it removable and machine washable, but also bite and scratch resistant! (They didn’t come with instructions so I played it safe and ran them on the cold cycle/didn’t use the dryer.) I definitely recommend washing them before putting them on your pet however, because they have a pretty strong “new” odor, and that just doesn’t seem like a smell you want stuck right under your cat’s nose for days at a time.
2. It won’t block vision
3. It won’t scrape your furniture
4. It’s easily inflatable, adjustable and available in several sizes, it’s made to fit your cat or dog (Check out the size chart here)
5. As far as I can tell, it really works! We’ve had a couple instances of Baseball wriggling out of it, but that’s mostly due to the fact that I didn’t properly tuck the inflation valve in the first time and he managed to deflate it, and failure on my part to make the velcro “chin” strap tight enough. Otherwise, we’ve had no instances of scratching or pulling out hair!
And perhaps most importantly:
6. Baseball recommends it because it’s squishy and makes a fantastic pillow (even when he doesn’t have to wear it anymore!)
The one downside I can see to this collar is the price – it’s pretty steep for a collar. However, the fact that it’s machine washable, and it works, means that it’s a worthy investment. This is something you can keep and reuse, and depending on the sizes of your pets at home, it can even be shared between animals. Baseball wears a medium size, which could easily fit a small-to-medium sized dog as well…if I had one. Zooey got her own because she’s smaller, though she hasn’t had to wear it yet as we haven’t had to do any flea treatments this year.
Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about the best choice for your pet.
What are your thoughts on/experiences with cones? Have you tried the Pro-Collar?