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5 Vet-Approved Alternatives to E-collars for Cats (“Cone of Shame”)

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on May 14, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat cone of shame

5 Vet-Approved Alternatives to E-collars for Cats (“Cone of Shame”)


Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM) Photo


Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM)


The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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The cone of shame is every domesticated animal’s least favorite accessory—and for good reasons! It is uncomfortable, inconvenient, and just plain embarrassing. But sometimes, it’s necessary to prevent your furry friend from licking, biting, or scratching a wound (or themselves). If you’re not a fan of the cone of shame, also known as an e-collar, there are a few alternatives that may be more comfortable for your cat—and your conscience!

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Are E-collars Necessary for Cats?

It’s no secret that cats lick themselves. After all, it’s how they stay clean. But sometimes, cats can’t resist licking something they shouldn’t, like a wound. If your cat has an injury, you may have to turn to an e-collar or one of the alternatives listed below. It might look humiliating, but it’s for their own good. Moreover, the protective collar will allow your feline friend to heal quickly and properly.

The 5 Alternatives Instead of an E-collar?

Not a fan of e-collars? Your cat probably isn’t, either. So give your kitty a break and try one of these five alternative solutions the next time they’re in need of healing:

1. Soft E-collar

cat wearing a soft collar
Image Credit: Simone Hogan, Shutterstock

If the traditional cone seems a bit too harsh for your cat, there are now softer, more comfortable options available. These e-collars are made from mesh or other breathable fabric and won’t rub your cat’s fur the wrong way.

These are some of the most popular and preferred options. Pet owners like soft collars because they’re much easier to put on and take off than rigid plastic ones and are far more comfortable for cats to wear. And because they’re soft, these collars move with your cat’s body and are less likely to get caught on furniture, doorways, or other cats.

2. Inflatable Collar

An inflatable collar is a great alternative to the standard e-collar. It’s soft and comfortable for your cat to wear, but it will still prevent them from reaching their injury. To put it on, simply slip it over your cat’s head and inflate the collar to the desired size. You can adjust the amount of air in the collar to make it as snug or loose as you’d like.

As nice as inflatable collars are, they have one downside; they’re prone to puncturing. So if you have a cat that likes to claw at its collar, this may not be the best option.

3. Bandage

You can try wrapping your cat’s injury in a bandage for a less intrusive option. This will keep them from licking or biting the wound and will also help protect it from further damage.

This is a good option for minor wounds, but it’s not ideal for more severe injuries. And if your cat is particularly adept at wriggling out of its bandages, you may want to try another method. Also, it is easy to overtighten a bandage and cause more damage, so if you aren’t sure, ask your vet to do it or choose one of the alternative options.

4. Recovery Suit

cat in a recovery suit
Image By: BadPixma, Shutterstock

A recovery suit is a full-body garment that covers your cat’s body. It serves the same function as a cone, but it’s made from a softer, more breathable fabric. Plus, it has the added benefit of keeping your cat’s fur clean and dry. That means no more messy, crusty bandages!

After placing the recovery suit on your cat, you can secure it with Velcro or snap closures.

5. Specialty Collar

cat with cone
Image Credit: Chomphuphucar, Shutterstock

These collars are very similar to e-collars, but rather than using plastic or mesh, they’re made from a softer material. Moreover, specialty collars can feature many designs, from lion’s manes to flowers.

So if you’re looking for a more stylish option, a specialty collar may be right for you. Remember that these collars are usually more expensive than traditional e-collars. But they are a great way to liven up your cat’s appearance.

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Caring for Your Cat While It’s Recovering

Your cat is injured, and you’re feeling helpless. You want to do everything you can to make them comfortable, but you’re unsure how. Here are some tips on how to care for your cat while they’re recovering from an injury.

Provide a Comfortable Area

First, make sure your cat has a quiet, comfortable place to rest. This may be a secluded room in your house or a spot in the laundry room where they can be away from the hustle and bustle of the household. Put a soft blanket or towel in their resting spot for added comfort.

Give Them Time to Heal

Cats are masters of hiding their pain, so giving them time to heal is essential. Don’t force them to play or exercise if they don’t want to. Let them rest and recuperate at their own pace.

lynx point tabby cat wearing flower collar
Image Credit: Pixel Cat Photo, Shutterstock

Make Sure They’re Eating and Drinking

During their recovery, it’s important to make sure your cat is eating and drinking. If they’re not interested in their regular food, try tempting them with wet food or a favorite treat. If they’re not drinking water, add chicken broth or tuna juice to their bowl to make it more appealing.

Monitor Their Progress

Keep an eye on your cat’s progress, and call the vet if you’re concerned about their condition. Recovery times will vary depending on the severity of the injury, so it’s vital to be patient. With time and love, your cat will return to its old self in no time.



Are you looking for a more humane way to keep your cat from licking its wounds? Try one of these five alternatives to the standard e-collar. From inflatable collars to full-body suits, there’s an option for every cat—and every budget.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: lowpower225, Shutterstock

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