How to make a soft Elizabethan collar for cats

Updated November 21, 2016

An Elizabethan collar is a protective device, often used after surgeries. It is shaped like a shortened cone and prevents your cat from being able to lick his back and scratch his neck or head. These collars can be made out of hard plastic or softer materials, such as cardboard. Elizabethan collars can be purchased at your vet's office, your local pet shop, or you can cheaply make your own at home. The benefit from making your own is the cost, as well as the ability to make one that fits your cat well.

Use a flexible measuring tape to measure from the tip of your cat's nose to where her collar rests. Add 2.5 cm (1 inch) to this measurement. This is the measurement of the height of the Elizabethan collar.

Loosen the collar. You want the collar to easily slip on and off your cat's head without falling off on its own. Remove the collar and measure the length of the collar to determine the diameter you need for the opening of the Elizabethan collar. Add 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) to this measurement.

Use scissors to cut a circle out of a piece of cardboard that is the circumference of the nose to collar measurement. Cut a line down the radius of the circle.

Cut a circle out of the centre of the circle you made in step three that is the circumference of the collar measurement.

Fold the large circle into a cone shape and use tape to secure the cone in place. Alternatively, you can use brads to secure the cone. If you use brads, make sure the button side is inside the cone and that the arms of the brad are on the outside. This prevents the brads from possibly injuring the cat.

Use a hole punch to place four to five holes around the inner circle. The holes should be about 1 cm (7/16 inch) from the edge.

Use ribbon to attach your cat's collar to the Elizabethan collar you just made. Weave the ribbon through the holes you punched and the collar. The amount of ribbon you need depends on the size of your cat's neck. Tie the ends of the ribbon together to hold the collar in place.

Insert your cat's head through the hole at the bottom of the Elizabethan collar so that the cone shape sticks out toward your cat's nose.

Attach the collar to your cat's neck to keep the Elizabethan collar in place. Tighten the collar if necessary to keep it from slipping off.


The collar should come just to your cat's nose. If you find you mismeasured and the collar is sticking out way past the end of her nose, remove the entire device and cut the edges of the cone accordingly. Because you attached the Elizabethan collar to your cat's collar, it is in a suspended state. This means when your cat leans forward to eat and the collar meets resistance with the bowl, it will push back, allowing your cat to eat or drink. Because the cone is made of cardboard and is a softer material, it may become damaged easily or become bent. If this occurs, make a new collar following the same method you used to make the first one. However, instead of measuring this time, use your old cone as a template. If you need a quick collar, use a paper plate for smaller cats and kittens. This allows you to only cut the inner circle and not the outer.

Things You'll Need

  • Flexible measuring tape
  • Collar
  • Scissors
  • Poster board
  • Tape
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon
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