During week i got myself involved in controversial topic: Bells on cats collar.
My first owned cat never wore one but my last two did. I search all over websites from all languages (German, English, Spanish and Portuguese).
In Australia, there is a law that can be seeing on the website of Agriculture indicating cat owners to place a bell on the collar to alert any animal when the cat tries to stalk and catch.
Germany, the country that likes to base themselves in evidences and not speculations, was more concern over the collars that hurt the cat rather than the bell itself.
Many cat owners pointed that a bell on the collar could make the cat deaf and stressful as cat having one of the best hearing with an average range between 45Hz-64,000 Hz but only study was made so far and can be found on the website of the Canadian University, McGill, saying that Veterinary student Rachel Malakani indicates that a collar bell will produce 50-60 dB but studies have shown cats to be unaffected by sounds under 80 dB.
How sound travel?
Sound travels as waves of energy, but unlike light, the waves transmit energy by changing the motion of particles.
what are Decibels?
Decibels are the units how is measured the intensity of a sound. The higher the decibel level, the louder the noise.
That means that the bell is as loud as an Air Conditioning Unit 60dB and quieter than a normal conversation 65dB, a city traffic 78dB and the sound of a motorcycle 100db. Now fireworks produce 145 dB that is why by all means is recommended to not use them during holidays when there are pets around.
Evidence, studies and real experience
Basically there are nothing of studies made on cats that will make them deaf or that is annoying to them so far. There are also not one singe testimonial that claims the bell is making their cats deaf.
All what i read all over are speculations. Also there is a video of an owner who started to train their cats to use a bell every time they want a treat, those cats at the end couldn’t stop but keep using the bell until the owner took them away so he could work.
Those bells have a higher sound than the bells attached to a collar and the cats didn’t find it annoying nor they were stressed by the sound they made so they could get treats.
Meanwhile i found these experiences:
Reasons for the need of put a bell on cats collar.
It depends from owner to owner, but we all have to agree to reduce cat hunting. To think that a cat will never hunt is like expect that the sky turn pink from the day to the night as cats are so intelligent and will find a way to make as less noise as they can and even hunt wearing a bell ( i know that as my second cat killed a pigeon and my third cat killed proudly a beetle, both wearing their collars).
The collar helps in three ways:
1) To stop put birds and other wild animals in extinction
2) Keep your loving cat healthy.
3) To identify your cat
5 Welfare needs of an owned cat
One of the five welfare needs that are the responsibility of the owner is the need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.
Birds, Mice and Rats are known to transmit Toxoplasmosis as well as parasites (internal and external) into our cats but also Birds can transmit salmonellosis.
So not only the bell can reduce the number of hunting but also reduce the chances your cat get diseases.
Point number three is about my own experience, my cat jumped to the land back of the house so i went alongside my brother for him. We saw another black cat, we followed the cat believing it was him until i was close enough to see that it wasnt my cat as he didnt have the collar.
I was very close to pick up the wrong cat!
As we know cats are not only predators but also prey, so many comments i read were that might alert other species that could take them as prey. Part of it is true but the species that can take cats as prey are not among those who have better hearing than our loving felines, not even the dog.
We also know how smart are cats, even smarter than humans, that if they can make their bells impossible to hear even by their owner then they can make it by other species.
If a bell on a collar is too much for you to handle or if you prefer follow speculations rather than wait until real studies are made then there are also other ways to stop a cat to hunt like Birdsbesafe or keeping them indoors. Birdsbesafe is a collar with bright colours that makes the cat easily seen by songbirds. Its like te cat is wearing a bright flag that signals „Danger“.
If a bell in a cat collar happens to show not beneficial to cats with studies and evidence, then i will be the first to take off the one my cat is wearing and be against it but so far nothing is clear so the bell on a cat collar depends to the owner.