The cat collars

7/32" and 3/16" ID, 18-gauge stainless steel rings

A cat wearing a chainmaille collar, with a weak breakaway ring.
I've always been a cat person. In fact, while typing this (or attempting to type this), my cat (the orange one in the below pictureS) is coiled up in the space between myself, my arms, and the keyboard... making for some interesting typing. However, since having the cats, they've always had plain, boring collars. I've contemplated a few times buying actual 'chain' type collars... but there's no imagination in that either, since everyone and their pet (literally, I guess) either have one, or can easily get one. I am however also a chainmaille person (obviously), so I figured I could make the collars a bit more unique. Besides, it's been mentioned by multiple people here and there that a chain (or chainmail) type collar is better for the animal, since the hair beneath it won't get as matted as it would underneath a regular nylon collar, since it gives the hair a chance to sleuce through the rings. It also won't get musty if it gets wet, since it doesn't absorb water like a regular collar. To the right are the old collars (my wife and I have two cats). The capsule-looking thing is an ID-page rolled up inside of there... lets you put a lot more information on the cat, as well as being easy to change if you move. The bat-looking thing is a little bell. Since the black cat NEVER goes outside (and outright refuses to if you try to make it), it got that instead of a capsule. Two black nylon cat collars, one with a capsule tube beneath and one with a bell in the shape of a bat, shown on a wooden table.
And now I was left with choosing which weave to make. I didn't want it to be too heavy or too wide/large/bulky, but I also didn't want it to be too plain. Yes, I'm kinda picky like that :P. After much debating, I eventually decided that GSG would be the weave of choice for Jack (or 'Captain Jack Daniels' as the full name... a cross between Captain Morgan and Jack Daniels). It would leave enough space between the rings for my liking, and was flat enough. Grabbing some 7/32" ID rings, I started out, and in a matter of hours (spread over two days, mind you) I had a collar fit for a cat. It took a few resizings, but I eventually got it. The single, larger ring you see is an aluminum ring, to act as a 'break point' if he gets snagged on something bad. It also makes it a lot easier to put on the cat. I'm not worried about that ring coming open through random play though... since it's 14-gauge, it's still fairly strong... but just capable of being opened with my bare hands. The first chainmaille weave, on a wooden table, and with the capsule attached.
And here we've tried it on. You can see the capsule is held on by a ring of my own making, that is somewhat rectangular to not be too big, but capable of moving around on the collar. I thought the weight difference between the nylon and this collar would be a problem, but it turns out he seemed not to even notice. It took several pictures to get one where the collar was somewhat visible, since it pretty much disappeared into his fur if he's not looking to the side. All in all, a great success :D. My cat Jack wearing the chainmaille collar, with breakaway ring as mentioned off course. Orange cat sitting on a brown couch.
Next up was our other cat... Nikita. She (don't worry, they've both been fixed) has a smaller frame, longer fur, and is female. Thus, a different weave would need to be chosen. My wife chose the weave for Nikita (since it's moreso her cat... Jack being moreso mine), and had decided go go with boxchain. To make it less 'big', I used 3/16" ID rings. I wasn't too worried about it being too 'round' though, since with this particular ring size, it tends to flatten out somewhat, which you can see in this image. As with the other collar, this one has an aluminum ring as a 'break point' in case she gets snagged on something. Given the old nylon collars didn't have anything, these are also safer than them :). Due to the way boxchain is made, the entire strand essentially rotated 90 degrees after being connected in the back. This didn't affect its flexibility, but I figured I'd mention it in case you think you're seeing things. The little bat-bell dangled on it just like normal... but a slightly larger ring was needed to attach it to the collar. The second chainmaille collar, with the bell attached on the bottom, and breakaway ring.
And finally, here's Nikita wearing it. For a few minutes she seemed to be annoyed with the new collar, but this is quite possibly because it was a lot looser (quite visible in this picture). It has since had about a half-inch or so removed from it, and fits pretty much exactly like the old collar did. Since then, she has also seemed to not notice the change at all. This weave is a bit denser than the other collar, but should still cause less matted hair than the nylon collars. And so... we now have chainmail-cats :D. My cat Nikita wearing the chainmaille collar, standing in a somewhat messy corner of the room.

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