Introduction: Cat Breakaway Collar From Dog Collar
Want to use a dog collar on your cat but are worried about not having a breakaway buckle? Well that was my worry when I was given an awesome Captain America dog collar for my Maine Coon, Sebastian Stan Lee (I'm sure you know why). He's worn a cat collar for a few years but it was so skinny that you couldn't see it beneath his fluffy fur so I was super excited when the small dog collar was big enough to fit him comfortably and be visible; however since it is a dog collar I was worried about the solid buckle not being able to give in the case of a snag. After a quick look at the buckle design, I realized I needed to either keep the buckle from fully sliding in or get rid of the indent that allowed for it to click. I chose to get rid of the indent because it seemed the easiest and didn't compromise the length of the clip.
***Disclaimer, this is by no means fool proof or a replacement for a quality breakaway collar. As this modifies the original buckle design, no safety can be assured. There is a chance that the modification will fail and result in a nonbreakaway collar. Try at you and your pet's own risk***
Step 1: Exam the Buckle
First and foremost, you must decide what would allow your buckle to release the easiest. Most cat collars have rounded edges on the buckle so that they do not snap into place like dog collars. As you can see from the pictures, the dog collar buckle allows the wide portions to sit above or flush with the rest of the clasp so that a good yank forces them into each other, preventing release. If you prevent the buckle from being flush with the clasp, a good yank will allow it to glide apart. The collar I'm using is the officially licensed Marvel Avengers Captain America Dog Collar size small (I believe from Petco, it was a gift so I am not certain as to where it was purchased).
Step 2: Bulk Up the Buckle
In order to prevent the buckle from snapping into the clasp, I decided to bulk up the recessed portion to be flush with the rest of the buckle. To do so, I used an acrylic dip powder kit I got cheap at Walmart, though you may use any bulking material you like that is compatible with your buckle (ie a metal buckle would benefit from metal epoxy). The color of the red acrylic even closely matches the red of the buckle so it is hardly noticeable! After several layers, following the package directions, I shaped the ends of the prongs so that they would easily glide into the clasp and with a bit more effort, out of.
Step 3: Finished Product
I neglected to take a video of the performance of the buckle before but as one can imagine, the unmodified buckle would not give under moderate to severe pressure such as when using a leash. But as easily demonstrated in the video, the modified buckle gives way once the cat begins to twist and wriggle around, just as a breakaway collar should. I know the video is not of the greatest quality but that is because a cat is where a cat wants to be, rather than in good lighting.