This Is the Top Cat Cone (It Actually Stays On!)

Published: June 22, 2022

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The dreaded cat cone of shame. It’s a useful tool that has to be used during unfortunate circumstances. When your cat needs a cone, your vet typically sizes one up for you on the spot. It’s usually made of plastic and a bit heavy on your kitty’s head, which only adds to the discomfort. Whether your cat is recovering from surgery or has a hot spot she can’t stay away from, a cat cone prevents her from accessing any wounds and hindering her own healing process.

When cats are in pain and uncomfortable, their demeanors change. And when they’re wearing a cone, it’s entirely heartbreaking seeing them wobble about, a bit off balance (probably due to a combination of meds and lack of peripheral vision), and struggling to find a way to get comfortable. When they finally figure out how to rest with the cone, their little faces make you just want to remove the dang plastic thing so they can get more comfortable.

But you know you can’t. You have to do your best to hold some treats up to them, get them to drink water, and keep them on any medications. Sometimes, a cat cone is only required for a few days but for more severe wounds that require a longer healing time, your cat could be wearing a cone for weeks. Although the cones vets offer do the job, you also have the option to try a different type of cone—one with softer, more flexible materials that still gets the job done but offers more comfort. Below, we share our top five picks!

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  1. Comfy Cone E-Collar
  2. Comfy Cone E-Collar
    • Made of comfortable nylon fabric
    • Available in several different sizes
    • Good for cats and dogs
    • Velcro closure ensures custom fit every time
    • Water-resistant and water-repellent ensures cats stay dry while wearing
    • Padded, foam-backed material prevents claws from piercing through
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. ZenPet ZenCone Soft Recovery Collar
  4. ZenPet ZenCone Soft Recovery Collar
    • Cone has windows to help your cat get its bearings
    • Adjustable hook-and-loop sizing
    • Available in four sizes
    • Lightweight design makes it easy to wear
    • Scratch-resistant design makes it hard for cats to remove
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. PETBABA Cat Cone Collar
  6. PETBABA Cat Cone Collar
    • Perfect size for kittens
    • 4-inch width offers great coverage
    • Prevents licking and scratching
    • Made of lightweight PVC
    • Soft, padded design provides comfortable wear
    Check Amazon
  7. SunGrow Post-Surgery Soft Cone Cat Recovery Collar
  8. SunGrow Post-Surgery Soft Cone Cat Recovery Collar
    • Creative alternative to standard cone design
    • Soft, round shape makes it more comfy and manageable
    • Flexible design offers protection but doesn't impede movement
    • Won't block vision
    • Allows for ease of eating and drinking
    • Adjustable closure ensures a custom fit
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  9. Depets Adjustable Recovery Pet Cone E-Collar for Cats
  10. Depets Adjustable Recovery Pet Cone E-Collar for Cats
    • Adjustable plastic collar ensures a custom fit
    • Affordable price tag at less than $8
    • Prevents your cat from licking and scratching where it shouldn't
    • Soft fabric edge means Kitty will be comfy
    Check Amazon

1. Best Overall: The Original Comfy Cone by All Four Paws

The best overall cat cone is The Original Comfy Cone by All Four Paws. This soft cone is made with nylon fabric and is available in several different sizes, including extra small. It closes with a Velcro strip for a custom fit and there are some loops at the neck to secure it to your kitty’s collar. There are also some removable plastic stays that help to add more structure when needed. It’s also a reversible design, both inside out and front to back. It’s completely water resistant and repellent so if your kitty has a spill while trying to get some water or ends up with a little bit of wet food on the collar, you can easily clean it up with soap and water.

Veterinarians have tested and approved the design to keep kitties safe post-surgery or when they need some help to stop biting, licking, or scratching themselves. The padded nylon is foam backed and the tight gauge even prevents cats from getting their super pointy claws into the material. Your purchase comes with three sizing strips so that you can easily adjust the size of the cone for a secure fit.

The removable stays make this an extra practical design because you can leave them in for extra support and injury prevention but if you remove them, you can even pull back the collar and let your cat enjoy a meal without the cone facing forward. It’s also great if you need to administer medication, for example, any eye drops. It’s tough enough getting a pained kitty to sit still while you administer medication without a cone hindering movement. By pulling it back, you have more access to your kitty’s face for administering any meds, cleaning them up, or addressing anything else on your kitty’s face and ear area.

We tested this cone with a long-haired tabby after she had life-saving surgery. As usual, she came home with a plastic cone but being that she had to be kept in a confined space, we wanted to add to her comfort as much as possible. This cone added that layer of comfort, which allowed her to rest more easily. The Velcro is a little loud which can be startling to some skittish kitties but overall since she had to wear this for about two weeks, it was the absolute best option we could have invested in. We hope not to have to use it again, but we know we have a great product to count on should she ever need it.

Best Overall
Comfy Cone E-Collar
  • Made of comfortable nylon fabric
  • Available in several different sizes
  • Good for cats and dogs
  • Velcro closure ensures custom fit every time
  • Water-resistant and water-repellent ensures cats stay dry while wearing
  • Padded, foam-backed material prevents claws from piercing through
Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Best Scratch-Resistant: ZenPet Pet Recovery Cone E-Collar

Part of what makes cat cones uncomfortable is when there is no visibility on either side. This can throw off your kitty’s balance and make it difficult for her to get around the house. With this design by ZenPet, you can gift your cat with a cone that has windows to increase her visibility. It has adjustable hook and loop sizing and comes in four sizes, starting at small. This hybrid design was created to provide your kitty with a soothing and healing environment without that heavy feeling of a traditional cat cone.

They made it simple to fit on your cat and the extra features of this design add to the function and overall comfort of the cone. One of our testers bypassed the need for a traditional cone and took this one straight to the vet. She knew her kitty would be confused because it was the first time that she would be wearing a cone. The soft shape of this cone is what makes it so awesome. Although it’s tough seeing a kitty adjust to wearing it, she said after a couple of days, her cat was behaving a lot more like herself. She did bump into some obstacles on the first day but after wearing it for an extended period, she became used to it.

Stubborn cats may make it their full-time job to paw and claw at a cat cone, which can make the experience extra nerve-racking for you. This design is scratch-resistant, so no matter how much your kitty tries to claw at it, she won’t be able to tear through the materials. Eventually, she’ll accept her fate, and the cone will keep protecting her until she’s able to roam around unattended without it. It’s never the most comfortable experience (for you or your kitty), but having a solid product to count on makes a huge difference.

Best Scratch-Resistant
ZenPet ZenCone Soft Recovery Collar
  • Cone has windows to help your cat get its bearings
  • Adjustable hook-and-loop sizing
  • Available in four sizes
  • Lightweight design makes it easy to wear
  • Scratch-resistant design makes it hard for cats to remove
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best for Kittens: PETBABA Cat Cone Collar

Kittens are considerably smaller than full-grown cats and sometimes finding a cat cone that fits around their tiny necks and doesn’t weigh them down can be difficult. This cat cone by PETBABA is perfect for kittens. The smallest size is 5 to 6 inches around the neck, and it is 4 inches in width. It has a very small adjustable range. It’s designed to prevent your kitty from licking or scratching her wounds while she heals. You can use this immediately after leaving the vet and you can even keep it on hand for kitties that struggle with grooming. It’s a helpful cone, especially if you foster kittens or are currently caring for a litter.

It’s made with lightweight PVC and it’s clear, which allows your cat to keep her peripheral vision while wearing it. The neckline is soft and padded to increase comfort while your kitty gets better. One of our testers used two of these for each of her 4.5-month-old kittens—after their spay surgeries. She mentioned that she did have to clean up a little for one of her cats after each meal because she would spill some food on the cone but other than that, they held on perfectly over the two-week healing period they had to wear them. One of the kitties took her claws to it and scratched the soft lining to pieces but the cone still held up and did its job!

Best for Kittens
PETBABA Cat Cone Collar
  • Perfect size for kittens
  • 4-inch width offers great coverage
  • Prevents licking and scratching
  • Made of lightweight PVC
  • Soft, padded design provides comfortable wear
Check Amazon

4. Most Comfortable: SunGrow Post-Surgery Soft Cone Cat Recovery Collar

If you’re still not sure about using that lampshade design of cat cones, even with softer materials, you’ll love this creative alternative. It’s a cushioned collar that’s super soft and has a rounder shape than others, which allows your kitty to rest easily in any position. It’s a flexible design that holds its place but doesn’t impede your cat’s movement. It’s a lot less stressful for cats because it doesn’t block their vision, doesn’t hinder natural movement, or attempts to eat or drink water, and it’s super comfortable and efficient.

The edges are made with soft fabric instead of a rigid lining so when they’re resting, they don’t have to stay in a specific position. You can also fold it upward or fold it downward depending on the recovery spot. It’s equipped with adjustable loop-type wrist closure fasteners, to tighten or loosen it as required. After your kitty uses this soft cat cone, it might be a little dirty. To get it looking good as new, just throw it in the wash! Aside from the practical design, it’s a lot more colorful and vibrant than traditional cones and can keep your kitty looking cute as a button while she recovers.

We tested this with a 16.2-pound kitty that had abdominal surgery. Unfortunately, he was really struggling with the cheap paper collar that was applied at the vet. It freaked him out and he would get stuck in the corner of a wall, trying to move, and not understanding why he was stuck. The medications he was on made him a little bit slower and confused and that collar just added to his discomfort. We loved the microfiber material and how flexible it is. We were able to easily maneuver it so that he could keep his peripheral vision while remaining protected. He was able to get to his food and water without any difficulties. We love this alternative to traditional designs and highly recommend it!

Most Comfortable
SunGrow Post-Surgery Soft Cone Cat Recovery Collar
  • Creative alternative to standard cone design
  • Soft, round shape makes it more comfy and manageable
  • Flexible design offers protection but doesn't impede movement
  • Won't block vision
  • Allows for ease of eating and drinking
  • Adjustable closure ensures a custom fit
Check Chewy Check Amazon

5. Best Budget-Friendly: Depets Adjustable Recovery Pet Cone E-Collar

When you’re still dazed by the total you paid at the vet, (especially if you don’t have pet insurance) you may not want to consider another expense. For a budget-friendly cat cone, you can check out this adjustable plastic collar by Depets. Coming in at less than eight dollars, this cat cone provides enough depth to prevent your kitty from licking herself. The neck circumference is adjustable, and you can quickly take it on and off, so your cat doesn’t have a stressful experience during the application or during removal. It has a soft fabric edge which makes it breathable and comfortable.

The material is a lightweight plastic, so it won’t weigh your kitty’s head down. One of our testers used this with her three-year-old kitty that kept scratching himself and bleeding—right near his eye! She did what she had to do, got this budget-friendly cat cone on him, and he lost all his will to live—for approximately three hours. We love cat owners with a great sense of humor. Anyway, he started to heal very quickly with the antibiotic he was prescribed and after those initial three hours, he figured out how to navigate his way around the house. She left it on for a whole week, removing it three times per day for some cuddles and during meal times.

During this period of removal, she would also quickly wipe it down to clear out any water or food-soaked areas. The plastic was super easy to clean, allowing her to put it back on after they were done with meals, snuggles, and cleaning. She did mention that after he was completely healed, he needed a bath because he was a bit stinky. But the cone did what it was supposed to do and now he’s back to his free-running, loving, and playful self. She also mentioned that she now uses it to clip his nails because it’s a lot easier when he’s in this submissive position.

Best Budget-Friendly
Depets Adjustable Recovery Pet Cone E-Collar for Cats
  • Adjustable plastic collar ensures a custom fit
  • Affordable price tag at less than $8
  • Prevents your cat from licking and scratching where it shouldn't
  • Soft fabric edge means Kitty will be comfy
Check Amazon

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

Selecting the best cat cone for your kitty depends on several different factors. Obviously, your budget is a concern. You may not be able to go for a super comfortable splurge option, but you can still pick up a great product with soft lining, and sturdy materials, that help your kitty heal. While it may not be the most comfortable, it serves a specific purpose and that’s to get your cat back on track. Below are some of the other considerations when deciding on the best cat cone:

Material

The traditional cat cone is made of plastic. This is super easy to clean when eventually your cat spills either liquid medication, food, or water on it. Having something that you can quickly wipe down, even while your cat is wearing it, is super helpful. For cats that are going to be in recovery for a longer period, you may want to consider a different type of fabric. The original comfy cone that we highlighted as our number one pick is made with padded nylon, so it remains sturdy but still offers some softness and flexibility.

The most comfortable cone we highlighted is the SunGrow soft cone. This one is great if your cat tends to be pretty docile and not too fussy. However, a cat that absolutely hates cones and will use all her efforts and energy to get it off may be able to get through it or may be able to fold it back in a way that prevents protection. Deciding on the material is about practicality, comfort, and of course, your budget.

Size

Size is another critical feature. If it doesn’t fit, your cat will be able to slip out of it, and she may re-injure herself. With sizing, you should be able to slip two fingers beneath the neckline of the cone and it should be able to adjust around your cat’s head rather easily. You should be able to gently pull the cone away from your cat’s head to test it—and it should stay put. If it slips off, it’s too loose. With kittens, it can be hard finding a size small enough. That’s why we highlighted an option for kittens in the list above. If you’re not sure about the size, check with your vet and they’ll be able to provide guidance.

Comfort

Whether your kitty is recovering from surgery, or her allergies have flared up and you’re just trying to prevent her from scratching her skin raw, she’s already in an uncomfortable state. No matter what type of cat cone you use, it’s still going to take some getting used to. If all you can afford is a standard plastic cone, that’s completely fine. It’ll work to prevent your cat from injuring herself and although it won’t be comfortable, cats are resilient. Once that cone comes off, she’ll be back to her regular self.

A softer cone is obviously more comfortable, but it should remain sturdy enough to where your cat can’t manipulate it away from her face. Consider your cat’s personality and the length of time she’ll need to be wearing the cone so you can make the best decision. You may initially start with a plastic cone, realize that it’s not quite working for your cat, and switch over to a softer, more comfortable option. Luckily, you have five amazing products to choose from above.

The Different Types of Cat Cones: Pros and Cons Compared

Soft Cat Cone

PROSCONS
Ultra-comfortableMay not be sturdy enough for restless cats
Allows for resting in any position 
Easy to clean 

Plastic Cat Cone

PROSCONS
Sturdy materialsMore uncomfortable than softer options
Affordable 
Easy to clean 

Verified Review: User Experience

The Original Comfy Cone by All Four Paws is revered by cat owners because of how it offers superior protection with a more flexible approach. For example, this user was ecstatic, sharing that “This thing was a godsend. I was kicking myself for not ordering it in time for my cat’s spay. She had to wear the plastic cone for a few days and watching her morose response to it was heartbreaking. When we switched to this, she was like a new kitty (a cross between a post-spay cat and her old self). It’s definitely a better comfort for a cat than the plastic cone.”

The SunGrow Post-Surgery Soft Cone offers a unique alternative that pet parents love. This user shares her story: “Our cat was attacked by another cat and had a serious abscess on her shoulder. When she came home from the vet, she had drainage tubes and the dreaded “cone” made of plastic. It threw off her equilibrium and made it very hard for her to eat, drink and sleep. This soft cone was awesome! She was able to eat and drink and it didn’t throw off her equilibrium as her whiskers were not confined. She was able to sleep comfortably as well. She has had to wear it for 2 1/2 weeks and doesn’t seem to mind. If your pet needs to wear a cone for any period, I highly recommend this product!”

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About the Author

Angie is a writer with over 10 years of experience developing content for product and brand reviews, focusing much of her time on animals of all types. A cat owner herself, she enjoys writing articles on beloved pets that both inform and entertain her audience.

This Is the Top Cat Cone (It Actually Stays On!) FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What can I put on my cat instead of a cone?

There are a couple of different alternatives to the traditional plastic cones you get from your vet’s office. You can try an inflatable collar or a soft cat cone like the ones we highlighted above. There are even neck brace collars. Some of these may not offer as much protection because they’re not as restrictive, but depending on your cat’s situation, they may just work! You can also cover any wounds completely with soft fabric and secure it with medical tape to keep your kitty from licking at or scratching the area. This might be helpful for smaller wounds, but for larger wounds, you’ll need more than that.

What kind of cone is best for a cat?

Our top pick is the original comfy cone. It’s soft but rigid enough and allows your cat to move about freely and rest in comfortable positions. Removing the stays makes it even more flexible, so you can manipulate the shape. Plus, it’s reversible, which provides you with options on how to affix it to your kitty. It’s easy to clean and we just can’t say enough good things about it!

Is a cone good for a cat?

If she needs it, absolutely. A cone shouldn’t be used on a healthy cat unless briefly for grooming. Cones are designed to keep your kitty from biting or licking at her wounds. And if the injury is on her face, a sturdy cone keeps her from scratching at her face. They should remain on until she’s healed and able to be left alone, without supervision.

Is it cruel to put a cone on a cat?

No—your cat may struggle with a cone initially but within a few hours, she’ll become accustomed to it. It’s a necessity to keep her safe from re-injury while she heals. Once she’s healed, the cone comes off, and your kitty will feel good as new!

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