I used to “bell the cats” on a regular basis. Each morning when I opened the cat door, each kitty would get his or her little collar with name tag and bell and off they could go to play in the enclosure. I felt at the time, and still do to some extent, that although all of my cats are microchipped, should one get out, or some disaster occur (i.e. a car stray through the fence – don’t laugh, it’s happened to two of my neighbors), my little one would have a better chance of finding her way back to me if she had her collar and tag on. Back then I also brought all of the cats in before dark. I have since gotten much less cautious. Weighing the pros and cons, I now keep a bell only on Simba Kahn so I can track his movements because the collars were wreaking havoc with their neck fur. I also allow them access to the enclosure 24/7 due to the increased number of my pride as I hope that it reduces the stress for them to have more territory to roam. By-the-way some literature recommends that you keep your cats in a collar with name tag in addition to microchipping even when they are indoor only. I don’t disagree. I just don’t do it. Sometimes we just takes our chances, as they say, and hope the meteor will not choose our house to land on.
All of the above because I just read an interesting study. You may or may not be aware that the whole KEEP YOUR CATS INDOORS thing is not universal around the world and in fact in some areas of the world even pedigreed cats are allowed to roam outside. For areas such as these, there’s the controversy over cats killing the local wild life, so in New Zealand they conducted a study on “belling the cats!” I thought this was very interesting.
I subscribe to “Cat Health News from the Winn Foundation” where I pick up a lot of great tid bits of information such as the New Zealand study. Be sure to check out this second link. It’s a fabulous resource on feline health and care.