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Identifying Black Cats

Edenca
December 16th, 2011, 09:49 AM
Hi all. I am a volunteer for a feline rescue agency. From time to time, we have some difficulty in telling our black cats apart. Since we are a volunteer organization, some of our people are not as dilligent at putting the correct cat back in the correct cage. Is there a way of marking a black cat that will not harm it, short of tattoos. Would differe
nt ink spots or marker in the ear harm the cat, long term?

Winston
December 16th, 2011, 10:04 AM
Not sure about the marker but what about different color collars like they do with puupies to tell them apart?

Edenca
December 16th, 2011, 10:09 AM
Yes, we have thought about collars, however, when you have 30-40 black cats waiting to be adopted, even then, you run out of choices. Our cats are expected to live out their days inside where collars are not needed. Once the collar is removed, there is a ring mark in the fur that stays there for years. We adopted out cat 4 years ago and you can still see where there was once a collar.

Winston
December 16th, 2011, 10:29 AM
Yeah I didnt think of how many black kitties there are! :cry: The only other way I can think of would be through a micrchip? you'll still run out of colors with a marker?? Good Luck!

sugarcatmom
December 16th, 2011, 01:25 PM
This might be a really weird idea, but what about putting some Soft Paws (http://www.softpaws.com/colors.html) nail covers on a claw or 2 of each cat, in various colour combos and locations. So for instance, one cat gets a pink cover on her right front paw and a yellow one on the left front paw, while another cat might get 2 blue ones on one paw, etc etc. Then put a note (or even better, a visual diagram) on each cage describing the colour/paw combo for the cat that belongs there.

Edenca
December 16th, 2011, 01:40 PM
The claw covers are a thought but we have cats who would not appreciate that type of closeness. Also, we have the black ones come in as kittens with tiny claws, who, sometimes stay for years. It's really sort of sad. My thought was 4 or 5 colours plus black which could then be used in different combinations...1 black dot or x or triangle....2 dots etc.
Also, the claw covers would be an extra expense and for a rescue group that relys on donations and adoption fees to pay all the vet bills, food, litter etc. the claw covers would be an extra expense. Markers would last longer. I was hoping to find out if they would cause any long term problems.

Digston
December 16th, 2011, 02:40 PM
We used TabBands at the pet store I was at. They were a fantastic way to identify the cats as you could write on them. I never noticed any of the banding in the fur that happens with collars. The cost isn't outrageous either. Better yet you can size them appropriately to each cat.

http://www.tabband.com/TabBand-Max-p/tabbandmax.htm

If you did use markers they would have to be non-toxic and even then there may be a dermatological reaction to something like that. I would consult with a vet to see whether there are any products that are safe for use on animals.

BenMax
December 16th, 2011, 03:00 PM
We used TabBands at the pet store I was at. They were a fantastic way to identify the cats as you could write on them. I never noticed any of the banding in the fur that happens with collars. The cost isn't outrageous either. Better yet you can size them appropriately to each cat.

http://www.tabband.com/TabBand-Max-p/tabbandmax.htm

If you did use markers they would have to be non-toxic and even then there may be a dermatological reaction to something like that. I would consult with a vet to see whether there are any products that are safe for use on animals.

Excellent suggestion as many shelters use this.:thumbs up

Edenca
December 16th, 2011, 04:30 PM
Tab bands would be a good solution if the cat or kitten was with us short term. However, we have black cats who have been with us for 1, 1 1/2 to 2 years which is why I wanted to get awy from anything around their necks.

Digston
December 16th, 2011, 05:03 PM
I do understand. We had rescue cats at our location as well... and the black cats did tend to stay for a while :( I would still suggest you try them. I'm not sure if it is the material they use to make them, or if it is how thin they are but I know they would meet your needs. They aren't fabric, I don't know how to accurately discribe them but they are kind of like a plastic covered paper. When the cat moves the TabBand slides across the fur. The fur doesn't bunch underneath it and it doesn't force the fur under it to sit in an unnatural direction. They do offer samples on their website but unfortunately they are currently unavailable.

Perhaps you could call around to some of the local shelters and see what they use to identify their cats. Perhaps they have found a method that could help you.

I am not sure if you would be willing to check into this but do you have any Petland stores in your area? I worked for Petland in their kennels until just recently when they stopped carrying puppies and kittens. Everything that they had in their kennel rooms were donated to local shelters. I know our kennel room here still has a lot of TabBands because the shelter had no use for them. Perhaps, if you have a Petland near you that had kittens at one time, you could call them and see if they still have any and whether they'd be willing to donate them. Just an idea...

sugarcatmom
December 16th, 2011, 05:58 PM
Markers would last longer. I was hoping to find out if they would cause any long term problems.

I wouldn't use a regular marker on a cat, but perhaps a surgical skin marker could be an option: http://www.viomedex.com/products/skinmarkers.htm I would still ask a vet though about long-term use as these products are typically applied once, not repeatedly. Cat skin is highly absorbent and they don't metabolize chemicals the same way that we do. Many products that are fine for people or dogs can build up to toxic levels in a cat with continuous exposure.

Longblades
December 16th, 2011, 09:05 PM
Koolaid hair dye? It's non-toxic, takes a while to grow out and you can get fabulous colours. I'm thinking, pink on one cat's front left leg, another's front right leg and so on. Apparently people can use it on their own dark hair.
Too wild?

Something we did once years ago when we picked out a farm kitten to take home, we cut a bit of hair off his tail. When we went home a week later we could tell him apart from the other black kittens. So, maybe a small shaved spot in a not too conspicuous spot?

Edenca
December 18th, 2011, 12:51 AM
I'm pretty sure that "kool-aid " dye would not show up on black fur, no matter what colour it was but, thanks.

Longblades
December 18th, 2011, 09:54 AM
I'm pretty sure that "kool-aid " dye would not show up on black fur, no matter what colour it was but, thanks.I think it will if you mix it stronger. I googled up before I posted that and the website said you can use it on dark human hair. It's worth at least a google if you think the idea might work.

ETA: I went and googled again myself. You can do it but I think the steps involved will make it pretty hard on the cat's patience.