Alternatives to the Dreaded “Cone of Shame”

by K Marie Alto January 19, 2020 2 min read

Alternatives to the Dreaded “Cone of Shame”

Dog wearing plastic Elizabethan collar

If you’ve ever had a kitty or pup hopefully you’ve had them sprayed/neutered.  Since fur babies can easily pull out stitches and over-groom sensitive areas, it’s important to restrict their access. Enter the solution: the traditional plastic cone; dun dun dunnnnn “the cone of shame,” placed around your fur baby’s neck.  It’s heartbreaking to see your little one struggling to eat and get comfortable while trying to recover.  But, did you know there are alternatives to this plastic cone?  With a little bit of planning, you can order a comfier alternative for your fur baby. 

Here are some of my favorites:

The Soft Cone of Shame

This is most similar to the plastic cone that you’re used to seeing.  While this collar still has a structured cone shape, it’s much more flexible to allow your fur baby to lay comfortably.  It also bends a bit if they don’t quite clear the edge of their food dish, preventing unneeded frustration.

Kitten wearing a blue soft cone of shame

The Inflatable Collar

This option is nice because it still limits your fur baby from the surgical site, but it doesn’t obstruct their peripheral vision.  The best part, it can double as a little pillow!  Beware if your fur baby is a huge scratcher.  While these collars are usually durable, persistent scratching is asking for a popped interior.

Puppy wearing a gray inflatable collar

The Surgical Recovery Suit

While it looks like something you would put on a baby, this specially designed suit is modified to fit your fur baby’s anatomy so they can potty without the suit getting yucky.  Yep, so no collar is needed, instead, a little bodysuit keeps the surgery area safe.  If you go with this option, be sure to manually check the incision as directed by your veterinarian to ensure it’s healing properly.

Kitten wearing surgical recovery body suit

Cute Alternatives

These options really fall into the soft cone of shame category, but they entertain the pet parent way more than a boring soft collar.  “Dress” your little one up as a little piece of toast or a cute flower while they are healing.  You’ll get some adorable pictures while keeping your little one nice and safe!

Cat in elizabethan collarDog in cone

Have you ever purchased a special recovery item for your fur baby?  What did you get?

K Marie Alto
K Marie Alto

K. Marie is an animal lover, wife, kitty mom, dog auntie, writer and co-founder of Toe Beans, a proud American family-owned online boutique pet supplies store focused on the improvement of the life of furry family members via pet parent education, better products, and advocacy. She has over 20 years of experience as a pet momma. She loves sharing her personal journey and experience as a pet parent via her blog and Facebook page where she currently has more than 19K followers (@furrytoebeans) and counting :-).


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