My cats have always lost their collars.
I've found their breakaway collars laying in the dirt, under shrubs and stuck to fences, furniture, and even to the bird cage I put over the catnip plant. I found the collars on that bird cage all the time, and also collected collars from neighbor cats there.
It was always good, because that is what a breakaway collar is supposed to do - the buckle opens and the cat can escape. The dangling pet ID tag actually contributes to the collar loss, as it can cause the entanglement. For example, one day I saw my cat loafing over the floor vent for a really long time. It took me awhile to realize she was stuck there because her ID tag dropped into the slats. When I released her she ran directly to the litterbox.
I got really frustrated that I was losing these collars, because each collar and tag combination cost me about $15-$20, and I wanted my indoor/outdoor cats to always be wearing their ID.
And then I learned about these two things: the collars made by Beastie Bands™, and ID tags that are designed to lay flat. Combine a Beastie Band™ with a curved, engraved ID tag, and you have a combination that might just help a lost cat get returned to home.
Beastie Bands™ are made of neoprene, offer a huge variety of cute silkscreened images, a sturdy grommet and a Velcro® closure. They are designed to be cut to the length you need. The neoprene is stretchy, so between that and the Velcro®, your cat can escape if he gets hung up. Another great things about the Beastie Bands is they work really well to hold an e-collar (the "cone of shame") on.
As mentioned above, I suggest combining a curved ID tag with the Beastie Bands. Sure, you can get a very cheap engraved ID that that the collar can pass through, but it it's a flat piece of metal, it won't lay nicely on your cat's neck: it will stick out funny, and will make the collar twist. The tag I recommend has these features:
Here is an example of how the collar and tag look on Retro.
Can you see how the ID tag is slightly curved and lays nicely on Retro's collar?
Beastie Bands are kind of hard to find, but you can order them from TheCatConnection.com. Here is a link to the product page. The Cat Connection has so many different styles available. In the Seattle area I know you can get Beastie Bands at the Whole Cat and Kaboodle in Kirkland, WA and at Petapoluza in Seattle's Freemont neighborhood. Do you have a favorite local store that carries Beastie Bands? Let us know in the comments section.
The ID tag can be ordered online, and you can choose color, style and collar width. They ship quickly, and it really is a good quality tag. I have honestly never had a cat loose one of these flat ID tags.
This is a link to the ID tag I pictured above: