-- Robert Orben --
(PC update - nowadays he has to say Native American, of course. Sigh.)
Well, not actually belled. I took the bell off.
Jasper is almost four years old now, and he has never permitted a collar. I tried to put one on him many times, and he always fought it. He'd try to push it off, sometimes succeeding, sometimes popping the quick release, and often I'd find him immobilized somewhere, embarrassed, with one hind leg firmly stuck through the collar.
I tried a small dog collar, without the quick release (ok because he never goes outside), but they have buckles, and he learned how to unbuckle them. He'd turn it until the buckle was under his chin, then he'd duck his head down until he could get a tooth under the loop of collar going through the buckle, and he'd work it until he could pull the strap through the buckle, and actually unbuckle the darn thing.
It was funny because every time he got a collar off, he'd put it on my bed. Like, "That was fun, Mommy! Let's do it again!" Maybe. Maybe it was actually, "Here's your stupid collar, Mommy. YOU wear it!"
One odd thing - I wore scrunchies a lot (they didn't damage my hair like barrettes did), and I occasionally put one on him like a collar, and he didn't seem to mind it at all. He'd leave it on for two days or so before removing it and putting it on my bed.
It occurred to me that maybe the scrunchies were permitted because they didn't smell strange.
So a few days ago I bought another regular cat collar, quick release and all, and then I wore it on my wrist for 48 hours. I put it on him yesterday, and it's still there! He hasn't even attempted to take it off.
I may have found the secret.
The old house had mice. The new house doesn't. Jasper has been bored. So I've been buying him toys. He likes light foam balls, and little leather catnip mice. He carries the mice around by the tails. It's cute.
One of the mice I bought the other day has feathers. (Yeah, a mouse with a mouse face, mouse ears, a long leather tail, and fluffy feather wings and tail. Gotta wonder about the person who came up with that.) Anyway, it seems to be his favorite, and he has invented a play technique I've never seen before, and I've had many cats over the past 50 years.
He'll crouch, and back up until the mouse is under his hind legs, carefully not looking at it. He'll shift until it's perfectly positioned under his rear claws. He'll pretend to ignore it for a minute or so, and then suddenly jump up, kicking his hind legs out behind him. That sends the mouse flying in an unpredictable direction, and he'll spin around and chase it.