Marmalade The Injurer – How We Discovered An Alternative To The Cone Of Shame

Cats will be cats. Back in 2014 Marmalade managed to scratch his eye on something. His “adventures” with the cone of shame would never be the same. I’d been re-arranging a cluttered closet and then went to the kitchen to make a cuppa.

*I’m British and need regular cups of tea to survive, especially on cleaning days!

Of course Marm followed me to make sure I wasn’t handing out anything edible and I noticed straight away that there was an issue.

His eye was obviously irritating him and he was squinting, but there was no visible debris in his eye. We knew that it would require another vet visit – URGH!

It was a Sunday afternoon but luckily we got an appointment a couple hours later at a nearby vet clinic. Here, they stained the surface of his eye and immediately we could see the abrasion. It was nothing mega serious but still bad enough.

We were 99% sure that he scraped his eye on the horrible popcorn ceiling we had in our apartment. He was likely squeezing between a storage bin and the top of our closet. Yet another reason to get rid of popcorn ceilings!

Poor Marm bravely battled with eye drops and taking his temperature…always fun!

However, then the vet tech told me that they had ran out of e-collars, AKA the “Cone of Shame”.

It was getting late, so I had to drop Marm off back home. Jess monitored him as best she could to keep him from messing with his eye. 

I anxiously dashed off to the local pet store to see what I could find. I picked up a small sized material e-collar that looked like it would do the trick and then headed home. This design also required a regular collar to fit more securely and Marm wasn’t impressed!

This collar design was sturdy and rugged, but it was also pretty darn heavy. And of course it limited Marmalade’s field of vision which I think was the main source of frustration for him.

After a restless night for both humans and cats, I headed back to Petco to see what else they had to offer. It was then that I came across the ZenPet inflatable ProCollar.

I’d never seen these before and was a bit skeptical so I also grabbed a regular clear plastic collar as well.

Once I returned home we decided to try the Inflatable collar first in lieu of a cone of shame. 

In theory it sounded amazing–it was lightweight and wouldn’t block his field of view. But I kept the receipt close by because I thought it was just a matter of time before Marm freaked out and it was deemed useless!

Luckily Marm took to it like he wasn’t even wearing anything!

We followed him around just waiting for the head shakes to start, for his tiny head to pop out and for him to disappear in a ginger blur! Still nothing! We were keeping our fingers crossed that this wasn’t the calm before the storm. Fortunately our positive vibes paid off and Marm just continued to go about doing his general cat stuff with ease.
We probably ALL breathed a sigh of relief!

I don’t usually brag about products, but since we tried this one and Marmalade definitely appurroved, I couldn’t keep quiet!

Plus I’m sure many people out there have experienced the same problems, so I felt compelled to give this collar a shout-out πŸ™‚

Marmalade had to keep this collar on for two weeks straight while we administered eye drops every 12 hours. Although, we did gave him regular supervised breaks. I think by the end of the fortnight he was actually enjoying having his very own built in catnap pillow! The inflatable collar didn’t restrict his movements, and he could still jump and play on the cat tree.

It also made for two very relieved cat parents!

Marm bad eye
What?! This face couldn’t belong to an “bad boy”!!!

Marm is quite the handful when he doesn’t want to do something. At the vet clinic where he had his chemotherapy treatments, he had a “bad boy” reputation among the vet techs. During his last few check-ups, I had to go in the room alone and put a face mask on him to prevent him from biting them! So believe me, if he had wanted out of this collar, he would have made it happen!

As you can see this wasn’t his first experience with an e-collar or cone of shame.

After he had his cancerous tumor removed, the vet clinic gave us this lightweight collar that was also very good.

Photo: Marm’s scar from the cancerous tumor being removed from his intestines

He ended up wearing it kind of like a cape instead, but it did the job. It prevented him from messing with his stitches and was also relatively comfortable.Marm bad eye

We set-up a recovery area for Marm to keep him from moving around too much after his surgery and you can see what he thought of that idea! 


So I had to follow him around like a toddler for many days after the surgery to make sure he wasn’t overdoing it.

In conclusion, we definitely recommend the inflatable ProCollar!

You can get one here on our Amazon Favorites Storefront too where a small portion of the profits goes into our TNR efforts–at no extra cost to you!


It made life much easier for Marm (and human servants). Marmalade’s eye recovered completely and he was quickly back to his goofy self! 

marm better

You can see some video footage of Marmalade wearing the inflatable collar in this video:

What do you think? Share your cat recovery stories and tips in the comments section below…

Thanks fur reading πŸ™‚ ~ Cat Man Chris

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  1. I’m so glad Marm is on the mend – for his sake as well as for yours. He had that David Bowie anisocoria look going there…

  2. Poor Marm! I used to wear hard contacts, and scratch my cornea by wearing them too long, so I know the pain you go through! Our cat rescue has had experience with the plastic collars from a vet (we usually save and wash them for other cats, as the vet charges extra for them!) I usually cut them down a bit as they keep cats from eating (and dry food would get stuck in them!) We usually thread a cat collar through the loops instead of cloth to make it stay on. However, the flat cloth collars like Marm. had after surgery don’t work too well, as I’ve had a few cats pull them off. Thanks for your review of this kind! Hope you were able to take the other back. And people out there, please wash and donate the inflatable ones to rescues and shelter!

  3. Awesome job taking care of Marmalade and getting him well! He looks GREAT! We too purchased an inflatable collar for our boy; but when we arrived at the eye specialist Vet she said the inflatable collar was not enough protection from carpet and paws rubbing at the itchy eye and possibly causing more damage. She recommended the standard plastic cone, “the cone of bravery”. We tried the plastic cone but with multiple pets, furniture, etc.. we went back to the inflatable collar in just hours and I too watched him nervously 24 hours a day, for many weeks. Occasionally I would hear a sound and run into the room to help him with an itch. Thankfully all went well in our situation too. So glad Marmalade is such a good boy with his inflatable collar. Kudos and well done to all of you!

    • Yeah it’s not 100% effective, but we watched Marm very closely and could see that luckily his eye wasn’t bugging him too much and he never really tried that hard to rub it, so we got away with two weeks of the inflatable collar, thank goodness!

  4. We’re glad Marmalade’s eye is better now. When I had to wear the cone of shame, the mom got one of those inflatable collars for me and I hated it! So I ended up having to wear the big plastic lampshade thing.

  5. Thanks for being a great cat-parent. I have not had to deal with the dreaded cone yet with mine, but I know now the first one I will get if the need arises. I love these two kitties! Such spoiled little muffins.

  6. My daughter’s kitty, RJ Puss, also scratched his eye. It was Christmas Day 1014 and with all the wrapping paper and boxes and the artificial tree it some how happened. He too had the tell tail sign of a closed eye and a bit of discharge . He didn’t bother it at all. He just sat under the Christmas tree with one eye closed.
    We called the expert “cat lady” up the street and she assured us that we could wait until the next day for a vet visit.
    Well our vet did the same stain test and insisted upon the $13.00 plastic cone along with drops.
    I am an old school cat person and cautioned my daughter that a “cone of shame” might make him go crazy and change his personality.
    We gave it a try without the cone and he NEVER rubbed or scratched at his “wonky” eye .
    He is the layed back little dude and he dodge the “cone of shame”!!!
    I am thrilled you have shared the alternative blow up cone and it was successful. It is so nice to share your little guys journey and if we shoul ever need a cone we will definitely check out the inflatable cone .
    Love your pics and posts of your sweet kitties !!!
    My daughter wants to add an orange kitty to our family because of Marmalade!!!!
    Still holding out on that for now….
    Hugs and sandpaper kitty kisses,
    RJ Puss’s “Mimi”

  7. My Koko had to have ear surgery back in November, and they sent him home with one of those blue soft collars. His was worn as a cape as well for 2 weeks until the stitches came out and he was in the clear. I will have to go get one of the neck pillows as a back up for the next emergency.
    Love Cole and Marm!

  8. My orange tabby had to wear that awful plastic cone when he had ear surgery. I’ll keep this product in mind for the future, hopefully my babies wont need it but it’s nice to know there’s a better alternative to the old collar that comes from the vet’s office. I’m glad that Marmalade feels better and made a full recovery and Cole really is a great big brother.

  9. When my cat had a low grade fever, liquid antibiotics was prescribed. My cat kept batting the droppet out of my hand so I asked for the meds in pill form. Believe it or not, it was easier for me to pill him!

  10. I forgot to mention we are also cleaning out our closets, maybe you are too for the same reason, that our local SPCA is accepting donations for their Spring Yard Sale to raise money to help the animals. They also have a Fall Yard Sale too. I didn’t even know that had these yard sales until I checked their Events Tab on the local SPCA website. Maybe other SPCAs or Animal Rescues around the country are doing the same thing? I hope so! It helps the precious animals and it helps us feel like our nice stuff, that we have way too much of, is going to help others for an excellent cause, to help the helpless animals be rescued and have a wonderful forever home with a loving family. Especially with kitten seasons there needs to be room for them all. Always a great reason to clean out a closet or more : )

      • I wish you the best with the move. I saw big fabric tubes with foam cushions made for cats and small dogs to move around in during a move across country on amazon. Do you use these during your long moves or any advice or products or videos to share on how to move cats and small dogs across country safely? Or are the large plastic airline crates best or safest? Have you tried the products that have been successfully crash tested? I would greatly appreciate any suggestions and experience good or not so good to avoid. We too maybe making a long move but the job details are still in works. I am wondering how we should best approach such a move to make the process and arrival a good experience for all. Real life experience and advice is best. Thank you always, Katie

    • One of our local shelters has a booth at a flea market. They take things that are donated to fill up the booth. They also have a Barking Lot Sale about 2 or 3 times a year.

  11. I suspect the stress endured by felines losing their peripheral vision (even temporarily) is hard for us primates to fully appreciate. That is why I admire the human understanding and motivation it took to develop the ‘Procollar’ and its cousins. Marmalade, of course, makes the collar look like one of spring’s must-have fashion items.

  12. One of our fur babies Louie is a Manx – which means he was born with no tail. It causes issues sometimes with the neuro receptors from brain to bladder (a cat’s tail serves many functions), so he has had urinary issues all his life. To keep him from over grooming himself to the point of bleeding-he has to wear the cone of shame when we aren’t home. He is such a good natured cat that he deals with it well, but they have to be short and shallow enough that your kitty can eat and drink! He does tend to hide when he knows we are coming to put the cone on him. That inflatable collar is genius! I may have to invest in one and see if Louie takes to it! Glad to see Marm’s eye is healed-such a pretty kitty!!

  13. I am bipolar, and I had to be hospitalized at one point, and I wasn’t able to take care of my cat, so my sister took it away. We both were sad that we had to take her to a shelter, but she was a beauty and we sent her food along with her, so we think in our hearts that she went to a good home.

    For six years I lived without a cat. It was very sad without a cat, and I often mourned the fact that I didn’t have one. In order to get another one, I had to pay an exorbitant fee for her. So I didn’t have a cat.

    Then a ray of hope came about. I found myself a condo with a stipulation of one animal (no fee–it was my real estate). Soon after I got my condo, I went to an animal shelter with my good friend, and we visited the kitties.

    I needed one for my specific needs, and I couldn’t have a biter or scratcher. I have numerous scars on me from previous ones. I thought a polydactyl kitty was a nice one, but as soon as I picked her up, she scratched me and wanted to get into the cage again. I said, “Nope, she’s not my kitty.” And I think she knew it, too.

    I looked around the cages about three times, and then I noticed a beautiful white muzzle and pink nose poking out of a hole in a cardboard box in a cage. And I wondered why this cat was in a box, thinking it rather cruel. I tried to entice it out with wiggling my fingers in the cage, then opening the door and doing it at the edge of the box. She wouldn’t come out.

    So I decided, “Okay, I’ll stick my hand in the box.” (I couldn’t see her at all inside.) “If she mauls me, she’s not mine.” So I stuck my hand in. I stroked her front and back paws and she didn’t draw away. I messed with her tail and she didn’t get agitated. I caressed her side and she LEANED on me! And she was fine with me messing with her head, too. I could tell she wanted to come home to her furever home with me.

    I pulled her out of the cage and she hugged me! And she was so good when she went into the carrier my friend helped me with. And she was so patient with us when we took her to the pet store to get her stuff and take her home.

    Now, after having laid claim to my bedroom, she had, within a day, become condo owner and office manager, and she lives the Life of Riley! She’s an only kitty, and she’s such a laid-back, sweet girl! I got her when she was 3, and now she is 8 years old, going on 9!

    Yes, she is my lifesaver.

  14. Poor marmalade. He’s such a little darling but that kitty sure is having his health problems just lately. He’s such an active little man and on a lot of your videos Cole just looks at marm and walks away I’m sure if Cole could talk he would say to Marm “jeez your such a whirlwind you need to calm it little bro”. Keep the videos coming Chris they keep us entertained

    • Hey Vicki, yeah he’s always finding something to get into, luckily he takes all his health problems in his stride….. You’re right Cole does do that, I must try and capture Cole’s goofy side more often, trust me he does have one, lots more videos on the way πŸ˜‰

  15. My cat was so upset about his cone of shame he wouldn’t stand up and kinda slunked around really close to the floor, then peed on my bed. So our cone of shame lasted all of 10 minutes. My best friend is a vet tech and raves about pro collars

  16. I wish that collar was around a couple of years ago, our old cat Noggin (also ginger) scratched his eye whilst outside in the garden. We took him to the vets, it was so bad he didn’t know if he would lose the sight from his eye. He had to also wear the cone of shame, but it was oh so difficult to keep it on him. He would literally try to strangled himself trying to get it off. After many nerve wracking moments we eventually had to take it off him for his own safety and watch him like an eagle at all times. Bless him if he so much as lifted a paw we would jump out of our seats lol (I think he started to do this on purpose on many occasions). Noggins eye got better and he retained his sight much to the vets amazement. So glad to see Marms eye has got better xx

  17. I’m glad the inflatable collar worked for so well Marm, and he didn’t decide to claw it off. It is so hard to convince an animal, ESPECIALLY a cat they are NOT being tortured or punished for something. Cats want to be in charge of everything, including the distribution of food, treats and toys. They humor us, their catslaves, to a point, and when they reach that point, the gloves are off and the fight for dominance begins.

  18. 2 years ago one of my cats was hit by a car and required extensive facial surgery to have his jaws wired and stabilise several skull fractures. The hospital gave him an inflatable collar and it worked really well. The jaw wired were secured with a hard resin which made a cone impractical. The inflatable collar also protected his feeding tube. He passed away due to complications and an infection but the inflatable collar definitely made him a little more comfortable than a cone of shame would have. A great idea and does the trick.

  19. Hehe my cat spock had a light weight collar on before. He also ended up wearing it like a cape. By the end of the two weeks with that on, he was wearing it like a pro and wouldn’t struggle when we put it back on him after letting him play out for an hour or so.

  20. We have an inflatable collar for our Enok. Unfortunately he still reaches some spots that should be left to heal. I would like to find the lightweight collar that Marm was given by the vet after his surgery (the one he ended up wearing kind of like a cape). Any thoughts on brand, how to buy, where to buy would be much appreaciated (especially if they can be shipped to Sweden). Thanks! Maria and Enok

    • Hey Maria and Enok, no I’m not sure where to find those collars, I was actually looking for them at Petco when I was there, I’m sure you can find them online somewhere though? Good luck! πŸ™‚

  21. Awesome recommendation! Thanks! One of our cats has allergies and this would be great during an “outbreak” so he doesn’t lick the cream medication he needs. And thank mew to Marm, too.

  22. Poor Marmalade; glad he is on the mend! Anything to do with the eyes is scary. My Billy has gotten his cornea scratched twice … probably roughhousing with his brother, Pekoe. He needed ointment in his eye twice a day for two weeks, and was VERY good about letting me put it in, but he didn’t have to wear a collar. Billy’s also had eye drops three times a day for uveitis (twice), so he’s a little trouper when it comes to tolerating eye medicine. I shudder to think what I would have to go through if I ever had to do that to Pekoe (who looks like Marm)!

  23. This looks fantastic! My cat is currently recovering from a surgical biopsy of her intestines and a feeding tube… the e-collar was a nightmare (she was prancing like a horse, couldn’t really walk or hop where she wanted to and also couldn’t eat, which I definitely didn’t want to prevent her from doing considering her recent IBD diagnosis!) so we ended up using her Kitty Kollar ( to keep her from scratching out her staples on her neck. I don’t think it would prevent her from licking her abdominal incision like the inflatable collar you’ve featured here, but for anyone who is dealing with an esophageal feeding tube, I highly recommend the Kitty Kollar!!

  24. I thought the inflatable collar looked good. The plastic cone is not great for cats since it restricts too much. Question for your cat behaviourist. When we sit down one cat or the other will usually think ‘ah lap time!’ One of them though, always has to walk over us, from left to right or right to left and back again before he sits down. EVERY time. Why?
    Sandra (another Brit, but in Spain!)

    • Yes, the inflatable color gets a big thumbs up from us! Sometimes Cole does this too, to be honest I have no idea, maybe they’re checking how squishy we feel that day before committing to lap time? πŸ™‚

  25. Brofur Rumpy had a burn his first year here (long story) and Dad got him one of those. It worked well and then a friend made him a form fitting suit so he did not need it any longer. Dad kept that collar though as it worked so well.

  26. We are also fans of the inflatable collar. We decided to try one when we woke up one morning and found the e-collar in the litter box. We have also used baby onesies post-surgery (we leave the snaps undone). It covers the incision but does not restrict movement. And it gives you a good laugh when you see it.

  27. I also HIGHLY recommend inflatable collars! When my youngest kitty Piper was fixed even the smallest cone of shame was too big for her, and it stressed her out. The pillow collar though was perfect and made an excellent pillow as well!

  28. I just want to say that I pray God continues to watch over and protect and keep Marmalade healthy and cancer free! I am so happy to see he is an active lively loving sweet angel. Thank the Lord. I pray Cole is kept in health as well. It always is so nice when I see a cat living into their 20’s same things with dogs long lives are the happiest news to hear.

  29. Thank the Lord God Marmalade is cancer free and active and happy!! I pray God continues to watch over him and keep him healthy and and a long life ahead. Same with Cole. God bless

  30. Our biggest problem child was Jake and the pills he had to take the last couple of years of his life. Tried mixing the pills with food, only to find his bowl licked clean and the pill sitting in the very center. We tried the “drop it in, hold his mouth shut, and stroke his throat to make him swallow”; about a third of the time, when we cuddled him afterwards to make up for it, we would get a half-dissolved, soggy pink pill spat back in our lap. We never did figure out how to give a cat medicine reliably.

  31. Those inflatable collars are great. Rumpy Bump Stumpnots had a nasty burn when he was a teen and one of these worked wonders to prevent licking. When he healed up we needed to prevent scratching also and a friend made him a nice cotton jacket with Velcro closure. It was form fitting so he looked quite the cat. We still have that collar just in case there are more cat hi jinks. So glad that Marmalade is alright.
    After all, we Orangies have to stick together

  32. I am glad Marm has fully recovered. We have two cats, Pinky and Emma. They are 1 1/2 years old and they need to be spayed. I don’t know if they will have to use the collar of bravery/shame.
    I am particularly worried about Pinky, for she is very small.
    They are sisters and best friends. They love their humans, too.
    As for collars as we live in Brazil, if we want something different we have to buy through internet (amazon or whatever).
    I only hope that all this spaying thing goes well.
    Best wishes from Brazil!

  33. I’ll have to check the collar you used on Marm for my cat when I get her spayed. My only problem is that I live in southern Alberta. Are there any chain pet stores that have stores in both the US and Canada?

  34. Our pretty girl is such a delight at home, but 3x vets (at the same time) couldn’t handle her to get her stitches out after a cat attack (she’s an indoor cat and the taunter banged open a doggy door and she escaped). They had to put her out to it to get her stitches removed.

  35. I love the idea of the inflatable collar. I am going to get one, and let my to practice wearing it occasionally, so if there’s ever a need, they’re already used to it.

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Written by catmanchris

I'm owned by internet kitties Cole & Marmalade, I'm a lifelong cat fan and hope to continue to both entertain and educate with the videos I produce and the blog posts I create

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