Microchipping is a safe and permanent method of identifying animals- and greatly increases the chance of reuniting lost or stolen cats with their owners. Traditional collars and tags can easily come off or even potentially put cats at risk of injury. By comparison, microchips are permanent . Each microchip contains a unique 15 digit code which is stored on a national database containing the owner’s contact details. Scanning the chip reveals the cat’s particulars and his or her owner’s name, address and contact details allowing them to be quickly traced and reunited.
The Importance of Microchipping your Cat
Cats can go missing for a number of reasons. They can become lost or disorientated especially if you have just moved house, can become scared and run away, or get involved in an accident. While collars can come off or be removed, microchips remain safely in place. Microchips are also useful in resolving ownership disputes.
When should I have my cat microchipped?
There is no minimum age for microchipping cats- but most are implanted at the time of initial kitten vaccinations or neutering- and certainly all cats should be microchipped before they are allowed outside for the first time. Many breeders ensure their kittens are chipped before they go to their new homes and most shelters will have cats microchipped before rehoming. It is vital that you have your cat or kitten microchipped if you are intending on taking him or her abroad with you. In some countries this is compulsory.
Microchips can be implanted by veterinary surgeons or trained members of animal welfare organisations. After a short consultation, a tiny microchip about the size of a grain of rice is inserted under your cat’s skin between the shoulder blades. The procedure is quick and no more painful than an injection. Once the microchip is in place your cat will not be able to feel it and it will- in the vast majority of cases- remain in place for life.
Keeping in touch
It is vital that you remember toupdate your microchip contact details if you move house or change telephone number. You can do this by contacting your microchip database.
What if I lose my cat?
If you do lose your cat- get in touch with your database to make sure they have the most up to date contact details for you. If your lost cat is found and scanned, you can then be easily reunited with him or her.
Additional benefits of microchips
Do you often have unwanted feline visitors entering your house through your cat flap? If so- and if your cat has been microchipped - you might want to consider installing a special microchip- activated cat flap in your home. These identify cats trying to enter your home by scanning their microchips and only allow entry to those whose microchip number you have programmed into the cat flap.
What if I want to rehome my cat?
If you wish to transfer ownership of your cat simply contact the microchip database and complete the relevant forms to ensure that the new owner’s details are linked to your cat’s microchip details.