Since 6th April 2016 it has been the law that all dogs must be microchipped – unfortunately no such law applies to cats.
There are often stories in the press of cats that have strayed miles from home only to be eventually reunited with their owners thanks to their microchip. There are also stories of cats being fed by other people because the cat was in their garden and presumed to be a stray rather than just a cat on the lookout for a free meal.
It is very distressing to lose a cat but unfortunately without any reliable form of identification it can be extremely difficult to reunite owners with their cats or prove ownership in cases of ‘strays’ that have been fed and adopted. A microchip really can be the difference between seeing a lost pet again, or not.
What Happens When Your Cat Gets Microchipped?
It is a very quick and easy procedure to microchip your cat.
Your vet will inject a small microchip (about the size of a grain of rice) under the loose skin at the back of the neck, which will give your cat their own personal identification number.
Will Microchipping My Cat Hurt?
Microchipping your cat causes a minimal amount of pain. The pain will be no more than when you have a blood sample taken.
Why Should I Microchip My Cat?
Microchipping your cat is the only way of being reunited with them should they stray away from home. It is a permanent identification, as collars and tags can be easily lost.
Should I Microchip My Indoor Cat?
It is just as important to have a cat that stays indoors microchipped as it is a cat that is allowed outside. You never know when they may escape. If they accidentally get out it is the best way of them being reunited with you.
When Should I Get My Cat Microchipped?
There is no specific age or time to get have your cat microchipped. However, it is a good idea to get them microchipped before you start to let them outside.
Some owners will have their cat microchipped at their 2nd vaccination. Your cat will be slightly bigger at this point, plus they can start to go outside 2 weeks after this vaccination.
Some owners choose to wait until their cat is neutered before microchipping, as they are keeping them indoors until this procedure is performed.
How Much Does It Cost To Microchip My Cat?
The cost of microchipping your cat does vary between practices, but on average the cost is roughly between £10-£20. Often health schemes will include microchipping.
It is best to call your vet to check the cost of vaccination.
Keeping Your Cat’s Microchip Details Up To Date
Once your cat has been microchipped you must remember to keep your details correct and up to date.
Your veterinary practice and the pet microchip database are separate. If you move house you should inform both your veterinary practice of your new address and phone details as well as your microchip company.
Don’t forget to update microchip details on a cat you have re-homed as well. This can be done by contacting the microchip company.
You’re responsible for keeping these details up to date. However, your veterinary practice can help.
How Do I Update My Cat’s Microchip?
- Find the database, which holds yours and your cat’s details, this can be found on your paperwork or your veterinary practice can tell you. If you don’t have your cat’s microchip number, you can call your veterinary practice to scan your cat for the number or they may have your cat’s number on their system.
- Fill out a change of details form, each database should have one. There may be a charge for changing your information.
Where Can I Get My Cat Microchipped?
Implantation of a microchip should be carried out by a qualified implanter. All veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses are qualified to do this procedure. Usually most pets are microchipped at the vets.
It is very important that the microchip is implanted by someone qualified, as complications can arise if performed incorrectly.
Does The Microchip Always Work?
Unfortunately like with all technology, microchips can fail to be detected by the scanner.
Problems with scanners are not very common but may occur due to human error. This can include not using scanner correctly or incomplete scanning of the animal.
Other factors may include animals that are moving around a lot, struggling when being held, long or matted fur at or near the implantation site, excessive deposits of fat at the microchip site or collars that have metal parts can all affect the scanning of the microchip.
Does The Microchip Always Stay In The Same Place?
Generally, once a microchip has been implanted it stays in the same place, usually between the shoulder blades. However, the microchip may occasionally migrate to another area. This does not usually cause a problem to your pet but can make finding the microchip a little more difficult.
When scanning for a microchip the scanner is run all over the animal’s body to ensure that we pick up any microchip that may have moved.
The Importance Of Getting Your Cat Microchipped
If your cat strays or gets injured and handed in to a veterinary centre, rescue centre, the police or local authority, they all have special hand held scanners that can detect and read the microchip number.
Your cat’s unique chip number can then be checked against the national database and you can be reunited with your pet. N.B. It is very important to update your details with new addresses and phone numbers if they change.
Microchipping is a simple way of permanent identification for any pet. Did you know as part of your VIP Pet Club membership, a microchip for your pet is included in the package. Find out more about our VIP Cat Club.