Microchipping your cat is a very sensible idea if you want vets, local authority animal welfare services and animal welfare charities to be able to identify your cat in the event that either you, or it, gets lost. On average getting your cat microchipped will cost £20-30 and then the only other costs are a small fee to update your details if you decide to move house or change your name. So it’s a total no brainer.
- Microchipping is the most effective way of identifying lost pets.
- Microchips are permanent and can’t be removed by your average stranger like a collar can.
- Microchips are also safer that a collar which can result in various CRI’s (Collar Related Injuries)
- A Microchip can also help in cases of disputed ownership although it does not constitute complete unequivocal proof.
I know what you’re thinking… Wow! tell me more… right?!
Yey, I was right! 🙂
What exactly is a microchip and how does it work?
A microchip in this sense is a passive RFID device. In plain speaking, when a scanner is waved over it, the scanner activates the device and gives it enough power to transmit your animals identifying details which are stored on an electronic chip via radio frequencies. At all other times the chip remains inactive and inert. They are a little larger than the average grain of rice and are encased in biocompatible material (the same type of stuff we make pace makers or stents with.) So you see, it really is pretty safe.
The microchip is implanted in the beneath the skin below your cats neck and between your cats shoulder blades. This procedure will feel much the same to your cat as an injection would to you or me. After the initial procedure your cat won’t even know it’s there.
The vet or animal welfare officer will then take the chips unique 15 number identification code, you will then have to fill out some enrolment paperwork, usually with your cat’s name and description and your contact details as well as your cats vet.
You should receive registration documents within 2-3 weeks after the procedure so you can check that everything is correct and proper!
Then if your cat goes missing if he or she is taken to a sanctuary, shelter or vet, they can be scanned and returned to you straight away.
When should I get my cat microchipped?
Many owners get their cats chipped when they take them for their first or second vaccination, but as a rough guide any cat from the age of 12 weeks onwards is ok to get chipped.
How do I check my cats microchip is working?
You can in theory check your chip is working correctly any time you go to the vets. Most people just ask at their cats annual check up.
And that is how simple it all is…
There are only a few other things you need to bear in mind. Firstly you will need to keep your details updated, if you change your address or phone number then you’ll have to update your details. In the UK you can do this by contacting your existing database company or by calling Petlog www.petlog.org.uk or Anibase www.anibase.com. Secondly… you can now get a microchipped cat flap. Which are really fun and tech… you programme in the ID of the cats you wish to enter your house, and it stops random other cats from following your cats back into your house. Genius!
A lot of this information comes from the massively useful Cats Protection Essential Guides. They have loads of great advice, so definitely stop by their site if you haven’t already.