Microchipping your cat or kitten is now a legal requirement in England, but don't worry — it's a simple and pain-free procedure. During microchipping, a small chip, usually no larger than a grain of rice, is typically placed under your cat's shoulder blades. This chip contains a unique identification number for your cat.
If your cat is lost or stolen, the microchip can be scanned, and the number will show up in a system, along with your name, address, and contact details. You'll be contacted and reunited with your pet if the information is correct and up to date.
While it's essential for your cat also to have your contact information on their collar, microchipping is a safe and effective way of identifying them if they get lost.
Currently, there are more than nine million pet cats in the UK, and around 2.3 million of them are unchipped. That means there are 2.8 million families at risk of losing and being unable to be reunited with their pets.
- Microchipping is a safe and effective way to identify cats, providing a permanent and unique form of identification.
- The microchip is a small implant that contains a unique identification number, which can be read using a scanner and matched to a database containing the owner's information.
- Microchipping is a quick and simple procedure that can be done by a veterinarian, and it is typically done while your cat is receiving their vaccinations or being spayed or neutered.
- New legislation by the UK government in March 2023 means that all pet cats in England must be microchipped by 10 June 2024. From that date, you will have 21 days to have your cat microchipped or face a £500 fine.
How is a microchip implanted in my cat?
Your cat's microchip will be removed from its sterile packaging and scanned to ensure the ID is the same as on the packaging. This ensures that all the information corresponds so your cat can be identified should they go missing.
Using a syringe, your cat's microchip will be implanted beneath the skin between their shoulder blades. This will be done with your cat either lying down or stood up, and the loose skin between the shoulder will be pulled up to allow maximum room for the injection,
It is a quick and painless - apart from the actual injection - procedure, and your cat won't need any anaesthetic or pain relief during or after.
What information is on my cat's microchip.
The microchip only contains one piece of information: your cat's unique identification number. This number is linked to a microchip registry or database, which stores a range of information, including:
- Your name (the owner)
- Your home address
- Contact details (Phone number and email address)
- Pet's ID number
- Pet's name, gender, and date of birth
- Their breed
- Their fur colour and if they have any identifiable markings
It's essential to keep this information up to date, for example, if you move house or change your phone number or email address. Failure to update your information could prevent someone from reuniting you with your cat if they become lost.
All this information is stored within a government-approved database and can be used to identify and reunite you with your pet if they go missing.
What do I do if my cat goes missing?
If your cat goes missing, the first thing to do is locate their microchip information. This should be stored somewhere safe and is often included on a tag or card. Then you can contact your vet or police station to see if your cat has been brought in.
If they haven't, you will have to wait, but if they've been microchipped and the information is correct, you can then be easily reunited.
My cat is an indoor cat, does it still need to be microchipped?
Under the new law, all cats in England, except those that are classed as ‘free-living,’ must be microchipped. Cats that would fall into this category are those that have little or no human interaction or dependency, such as farm, feral, or community cats. Indoor cats, as entirely dependent pets, would need to be microchipped.
They should be microchipped anyway, as it is impossible to guarantee that an indoor cat will not escape. If they do, the chances of them getting lost are higher as they won’t know their area like an outdoor cat would.
Need more info?
For expert advice on microchipping your cat, get in touch with us.