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Cat Advice | Microchipping | Vets4Pets

Cat advice: microchipping your cat

A microchip could help you be reunited with your lost cat

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What exactly is a microchip?

A microchip is only the size of a grain of rice and is inserted under a cat’s skin between its shoulder blades through a quick and simple injection.

Each microchip has a unique number which is registered against the cat owner’s contact details and information on a secure database. Should a cat ever become lost or injured and brought into an animal charity or veterinary surgery, a special scanner can determine if it is microchipped. If it is microchipped, the owner’s details will be revealed and they can be happily reunited.

Why microchip your cat?

Sadly, it is not unusual for cats to go missing or get lost. The Cats Protection charity alone re-homes 48,000 cats every single year. A microchip is what stands between a pet cat being lost forever and them being returned to their owners safe and sound. It also can help with ownership disputes, as it can be used to prove who the cat belongs to. 

Outdoor cats

The majority of cats naturally love being outside, roaming and hunting, but the outdoors can pose certain threats to cats. From cars, to fights with other cats over territory, there are many reasons cats can become spooked, run away and end up lost miles away from home. 

Some cats can even end up accidentally trapped in somebody else’s shed or garage and can be missing for days. Collars and identification tags are never a guarantee as they could easily break and fall off when cats are out and about. 

Microchips are designed to last for a cat’s lifetime and so if a cat does become lost or stolen, the chances of them being returned to their owner are hugely improved by the presence of a microchip.

Indoor cats

All cats are unique individuals and whilst most may enjoy spending time outside, many prefer staying indoors instead. This means that if they ever do explore outdoors, they are likely to be more easily spooked by the unfamiliar surroundings and run away. 

Due to their little experience outside they are likely to get lost and be unable to find their way back home. Getting your cat microchipped, even if it is more of an indoor cat, is always the safest option because you can never predict that they won’t venture out at some point and go missing.

When should I microchip my cat?

A cat can be microchipped from the age of five weeks and onwards. It is always ideal to make sure your cat is microchipped before letting it outside for the first time in case they get lost.

Does it cause any discomfort?

The procedure is very quick and is considered relatively painless, it should be no more painful than an injection or having their blood being taken. Many owners ask for their pet to be microchipped whilst they are being spayed or neutered.

Microchip cat flap

If your cat is microchipped, you may also want to consider fitting a microchip cat flap in your home. These cat flaps scan for a microchip and only allow entry into the home if the cat’s microchip number is programmed to the cat flap. This will help keep unwanted cats out of your home and keep your cat safe from strange cats fighting with them in their home.

A microchip cat flap doesn’t require your cat to wear a tag on a collar which can be uncomfortable and is easily lost, leaving your cat at risk of being stuck outside.