Having the best possible chance of getting them back to you quickly and safely if lost?
You should seriously consider having your cat micro-chipped for the peace of mind that it can give you. No one wants to lose their beloved little friends.
Some people may think that a microchip is not necessary and that they can happily rely on a collar together with an identity tag. Well, collars can get caught, come off or even get removed, leaving your cat extremely vulnerable, with no one able to identify their owner and return them to their loving family.
You may think that because you cat is never allowed outside, is an indoor only cat, that this sort of expense is totally unnecessary. Well, even indoor cats can find themselves outside when a door or window is left open just that little bit too long, or they might slip out whilst you are having that delivery.
This huge new world to explore, full of enticing scents and frightening noises can easily result in your little friend becoming frightened and disorientated. Let’s not also forget those natural disasters that we pray will never happen but all too frequently do these days, such as floods, hurricanes and house fires. These can leave your pet out in the wild world, lost and all alone.
I have had all my cats over the last 19 years micro-chipped and I urge you to consider this option, as the microchip is the only permanent method of identification that you can give your pet to increase the chances that they can be returned to you. I love my cats and I would hate the thought that they could end their days in a shelter or worse should the unexpected happen.
What is a Microchip?
A microchip is a very small device a little larger than an uncooked grain of rice which stores a unique identity number. The chip is encased in a material that is inert and bio-compatible, the same sort of material that is used to encase human pacemakers. This stops your cat’s body rejecting the chip whilst also preventing any allergic reaction.
The microchips use passive RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology, do not contain a battery and nor do they continually transmit information. They can only be read by a scanner. The scanner reads the chip by using a specific radio frequency to activate the chip just long enough to reveal the number.
Where can I get my cat micro-chipped?
Depending on where you live this can be carried out my veterinarians, some animal shelters, and animal welfare societies.
Some countries and some States have laws that govern who can implant microchips. Many of these specify that it must be done only by a licenced veterinary practitioner.
If your cat came from a shelter, it is likely that your cat has already been micro-chipped. You need to make sure that the registration information stored in the microchip companies database is updated with your information. The shelter should provide you with the necessary information for this.
How much will it cost?
There is no fixed price for the pet microchipping. Each implanter will charge however much they wish so if you think it’s too expensive, look elsewhere. Some shelters and animal welfare organizations may even provide the service free.
How is the Microchip Inserted?
The chip fits into a slightly larger than normal hypodermic needle and is inserted into the cat just under the surface of the skin usually between the should blades.Though in some European countries I believe in can be inserted to the left-hand side of the neck. Once the microchip is properly implanted the cats tissues naturally form around the chip to prevent it from moving.
Does it Hurt?
The size of the needle used to implant the microchip is intimidating to some owners, the cat being injected rarely notices a properly given injection and if they do, it’s not any more than they would with any other standard vaccination. To be honest, I have never had any of my cats react or even twitch at all to the chip being implanted.
Does my cat have to be sedated to be implanted with a microchip?
No. Injecting a microchip is just like any other injection or vaccination. Anesthesia is not required or recommended.
Ok, My cat has had a microchip implanted. What’s Next?
Ok, Your cat has now been implanted with a microchip that stores a unique code that has already been pre-programmed into the chip by the chip manufacturer. You now need to register your cat together with this unique code with the appropriate microchip company.
You should get a form to complete at the time the chip is implanted. You will need to provide the owners name, address and contact details and usually those of your veterinarian too. Oh and not forgetting details of your cat such as name, description and age details.
Some companies charge a small registration fee to register your information or sometimes this is included in the cost of the implant.
This process is sometimes referred to as “activating” the chip. This can sound frightening as it gives the impression that the chip gets permanently turned on in some way. THIS IS NOT THE CASE! Activation is just the registration process that associates your cats chips unique identity number with your details on the microchips companies database.
You should register your cat’s microchip and your contact information as soon as possible after the chip has been implanted as your contact information is only available once the microchip has been registered into the companies database
If you phone or address details change at any time it is vital that you get your details amended in the company’s database to ensure that you can be contacted in the event that your cat is ever lost and to avoid the delay in reuniting you both.
If you cat gets lost
If your cat is lost or stolen some microchip companies offer a service that once they have been notified by the owner will make contact with any vets, animal hospitals or shelters within your locality to advise them of this though this is not universal so you will need to check. IF they don’t then I recommend that you make contact with these organisations yourself.
So, if your animal is taken in to a shelter ,vets or hospital after being lost, the first thing the shelter etc. usually does is scan for microchips. If they find one, this will identify the microchip company and allow them to look up your details via the appropriate database and then either they or the company, depending on the agreement will get in touch with you.
Result a happy re-union for all. 🙂