Why should I Microchip my cat?
Reuniting you with your cat. The first thing, vets, cat rescue centres or the police will do with a stray cat is to scan it for a microchip. If the worst happens and your cat goes missing, if it has a microchip it is much more likely to be reunited with you.
Speed of finding you. If your cat is involved in an accident, vets will always administer basic first aid but, before more complex treatment can be given the owner must be found to give consent. A microchip will allow vets to contact you so that any treatment needed can be carried out without delay. Some animal rescue centres rehome stray cats after one week if they are not reclaimed. A microchip will ensure that rescue centres are immediately aware that your cat has a concerned owner and is not a stray.
Prevention of theft. Unfortunately the thieft of cats, particularly pedigree cats, is a grim reality. Microchipped cats are less likely to be stolen as thieves know that they will be harder to pass on. Tags to show that your cat has been microchipped are available, usually free of charge, when your cat is microchipped.
Proof of ownership. When you find your cat a microchip can assist with proof of ownership.
What does Microchipping Involve?
A small microchip, approximately the size of a grain of rice is injected under the skin almost always in the scruff of the neck. The microchip carries a unique number or number/letter combination which is held, along with details of the cat and its vet, in central databases. Veterinary practices, the police and cat shelters all have microchip scanners to allow them to read this unique number from the chip.
Will it hurt my cat?
Some cats will not even notice the microchip being inserted, whilst others seem to experience a very short period of discomfort. Once the microchip has been inserted they are thought to be completely painless.
Problems with microchips
Microchips can sometimes move under the skin; this is harmless but does mean that the microchip can be more difficult to find when scanning. This is not a problem as the whole body is usually scanned if a chip is not found immediately.
In the first few weeks microchips can very occasionally move out through the hole in the skin where they were inserted but; this is extremely uncommon. Once the skin has healed over there is no danger of this happening. Two weeks after the microchip is inserted, return to your vets so that they can check that the microchip is still in place. If it is, the skin will have healed so it will remain safely in place for good.
If you move you MUST update your address. If the address registered with the chip is not up to date, then the microchip is useless.