Cat microchipping: how and when to get your cat microchipped
No cat owner wants to think about their cat going missing, which is why cat microchipping is such a great idea. Unlike dog microchipping, microchipping your cat isn’t the law in the UK, but most owners choose to have their cat microchipped – particularly if your feline friend tends to stray. While cat collars can come off, and even increase the risk of injury, cat microchipping is a safe and permanent way to identify your cat if he or she becomes lost.
How does cat microchipping work?
The microchip is a tiny device – around the size of a grain of rice – that’s placed under the cat’s skin at the back of the neck. It’s a quick, simple and relatively painless procedure, and once the microchip is in place it won’t bother your cat.
Each microchip has a unique number that’s stored on a database, and corresponds to the owner’s details. If your cat becomes lost or stolen – and with cats being known for their inquisitive nature it’s common for them to stray – a quick microchip scan can help reunite you quickly. Be sure to notify the database with any changes to details, such as moving home or a change of ownership.
There’s no minimum age for microchipping your cat, but it’s a good idea to get it done before they go outside for the first time. Your vet can advise you on the best time to get your cat microchipped.
“If your cat becomes lost or stolen, a quick microchip scan can help reunite you with your pet.”
Microchips must be fitted by a professional, such as a vet. Cat microchipping prices vary, but are often included in Pet Health Clubs.
It’s important to remember to update the details held on the microchipping database if you move house, or change your phone number. It’s easy to do – simply call or email the database to keep your information up to date. Depending on which database your cat is registered with, there may be a small admin fee involved.
If you’ve had your cat microchipped, you may want to fit a microchip cat flap in your home. These clever cat flaps prevent stray and unwanted cats from entering your home, by recognising the microchip number of only your own cat.
Microchip cat flaps are more efficient than those that require your cat to wear a tag on his or her collar, and these can be uncomfortable for your cat, or even come off.
Cat microchipping advice
For expert advice on microchipping your cat, get in touch with your local vet. To find your nearest recommended vet or pet clinic, use our Find a Vet page.