Cat microchipping: how and when to get your cat microchipped
No owner wants to think about their cat going missing, which is why having them microchipped is such a great idea.
Unlike with dogs, microchipping your cat isn’t a legal requirement in the UK, but most owners choose to have their cat microchipped anyway – particularly if they like to explore.
While collars can come off - and even increase the risk of injury - microchipping your cat is safe and a great way of identifying them if they get lost.
How does microchipping work?
A microchip is a tiny device – about 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 gets lost or is stolen, a scan of their microchip can help to reunite you quickly.
There’s no minimum age requirement, but it’s a good idea to have your cat microchipped before they go outside for the first time. Your vet will be able to advise further.
Microchips must be fitted by a professional. Prices vary, but are often included in preventative health care plans such as the Pet Health Club.
If you move house or change your contact number, it's important to keep the microchipping database up to date. This is easy to do – simply call or email the database to notify them of the change you're making. Depending on the database your cat is registered with, there may be a small admin fee.
If you’ve had your cat microchipped, you may want to install a microchip cat flap. They prevent stray and unwanted cats from entering your home by recognising the microchip number of your cat(s) and your cat(s) only!
Microchip cat flaps are more efficient than those that require your cat to wear a tag on their collar. Not to mention, wearing a tag on their collar can be uncomfortable, and there's always the chance it will come off.
Need more info?
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.