If you own a cat, it may have been suggested to you at some stage that you should get your cat a microchip. A cat microchip is a small, permanent device that is inserted under the skin of the cat, usually at the back of the neck. The chip itself is only the size of a single grain of rice, and it doesn’t cause any discomfort to your feline friend whatsoever.
Each microchip is unique and has an identification number that is recognised when scanned. Details of each microchip and the animal associated with it are kept on a database that allows for easy identification should the need arise. So, what are the main reasons for having a microchip for your cat?
1. Find a lost cat
The major benefit of having a cat microchip is that if your moggy ever manages to get lost, the cat can be scanned and identified via the database. You will then be contacted so you can collect your cat or have it returned to you safe and well.
Cats are notorious for getting lost and owners can spend weeks searching for their beloved pet. They would once have needed to resort to putting adverts in local shops or delivering leaflets to local houses requesting information about sightings. Identifying a cat via a pet microchip is much simpler and increases the chances of you getting your pet back safe and sound.
2. Accidents can happen – wouldn’t you prefer to know?
No responsible owner would ever want any harm to come to their pet but it is an unfortunate fact of life that accidents do happen. While it simply doesn’t bear thinking about, there may come a time when your beloved pet is involved in an accident.
This might be a fight with another cat or an incident with a vehicle, and it is possible that a member of the public may kindly take your cat to the vets for treatment or report a wounded animal to an animal rescue centre. With a microchip fitted, the vet can scan your cat, find out their details from the database and notify you that your cat is in their care. If your cat needs medical treatment, you can then decide what the best course of action is based on the advice of the vet.
3. Keep out unwanted visitors with a microchip cat flap
As the name suggests, this is a cat flap with a microchip scanner built into it. It works by scanning the microchip of any cat trying to get inside your house, including your own. The microchip cat flap will only open for microchips it is programmed to recognise and will not allow any cats that do not live in your home to enter.
And don’t worry if your cat has several cat microchips, this is fine as the micropchip cat flap will recognise any microchip numbers you have programmed into the device.
4. Helpful when you move
When you move, it is not uncommon for cats to try to return to their previous home. This can result in them becoming lost or taken in by a kindly stranger who thinks they are a stray. Your pet may then be sent to a rescue centre and the likelihood is that it will be scanned. Provided you have updated your new details with the database, your pet can be returned to you quickly.
5. Permanent form of identification
If your cat wears a collar and identification tag, you may wonder if it is really worth having a cat microchip fitted. However, a microchip is the only permanent form of identification for your cat. Collars and tags can go missing or get damaged, leaving your pet with no form of identification if they are injured or lost.
Overall, having a cat microchip fitted has many benefits. It is a relatively cheap procedure and is quick and painless for your cat. The advantages of doing this make the small cost incurred well worthwhile in the long run.