We are often asked by pet owners whether it is worth having their furry family members microchipped, and our answer is always the same. If you love your cat or dog and want to keep them safe, then yes, microchipping your pet is most definitely worth it.
Other commonly asked questions include what is microchipping, is it painful, and what is the average cost of microchipping a cat here in the UK? We thought it would be a good idea to do a FAQ type article, so you have all the questions and answers in one place.
So why not grab a cup of tea and snuggle up with your favourite feline, because we are answering your most frequently asked questions regarding your pet and microchips.
Frequently Asked Questions About Microchipping Your Cat
Is it against the law to not have my cat microchipped?
At the moment, in the UK, there is no legislation in place that states cats have to be microchipped. However, it is against the law for dogs not to be microchipped, and owners can face a hefty fine if caught. But if you knew your cat would be found and returned to you if it went missing or got lost, wouldn’t you have it done, regardless of the law?
Is it necessary to microchip my cat?
If you want absolute peace of mind when it comes to your pet, we think it is essential to have them microchipped. Unlike a collar and tag that can come off or be removed, a chip will help identify a lost or missing cat, increasing the chances of it being reunited with its owners.
How does microchipping work?
Microchips have their own unique number that is stored on a database. Should there come a time that your cat is lost or goes missing, a vet or shelter will be able to scan the chip and search the database for your name, address and contact number. Keep in mind though, a microchip can’t be used to track your pet’s whereabouts.
Will the procedure be painful for my cat?
The procedure is quick and painless for your cat, and can best be compared to us having our ears pierced or getting an injection. The vet simply inserts a small microchip under the skin between the shoulder blades. The chip itself is small, probably about the size of a grain of rice and doesn’t cause your pet any discomfort or pain.
At what age can my cat be microchipped?
In our opinion, the sooner, the better. You can have your kitten microchipped from any age, but it is usually done at around nine to 12 weeks when they have their vaccinations. It can also be done when your kitten is being spayed or neutered and is under local anaesthetic.
What is the average cost of microchipping a cat?
In the UK you can expect to pay anywhere between £9 and £20, depending on where you live. On average, however, the costs are in the region of £14.50. Rescue centres, vets and charities occasionally have special offers or even do it for free on certain days. Otherwise, you can check with your local RSPCA to find out if you qualify to have your cat microchipped at a reduced fee.
What happens after my cat has been microchipped?
The only thing you need to do after your cat has been microchipped is to check with the database company that your contact information is correct and up to date. You must do this, as this is the information that will be used when they do a search on the database.
What do I need to do if I move or my contact details change?
The information you provide is the only way for a vet or rescue centre to reunite you with your cat should it get lost. If your details change at any point, it is your responsibility to call the database company and have them update your records. Unfortunately, if you forget to do this, it makes it much harder for your cat to be returned to you.
And if I sell my cat or rehome it, then what?
If for whatever reason you are selling or rehoming your cat, you will need to contact the database company to let them know. They will then provide you with a code or a form, which you give to the new owners. The new owners then contact the database company to register their details.
What happens if the chip breaks?
Very rarely have we heard of microchips breaking or not working. However, there have been a few instances where the chip fails, and can’t be picked up by the scanner. Should this happen, the chip is usually replaced by the manufacturer for free and the vet inserts it. Many vets around the UK will check to see if your cat or dog’s chip is still in good working order.
Was this article of any help? Did we answer your specific question? Let us know in the comments below. and in the meantime, if you haven’t had your cat or dog microchipped, please give it some serious thought.