Getting your cat microchipped can dramatically increase the odds that they will be found if they go missing. Learn about the benefits of microchipping a cat from our Zeeland veterinary experts.
What is a microchip?
Microchips are tiny radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips that can aid local animal shelters and vets in locating the owners of lost pets. Microchips are approximately the size of a grain of rice, and are usually placed under the skin, between the cat's shoulder blades.
Microchipping your cat does not require a surgical procedure. The chip is implanted just under the skin using a needle and involves little discomfort. In fact, most cats have almost no reaction to having the microchip implanted.
Once your cat has been microchipped, you register the chip's serial number and your cat's information with the company that produced the chip. By matching your cat's information with the serial number of the microchip, if your cat is found, they can bring up your information and contact you.
Why not just get a collar and tag for my cat?
When it comes to returning lost cats to their owners, collars and tags are helpful tools for the general public. People can simply read the tag, and call the phone number listed on it. Outdoor cats should always have collars and identification tags in case they run into trouble. Be sure to include your name and contact number on your cat's tag. Identification tags are just as beneficial for indoor cats, since cats often manage to sneak out when owners aren't looking.
As good as it is to equip your cat with a collar and identification tag, tags can fall off and get lost, leaving your cat with no identifying information. Microchips are a permanent way to provide your cat with a means of identification. NOTE: It is important to keep your microchip registration information up to date. Be sure to contact the microchip company to update your information if you move or change your contact number.
How do microchips work?
If your cat has been found, the vet or rescue organization will use a special scanner to read the microchip. Microchip scanners are universal and can read all modern chips, regardless of their manufacturer. When the scanner is moved over your cats shoulders, the microchip will transmit that unique serial number to the scanner.
The rescuer will then contact the national database to find out your phone number so that you can be notified that your beloved cat has been found and where to pick them up.
Should your cat be stolen, cat microchips can also be very helpful when it comes to proving that your cat belongs to you.