No matter how careful you are, whether you keep your cat indoors or use a secure outdoor enclosure there is no guarantee that your cat won't make a break for freedom and get lost in the process. Getting your cat microchipped increases the likelihood of being reunited with your cat.
Microchipping your cat is a legal requirement in several states including ACT, NSW, QLD, WA and for domestic animal businesses in VIC. However, the RSPCA recommends that you have your cat microchipped even if it is not compulsory in your state.
What is a microchip?
A microchip is a permanent method of electronic identification. It is a small chip, about the size of a grain of rice, which is inserted just under the skin between shoulder blades in a quick and noninvasive procedure.
Each microchip has an individual identification number that is recorded on a registry database along with details of the cat and its owner. If your cat becomes lost animals shelters, vets and local councils will be able to identify you as the owner and reunite the pair of you.
It is important to keep your contact details up to date. If your cat or kitten gets a new owner the new owner needs to update their contact details. A microchip is not a GPS unit and can not trace your cat's location.
When should I microchip my cat?
Ideally your cat should be microchipped before purchase or adoption, this way you can effectively trace the origins. Kittens can be microchipped as young as five weeks old but the recommended time to get your cat microchipped is at 8 weeks old or when its reaches a weight of two pounds.
Will microchipping hurt my cat?
The insertion of the microchip is a similar sensation to that of receiving a vaccination. Some kittens may flinch or yelp as the chip is implanted but this pain is minimal and short-lived and most cats will forget about it very quickly.
Is microchipping my cat expensive?
Depending on the veterinary practise or authorised implanter the cost of having your cat microchipped varies however they are generally inexpensive, costing between $40-$80 which includes a lifetime registration on a licensed national animal registry.
A quick, painless, relatively inexpensive procedure is a small price to pay when you consider that it could be the difference between being reunited with your beloved feline friend or not. Find out more about keeping your cat safe here.