Microchipping your cat can help to increase your chances of being reunited with your feline friend if they get lost. Read on to learn more from our Santa Cruz County vets about how microchipping is beneficial for cats.
What is a microchip?
Microchips are tiny radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips that can help vets and animal shelters locate pet owners if their animal has been found. 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 surgery. 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 be traced back to 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 useful tools. People can simply read the tag, and call the phone number listed on it to contact the owner. Outdoor cats should always have collars and identification tags in case they get into trouble. Be sure to include your name and contact number on your cat's tag. Identification tags are equally good 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 brand. When the scanner is passed over the cat's back and sides, the microchip will transmit its unique identification 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 cat has been found.
Should your cat be stolen, microchips can also be very helpful when it comes to proving ownership.