A Microchip Implant For Your Cat?

In some countries it is compulsorily for a pet to have an identity microchip implant.

Even where it is not mandatory to do so, many pet owners are choosing to have their pets tagged in this way.

This is because they believe that should their pet get lost, the microchip means an increased chance they will be reunited.

Are they right? Would you have your cat microchipped?

How is the procedure carried out and would it hurt your cat?

Can a microchip implant help you to find your cat?

How much does it all cost?

No Surgery

Implanting the tiny microchip is a very simple procedure, there is no surgery involved at all so an anesthetic is not needed. The chip is injected beneath the lose skin between the cat’s shoulder blades, that’s it.

It should not hurt any more than a routine shot, nor is the cat likely to react to it more than a routine shot. There will not be any allergic reaction to the chip.

After just one day the chip should bond with surrounding tissue and remain in place there. However occasionally the bonding is not perfect and the chip can migrate over time.

How Much Will Microchipping My Cat Cost?

The charge for implanting your pet with a chip varies from vet to vet.

It is not hugely expensive, usually in the range of $40 - $100.

cat and vetThe microchip implant is injected just beneath the lose skin between the cat’s shoulder blades.
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If the implant is made when your cat is already at the veterinarian’s office undergoing other treatment, then the charge can often be considerably less.

Although it is recommended that a veterinarian performs the procedure, in most states it doesn’t have to be, it can be done by a shelter and here the charge may be reduced.

The cost is a one-time fee that may or may not, include the charge for registration.

Registration is, of course, vitally important.

If you fail to register at a pet recovery database then having a microchip implanted into your pet is pointless. The unique identification number could be read but if your details are not on record, you cannot be contacted.

Is the System Foolproof?

The process is not perfect, it is just possible for a microchipped lost cat to be taken to a shelter, or to a veterinarian and for that chip not to be discovered.

There are various pet microchip companies and not all of them use the same chips. If your cat has a microchip that uses a frequency not detected by the particular scanner that the shelter uses, then that chip will not be found.

Fortunately though, universal scanners that search for many frequencies are increasingly being used. Alternatively the shelter may check using several different scanners.

Another reason that occasionally a chip can be missed. is because it has moved from where it was implanted.

If the implant has been correctly made, the microchip should, and usually does, stay in place between the shoulder blades of the cat for the rest of the cat’s life. Chips can ‘migrate’ though, it doesn’t often happen but it can. If the cat is only scanned across its back, the chip will be missed.

If a microchip is not detected when the cat’s back is scanned, then most usually other areas are scanned in case there is a chip that’s moved.

So, while the system is not foolproof, it is rare that a chip is not read at a shelter. What is more common is that a chip is detected but it hasn’t been registered, or contact details have not been kept up to date.

Collar, Tag, and Microchip Implant

Many people think that because their cat has a collar and identification tag, they have no need to get their cat microchipped.

The fact is, it is recommended that cats are microchipped - And – wear a collar and ID tag.

Why both? ID tags are essential, they leave anyone who finds a lost cat in no doubt that cat has a home and who they should contact. But collars can, and often do, come off.

If a cat is found apparently lost and it has no ID, the person finding the cat would have a hard time finding out where the cat lives, unless they happen to see a lost cat flyer.

They may just assume that the cat has been abandoned and keep the cat for himself or herself. Or, they may take the cat to a shelter.

If the cat has an identity chip implant, the shelter can contact the cat’s human family and give them the happy news that their cat has been found.

A lost cat with both an identification tag, and a microchip implant has the best of all chance of being reunited with its family.

Would a Microchip Implant Track My Cat?

The microchip does not stop your cat getting lost. All cats, both those that are allowed out of the house and those that aren’t, are vulnerable to become missing for a variety of reasons.

The chip does not track your cat’s whereabouts. Some people seem to think the chip acts like GPS, it doesn’t, you need a tracker cat collar for that. All the implanted chip does is identify the cat, that’s a great benefit.

If a lost cat is found and taken to a veterinarian, or to a shelter, the cat will be scanned. If a chip is found, the scanner will read the cat’s unique identification number.

Provided the cat has been registered and the contact information has been kept up to date, the cat’s family can be informed that their pet has been found.

A microchip implant for your cat is worth considering.

Each day many cats go missing. Happily some of these shortly return home or are soon reunited with their owner. Sadly though, many end up at a shelter with no means of identification and the feline’s family cannot be contacted.

It is a fact that many shelters are busting at the seams, they try their best to find suitable adopters but there is only so long they are able to keep all the cats they have.

Should your cat become lost a microchip implant does increase the chances of the two of you being together again.

Related Pages

How to Find a Lost Cat

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Cat Microchip Implant