The introduction of compulsory microchipping for dogs, one year ago, saw the number of chipped dogs rise to 95 percent. Compulsory microchipping of cats was not part of the legislation. However, Bayer Animal Health has called for cat owners to make sure their cat is chipped during National Microchipping Month in June.
If a cat gets lost or potentially injured, one way to minimise the risk of them not being reunited with their owner is to ensure they are microchipped.
Approximately the size of a piece of long grain rice, a microchip is inserted under the animal’s skin between the shoulder blades and carries a unique number. The number is registered with a special database and is linked to the owner’s contact information; this ensures that the pet’s owner can be easily traced if the cat is picked up and scanned by a vet, the police, local authority or rescue centre.
Huw Stacey, Director of Clinical Services from Vets4Pets comments: “National Microchipping Month is a great platform to help raise awareness of the importance of microchipping.
“Whilst microchipping is now compulsory for dogs, many cat owners still don’t take the same precautions so the risk of cats ending up stray or in shelters is high. Microchipping is a simple and really cost effective way to help reduce the number of lost cats reported each year.”
Hannah Watts, product manager at Bayer adds: “As chips can’t come off like collars, microchipping is the most effective way to identify a lost pet. It is estimated that 32 percent of cats in the UK are still not microchipped, which highlights the need for more education for cat owners on the benefits of microchipping.’’
Hannah continues: “A missing pet can be hugely distressing for owners, so we’d encourage all cat owners to speak to their vet for advice on what’s best for their animal. A microchip is only as effective as the information held on it, so it is vital that pet owners inform the microchip database immediately should they change their address or contact details.”
Bayer’s microchip brand, Tracer Advance, is ten times stronger than glass, and is now a mini chip; 25 percent smaller than the previous standard Tracer chip. All Tracer chips implanted are linked to PetLog, the UK’s largest microchip database.