What is a microchip for cats?
With tiny radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips called microchips, animal shelters and vets can locate pet owners if their four-legged friends are found. Microchips are about the size of a grain of rice and are typically placed under the skin, between a cat's shoulder blades.
Surgery is not required to microchip your cat. Your vet will use a needle to implant this chip just beneath the skin, usually with little discomfort for your cat. In fact, most cats have almost no reaction to the chip being implanted.
Once the microchip is implanted, you'll register the chip's serial number and your cat's information with the company that produced the chip. If your cat is found, the serial number of the microchip will be matched to your cat's information and your animal can be traced back to you.
Why not just get my cat a tag and collar?
When it comes to reuniting lost cats with their owners, tags and collars can be useful tools. Almost anyone can call the phone number listed on the tag to contact the owner.
Outdoor cats should always have collars and tags identifying them in case they run into trouble. Make sure to include your name and contact number on your cat's tag. Identification tags are equally valuable for indoor cats, since cats may sneak out while owners are distracted.
That said, while these things are true tags can fall off and become lost, leaving your cat with no identifying data Microchips provide your cat with a permanent means of identification.
NOTE: It's imperative to keep your microchip registration information up to date. Make sure to contact the microchip company to update your information if you chance contact numbers or move during your cat's lifetime.
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.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.