As cat owners, we never want to have to think about our feline friends going missing. Unfortunately, these things can and do happen! At The Insurance Emporium, we’ve noticed some news stories about cats being rehomed before their owners have found them! In 2016, a new law came into effect which made microchipping your dog a legal requirement. However, no legislation exists for microchipping your cat, even though a microchip can have a range of benefits for you and your feline friend. That’s why we’ve put together our guide to the importance of microchipping your cat!
What is a Microchip?
A microchip is a small computer chip containing information that can link you and your contact details to your cat, should they ever become lost. It’s about the size of a grain of rice, non-toxic, and inserted underneath your cat’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades. The procedure only takes a few minutes and shouldn’t cause any discomfort for your cat or allergic reactions.
Benefits of Microchipping
In the unfortunate event your cat gets lost, having a microchip can make all the difference when it comes to reuniting you with your furry friend! If picked up by a shelter, they’ll scan your cat’s whole body to find their microchip. Once it’s been successfully scanned, the shelter will be able to find the details on the microchip and contact you about your pet. Note that a microchip doesn’t use GPS, so it won’t help you track your cat directly!
Keeping up to Date
A microchip contains a 15 digit number, which links to a database containing your postal address, email address and phone number. Animal shelters can use this number to find your contact details, and get in touch. Unfortunately, there isn’t a single unifying database for pet microchips, although if you contact the wrong one, they’re usually happy to point you in the right direction. It’s important to keep your relevant database up to date with your contact details. If you move address, or change your phone number or email address, you should always update the database where your details are stored. Note that informing your vet of the change isn’t the same as changing the details on the chip!
When adopting a cat, you’ll want to check whether or not they’re microchipped. If you know their former owner, you can simply ask them and if they do have a microchip, ask for the contact details to be changed to your own. Most databases will require a request for change of ownership be made in writing and sent with a signature from the previous owner. If this isn’t available, the database company might attempt to contact the previous owners themselves, or request written confirmation that you are the pet’s new owner from a veterinary practice. If you’re unsure whether your cat is microchipped, it might be a good idea to take them to your vets!
What if your Cat Goes Missing?
Having a microchip could give you the best chance at being reunited with your cat, but there are a few things you could do to help. If they are microchipped, immediately contact the database their chip is registered to. Ask your neighbours if they’ve seen your pet, and to keep an eye out in any sheds, garages, or anywhere else they might have escaped to. Local advertising can also help reunite you with your cat. Try putting up signs in your local area with a clear picture of your cat and some basic contact details, so you can be contacted if somebody finds your pet. Finally, contact your local veterinary practices and any local animal shelters asking if they’ve found your cat. If not, you could give them a description and details about your cat, as well as a picture, and ask them to contact you if they find your feline friend.
It’s never easy thinking about our furry friends going missing, but a microchip could give you the best chances of being reunited! In case your cat ever does go missing, taking out a cat insurance policy could help. At The Insurance Emporium, our Cat Insurance can include Standard Benefits like Advertising & Reward, covering up to £850* for advertising costs or a reward for finding your lost pet, and cover for Loss By Theft or Straying up to £1,500,* should the worst happen to your cat. Head on down to The Insurance Emporium, and you could even receive up to 30% discount!^
* Figures based on lunar monthly Time Limited, Maximum Benefit and Lifetime Gold policies.
^ The 30% discount is made up of 20% Introductory Discount plus 10% Multi-pet Discount (if appropriate). The Introductory Discount is available for the first 12 premium payments on lunar and calendar monthly policies or one premium payment on annual policies.
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