Identification and microchipping
A means of accurately and permanently identifying a cat is crucial.
A lack of clear identification is the major reason why lost cats cannot be re-united with their owners and the permanent identification of all pet cats, regardless of their lifestyle, is strongly recommended. Further research has shown that pets with microchips are up to 20 times more likely to be reunited with their owners when they are lost than pets without microchips. This emphasises the importance and value of microchipping.
Microchipping is a simple, safe and effective method for the permanent identification of cats and is recommended by International Cat Care, ISFM and other leading veterinary and animal welfare groups. Problems associated with microchips are rare, but it is important to choose a microchip that conforms to international ISO standards wherever possible to ensure widest compatibility with microchip readers.
However, when owners have had a microchip fitted, it is also important that they maintain accurate and up to date records on the microchip database to ensure the best possibility of being reunited with their cat should it become lost.
Cat collars provide a more immediate means of identifying a cat and also demonstrate that it is an owned and cared-for cat. However, collars can be lost, so they should not be regarded as an alternative to microchipping but rather an additional measure. If an owner chooses to fit a collar to their cat, it is important that the collar is adjusted and fitted properly. Also, owners should be aware that some collars can cause injury (e.g., if caught in the mouth or if the cat gets one leg through the collar, or if the collar gets caught on an object). The use of collars with a ‘snap open’ safety mechanism that helps prevent such injuries is therefore strongly recommended.
The early healthcare examinations are the ideal time to discuss the important issue of permanent identification with owners.