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As careful as pet parents are to keep their cats safe, sometimes things happen. Every year, one in three pets gets lost. A cat can bolt past her pet parent and through an open door. Or, if they’re an outdoor cat, they might wander a little too far from home and lose their way.
A collar and ID tag offers one solution for helping to reunite a lost cat with their pet parents. However, ID tags can get lost or become worn, cat microchips offer a more permanent form of identification.
The microchip implanted in the cat is a frequency identification transponder about the size of a grain of rice. A handheld scanner displays the chip’s unique identification number when passed over the chip. A vet or shelter can type that number into a database and find the contact information for a lost cat’s pet parents.
Cat microchipping might sound like an invasive procedure, but it’s actually pretty simple. A vet uses a preloaded syringe to inject the tiny chip into the skin between a cat’s shoulder blades. The process is similar to getting a vaccine. If you have any questions or concerns, you can ask a Fuzzy vet.
While a microchip for an outdoor cat might make sense, many pet parents with indoor-only cats often wonder if they need to microchip their felines, too. In short, every cat should get microchipped. There is always the possibility that an indoor cat can escape through an open door or window. Cats can receive a microchip even when they’re kittens. Some vets recommend microchipping your cat during a spay or neuter.
Getting a cat microchipped is just the first step. The next step is registering the ID number with a pet recovery database. Without this step, the microchip is ineffective. First, the pet parent will need to create an account. Then input the chip’s ID number and provide essential information for their cat, including current home address and phone number. The database can include additional contact numbers, a photocat, and other vital details.
There are many situations when a cat’s microchip information needs to be updated, for example change of address, phone number, or being adopted by new pet parents. They’ll need to update the details for the microchip on the recovery database.
If the appropriate recovery database is unknown, use the American Animal Hospital’s Lookup Tool to locate the right service. Then contact the correct database directly. As soon as the changes are saved, they’ll be reflected in the database.
Microchips help recover more than 10,000 missing pets every month. Microchipping is a fast, minimally invasive procedure that helps ensure a cat finds their way home should they ever get out or get lost. The best thing a pet parent can do aside from microchipping their cat is to make sure that the information is always up-to-date.