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    Reasons why you should get your cat micro-chipped

    Articlegeneral cat adviceThursday 28 March 2013
    Every year in Britain thousands of cats are found as strays and taken into rescue centres. There are estimated to be over 1 million feral cats in the UK. From that number there are some cats which have been mistakenly labelled and are pet cats. One way to help stop this and not let your own cat get mixed up is by getting it micro-chipped. It is likely that by 2016 all dogs registered in England will be required to have a microchip. In Northern Ireland this is already the case. We advise that you get it done as soon as possible.
    Microchips for pets are tiny transponders that are about the same size as a grain of rice. They are professionally inserted by a qualified vet. This is done usually between it’s shoulder blades. Once inserted if your cat is scanned then the relevant information about your cat’s life and your details including an address are returned to whoever is making the scan.
    You may think that having a collar for your cat and a tag with your address on is enough but time and time again the micro-chipping solution is saving the day when these other methods fail. Remember that once your cat is micro-chipped you must register the number with the company who runs the service and also update them if you change address or telephone number. Your vet may do this automatically or you may be required to do it yourself. A chip with out a registration number is essentially useless.
    So what is the main reason for getting a cat micro-chipped? The primary reason is so that if it becomes lost it can be retrieved easily. Cats that are micro-chipped have a larger chance of being returned more than the traditional collar and tags. Most shelters and vets are equipped with the software to scan the chips and find the relevant details of owners. Simply put, you are statistically more likely to find a lost cat or dog if they are micro-chipped beating other conventional methods.
    Microchipping your pet is said to be painless and costs often less than £50. For something so simple, relatively inexpensive and that will last its whole life a microchip is a very important thing to have. Microchips are said to last up to 25 years after being inserted so it should not require servicing or changing.
    Moving house is a complicated procedure as it is and for humans we can get used to our surrounding and understand our bearings pretty quickly. For a cat however their enviorment and world has changed completely. Many cats have been reported lost after their owners have moved home.
    Collars are simply not reliable. Although they are useful as anybody who sees your cat has a visual notification that the cat is owned however a cat who does not like its collar because it is uncomfortable or itching will somehow find a way to let it slip off. This can happen accidently too by being caught or trapped on something. Collars should always be used together with micro-chipping. This gives the safest level of protection an outdoor can get realistically have.
    For an indoor cat micro-chipping is also important. Cats can often escape. Indoor cats don’t have experience or knowledge of the outdoors and due to this they do not know how to return home. If escape does happen then they are likely to end up at a rescue centre. Being chipped will ensure a safe passage home.
    With a microchip you can also prove ownership of your cat. Say the worst happens and you lose your brown tabby. As well as losing it another problem is that someone else has lost their brown tabby too and worse still they think that yours is theirs! Sure, it may sound a bit farfetched but has happened before. If the cat doesn’t have a collar then it is your word versus theirs. A microchip puts this argument to rest conclusively.
    Source: Discovery 
    Photo Source: Wikimedia
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