Is your Cat a Law Breaker?

May 21, 2024

From the 10th of June 2024 it becomes a legal requirement for all cats in England to have a microchip placed by the time they reach 20 weeks old. Microchipping has been compulsory for dogs since 2016. Is your pet microchipped?

What is a microchip?

A microchip is a tiny silicone device with a glass coating, approximately the size of a grain of rice. The chip contains a unique identifying number which can be read with radio waves from a microchip scanner and then can be used to access the owner’s details on a database.

Why do we recommend them?

Cats love adventures! It is amazing how far they will explore away from home, and although they will normally return home without incident sadly sometimes they get involved in accidents, get spooked by dogs or hitch lifts around the country in delivery vans! As a country of animal lovers, our hurt or lost pets are often taken to the vets where staff can scan them and identify if they have a microchip placed within minutes.  Staff are then able to contact the owner and arrange reuniting them.

What happens if cats don’t have microchips?

We will always endeavour to work with the finder to locate a cat’s owner via social media, posters, door knocking, but sadly we still have a great many cats who appear very much loved that we don’t manage to reunite. Although these cats go on to find lovely second homes, we know their owners are missing them. A microchip can help prevent this heartbreak.

How is a microchip placed?

A microchip is inserted just below the skin using a needle. It is a very quick procedure and does not require a sedation or anaesthetic. It can be performed by Veterinary Surgeons or Veterinary Nurses (or other suitably trained individuals) within a standard consultation. With the distraction of a few treats many animals barely notice the procedure.

When can microchips be placed?

Kittens can have microchips placed from about 6 weeks old although many have them inserted alongside their vaccination appointments or while they are under anaesthesia for neutering. The new law means they MUST have a chip placed by 20 weeks (about 4 and a half months) old.

How long do microchips last?

The lifetime of the pet. Older style microchips would occasionally migrate under the skin to a different area of the body but that is very rare with modern microchips and they very rarely fail. We would always recommend asking the vet to scan your cat at their routine appointments to check the chip is working as it should.

Keeping details up-to-date

It is vital that the information on the microchip database is kept updated should you rehome the pet, move house or change phone number. If you aren’t sure whether your pet’s details are up-to-date please contact our team and we can check for you.

The staff at Towcester Vets will be happy to answer any questions you may have about microchips, help you update your details or make an appointment for your pet to be microchipped, please contact us if we can help.

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