A microchip is a key form of identification to help prevent your cat from being permanently lost. There is nothing scary about the microchip itself but a cat without a microchip is a frightening thought.
If you don’t already have your pet’s chipped or aren’t sure of what it involves, here are some key points that should help convince you that all of our pets should have one. I personally have peace of mind knowing that all 4 of my pets have been microchipped and their current contact information is updated each time I move. One cat of mine, “Luvduv” has traveled with me through at least 5 moves, starting at vet school in Tennessee over 10 years ago, to California, and then to various parts in the Portland Metro area. With her having a microchip as a permanent means of identity, it’s been a lot less worrisome overall. If she breaks her collar off again or performs her escape maneuvers as I open the front door, I, at least, know she is chipped.
Varied statistics show that a cat who gets lost but has a microchip is nearly 20 times more likely to be found than a cat without one! Many of our feline friends don’t wear collars and even if they did, the collar is easy to remove, not updated, and therefore unreliable. However, I do encourage cats to continue to wear collars with an updated id tag at all times in addition to the chip.
It should also be known that inserting the microchip is a quick, relatively inexpensive, and painless procedure. It can be performed in seconds during a routine visit. It is about the size of a rice grain and is injected with a needle in the area under the loose skin “scruff” between the shoulders. Once inserted, the most important step to do is register it with your contact information, otherwise, it’s useless.
I’ve inserted hundreds of chips and most kitties will act like they do when we give them a vaccine: usually they will do nothing at all, or flinch a bit when its inserted, and then return back to normal.
Sometimes I get the question of “how does it track my cat” or the statement that “I don’t want anyone to trace where my cat is or get my information.” No need to worry since it doesn’t work this way, there is not any GPS like system and no one but shelters or veterinarians with a microchip reader can obtain your information.
Please strongly consider a microchip if your cat doesn’t already have one, be absolutely sure to register it (we’d love to help you!), and keep all of your contact information current. These microchips tend to last a lifetime but feel free to remind us to check that it is still working at each annual physical exam and that we have it recorded in our medical notes. Here is a link to the HomeAgain Microchip site, the company whom we use for any further information: