It might sound a little intense, but microchipping your cat is a simple injection that could help you find them if they go missing. Our Rancho Cucamonga vets explain how microchipping works and why it is a good idea to microchip your cat.
What is a microchip?
A microchip is a small chip embedded underneath the skin that uses radio frequency identification to help vets and animals shelters locate the owners of lost cats.
About the size of a grain of rice, these chips are inserted under the skin between your cat's shoulders with a needle. This procedure does not require your cat to be put under anesthesia and rarely involves any more than momentary discomfort for your kitty. Most cats have almost no reaction to having their microchip implanted!
After insertion, your cat's unique microchip's is registered in a database under a serial number with your information. This way, veterinarians and shelters can search this database and find you if they scan your cat's chip.
Why not just get a collar and tag for my cat?
When it comes to returning lost cats to their owners, collars and tags are useful tools. People can simply read the tag and call the number on it.
Outdoor cats should always have collars and identification tags in case they get into trouble. Be sure the tag has your name and appropriate contact infomation. Identification tags are equally good for indoor cats since cats are naturally adventurous and there is always the risk that they will sneak out when owners aren't looking.
As good as it is to equip your cat with a collar and identification tag, tags can get damaged or fall off and get lost, leaving your cat with no identifying information. Cat microchips are a permanent way to provide your kitty with a means of identification.
How do microchips work?
If your cat has been found, the vet or rescue organization will use a special scanner to read the microchip.
Microchip scanners are universal and can read all modern chips, regardless of their brand. When the scanner is passed over the cat's back and sides, the microchip will transmit its unique identification number to the scanner, which has access to the national database. The person who has scanned your cat will then contact the national database to find out your phone number so that you can be notified that your cat has been found. Should your cat be stolen, microchips can also be very helpful when it comes to proving ownership.
Note: It is important to keep your microchip registration information up to date. Be sure to contact the microchip company to update your information if you move or change your contact number.