Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Purrfect 10: Things To Know About Microchipping Your Cat

We love reading and researching anything and everything about cats, and wanted to find a fun and unique way to share the interesting facts we learn with you! Since top 10 lists are very popular in the blogosphere, we created The Purrfect 10 as a way to present 10 educational or fascinating tidbits about a wide variety of cat-related topics, everything from health issues to cat breeds to famous felines.

There's nothing much more terrifying than the thoughts of a beloved cat or dog going missing. Even indoor pets aren't immune from getting lost because accidents can and do happen to even the most vigilant pet parent. While a tag providing your phone number is great, collars can fall off or be removed, which is what makes the addition of a microchip so important.

In honor of National Chip Your Pet Month, May's edition of The Purrfect 10 features what you need to know about microchipping your cat...

1) A microchip is a small computer chip containing information linking you to your cat. It's about the same size as a grain of rice and comes enclosed in a glass cylinder.

2) Inserting a microchip takes only a few seconds and can be done during a routine vet visit. No surgery or anesthesia is required although if your pet is already under anesthesia for a procedure such as spay/neuter it can be done at the same time.

3) The microchip is inserted subcutaneously (under the skin) between the shoulder blades using a hypodermic needle. It's no more painful than a regular vaccination although the needle is slightly larger.

4) Kittens can be chipped as young as 5 weeks old although the health and stability of the cat is the most important factor in determining when to go ahead with the procedure. Most shelters wait until 8 weeks old (and about 2 pounds) before inserting the chip.

5) Microchips are not tracking devices but rather radio-frequency identification (RFID) implants that provide permanent ID for your pet. They also don't require a power source like GPS. The chip is activated when a shelter or veterinarian waves an RFID scanner across a cat's body where the microchip is embedded. The scanner activates your pet's unique ID number that is used to retrieve a pet parent’s contact information from the pet recovery database.

6) The most important part of a cat's microchipping is registering the device with your contact information so you can be notified when your lost pet is found. At this time, there is not a central database in the U.S. for registering microchips; each manufacturer maintains its own database. Fortunately, microchip scanners display the name of the microchip's manufacturer when the microchip is read. There is also a Universal Pet Microchip Lookup website maintained by the American Animal Hospital Association which identifies the registries a microchip is enrolled with. Remember to keep your contact information up to date whenever you move or change phone numbers. Since more and more shelters today are implanting microchips into every animal that's adopted, make sure your new pet's microchip number is included in your adoption paperwork so you can get it registered in your name.

7) While a microchip is permanent identification, it is not recommended to take the place of a collar and ID tag. When a person sees a cat or dog with tags it's obvious they belong to someone. With a quick phone call your pet is back home where she belongs. A microchip requires that someone take the extra steps to bring the animal to a vet or shelter to be scanned, if they're even aware of microchips in the first place. Wearing both gives your pet the best possible chance of getting home safely.

8) A microchip is designed to last for the entirety of your cat's lifetime because it is composed of biocompatible glass that will not degenerate over time. Since they require no power source and have no moving parts there's nothing that can wear out or need to be replaced. It's still a good idea to ask your vet to scan it during yearly check-ups to ensure that it's functioning as it should.

9) In rare occasions microchips can migrate (although since it's inserted under the skin it can't travel to any major organs), so shelters and vets will scan a lost cat or dog’s entire body to check for a microchip. A microchip will also show up on an x-ray, so that's another way to look for one.

10) Cats that are microchipped are more than 20 times as likely to be returned to their owners!

Is your cat microchipped?


Summer at sparklecat.com said...

We all have microchips... but I'm really embarrassed to say that only mine is up to date! Binga's has my human's house from 2000 on it (if that), and Boodie's is still registered to the rescue she came from! My human needs to do something about that.

Hannah and Lucy said...

We have both been micro-chipped and it only took a minute or so to do.

The Florida Furkids said...

Good info!

The Florida Furkids

Julie said...

Oh I luffs chips..what!?!....oh, not THAT sort of chips, right okay.
The last thingy the lady did when she handed me over to my peeps was to 'chip' me, I finks it is a VERY impawtant thingy to have done fur all!
Loves and licky kisses
Princess Leah xxx
PeeS I'm working on getting my peeps 'chipped' just in case they get lost!

The Menagerie Mom said...

I had no idea that it was National Chip Your Pet Month. How wonderful that there is a month dedicated to this, and how wonderful these Purrfect 10 are!

Unknown said...

My dogs and cats are microchipped =)

Unknown said...

Great information! Although I'm embarrassed to say that while our dog is microchipped, our cats are not. We'll get it done at our next vet visit!

The Island Cats said...

The mom always said she was going to get us chipped and she never has. We know how important it is to be chipped, even for inside cats.

Anonymous said...

Great info!

Two French Bulldogs said...

Microchipping is very important and easy as you said
Lily & Edward

pilch92 said...

I am ashamed to admit that only 2 of my 13 are microchipped, I need to work on that.

Cathy Keisha said...

I'm microchipped and TW even finally updated my info to include the new vet.

The Swiss Cats said...

We both are microchipped ! Great information ! Purrs

Aimable Cats said...

I was thinking about getting Parker microchipped. Then Oklahoma had their really bad tornadoes and a bunch of inside cats became outside cats. So I had her microchipped. It turns out that there is a pet poison control hotline run by the people that register Parker's chip. I haven't checked to see if she qualifies.