Microchips might seem like an extreme measure, but in reality, they are a very small, unobtrusive device that is installed very easily. Cats are adventurous creatures, and even if an owner has an outdoor cat, they can still get lost on their way home. Here, our Elk Grove vets explain the value of getting your cat microchipped.
What is a microchip?
Microchips are tiny radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips. They are approximately the size of a grain of rice. In cats, they are usually placed under the skin on the back, between the shoulder blades.
The implant process is minimally invasive; the chip is implanted with a needle, and no surgery is required. The process also involves little discomfort, and most cats do not have much of a reaction to it.
You will register the chip number with the company that produces the chip. This way, if your cat is found, they can be traced back to you.
Why not just get a collar and tag?
Collars and tags are also helpful in returning lost cats to their owners. Anyone can read a tag, and call the phone number listed on it to contact the owner. For this reason, your cat should always wear a collar with your name and contact phone number on it.
However, collars and tags can easily fall off and get lost, leaving the cat with no identifying information. Microchips, on the other hand, are permanent and cannot be lost. Provided you keep your registered information up to date, any vet or rescue organization with a microchip scanner will be able to contact you, and reunite you with your cat.
How do microchips work?
Microchips are read using a special scanner, which most veterinarians and shelters have. These scanners are universal can read all modern chip types, regardless of their brand.
When the scanner is passed over the cat's back and sides the microchip will transmit its identification number to the scanner.
The rescuer will then contact the national database, which in turn will contact the owner of the cat.
Microchips are not only valuable for returning lost cats, they are also very helpful when it comes to proving ownership.