May is the highest time of spring for many of us, but it’s Chip Your Pet Month too.
Many cat parents don’t know exactly what a microchip does or why it is important for pets. Some believe that domestic cats don’t even need a microchip – or any form of identification.
The fact is, however, that microchips make a lost pet much more likely to reunite with its owners. Petfinder cited a study that said only two percent of lost cats that entered shelters made it back to their humans. However, for lost cats with microchips, that rate rose to 38 percent.
If you haven’t microchipped your cat yet, here are the pros and cons of why you really need to take care of it – and Chip Your Pet Month is as good a time to do it as anyone!
So what is the microchip about?
Do you remember the old days when every cat wore a necklace with a name tag around their neck that also had the contact details of their humans?
Think of microchips as the modern, updated version of it. In the unfortunate event that your cat is lost, finding a microchip can be an effective way to track down your information and reunite you with your kitten.
Almost every veterinary office, animal shelter, and even many police stations have devices for reading your cat’s microchip. If someone drops your lost cat in one of these facilities, your cat will have a far better chance of returning home to you.
How is the microchip?
When it comes to microchip cats, the actual chip is tiny. Think about the size of a small grain of rice.
A veterinarian inserts it with a needle under a cat’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades. And don’t worry – microchips are non-toxic.
Oh, and don’t confuse the microchip with a GPS system. It won’t track every move in your cat’s life.
How do I get my cat microchipped?
Vets and local animal shelters are the best choices for microchipping your cat.
Costs can vary, but a veterinarian will typically charge around $ 50 for the procedure. However, you may get a better deal if you ask for a microchip as part of a regular spa visit. Your pet’s information is also added to a database as part of the process.
If you adopted your cat from a shelter, go back and review their records. Chances are, your cat is already fully microchipped.
The next step is to update the database with just your information and the shelter can help you with that.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive option, keep an eye out for animal shelters and animal organizations that run chip-a-thons, which often offer discounts.
Does my cat still need a trailer?
Ideally, your cat should have a label too!
Microchiped cats can be useful when lost and taken to a rescue or animal shelter. If the average person finds your cat, they likely don’t have access to a scanner to look for a microchip.
They may not know anything about microchips or the steps to take when they find a lost pet. Then a name badge with a phone number is very useful.
Be safe and double up! Never let your cat out without a chip or collar ID.
Does your cat have a microchip? Are you helping promote Chip Your Pet Month? Let us know in the comments below!