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    Microchipping Your Cat - What You Need to Know

    Microchipping Your Cat - What You Need to Know

    Is it a legal requirement to microchip a cat?

    From 10 June, it is a legal requirement to have your cat microchipped in the U.K. and registered on a government-approved register. A cat microchip is a small electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder, about the size of a grain of rice, implanted under a cat's skin, typically between the shoulder blades. This microchip contains a unique identification number that can be read by a special scanner.

    Here are some key details about cat microchips

    Purpose and Benefits

    • Identification Permanent ID: Unlike collars and tags, which can be lost or removed, a microchip provides a permanent form of identification.

    • Unique Code: Each microchip has a unique identification number that links to the owner's contact information in a database.


    Lost and Found: If a lost cat is found and scanned by a veterinarian, animal shelter, or rescue organisation, the chip will provide them with owner’s details and reunite with their pet.

    Implantation Process


    Quick and Simple: The microchip is inserted under the cat's skin using a needle and syringe, like a vaccination and is quick with minimal discomfort to the cat.

    Age for Microchipping

    Young Kittens: Microchipping can be done at any age, though waiting until the kitten is a few weeks old and has reached a suitable size is often recommended.


    • Database Entry: After implantation, the microchip number and the owner's contact information must be registered with a pet recovery database.

    • Update Information: If the cat gets lost, it's crucial to update the contact information to ensure successful reunification.

    How It Works

    Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

    • Passive Chip: The microchip does not have a power source; it is activated by the radio waves emitted by the scanner.

    • Data Transmission: When the scanner passes over the microchip, it transmits the unique ID number to the scanner's display.


    Widely Available: Most veterinary clinics, animal shelters, and rescue organisations have microchip scanners.

    Quick Reading: Scanning is quick and painless, providing instant identification.


    Things to consider

    Not a GPS Device

    No Tracking: A microchip does not provide real-time tracking like a GPS device; it only provides identification when scanned.

    Regular Checks

    Annual Scans: Ask the vet to scan the microchip during regular veterinary visits to ensure it functions correctly.

    Complementary to Other ID Forms

    Collars and Tags: While microchips are permanent, using collars and tags with contact information provides an immediate way for someone to contact the owner if the cat is found.

    Microchipping is a reliable and effective way to ensure that a lost cat can be identified and returned to its owner. It is a quick, safe, and permanent method of identification that complements other forms of ID and provides pet owners with peace of mind.

    What do you do if the cat no longer belongs to you?

    If you no longer own a microchipped cat, updating the microchip registration information to reflect the new owner's details is important. This ensures that the cat can be returned to the correct owner if it is ever lost.

    Here are the steps to follow

    • Contact the Microchip Registry

    • Contact Information: You can usually find contact details for the registry on their website or through the paperwork provided at the time of microchipping.

    • Update Ownership Information Provide New Owner's Details: Contact the microchip registry and provide the new owner's contact information, including their name, address, phone number, and email.

    • Authorisation: Some registries may require authorisation or confirmation from both the current registered owner and the new owner to update the details.

    Transfer of Ownership

    • Forms and Fees: The registry might have specific forms to fill out for the transfer of ownership, and there might be a small fee involved.

    • Submit Documentation: Complete and submit any required documentation to the registry to finalise the transfer.

    New Registration

    The new owner should receive confirmation of the registration update, including any new identification numbers or reference information.

    Why It's Important

    Accurate Information: Ensuring the microchip registry has the correct information is crucial for the cat's safety and for reuniting the cat with its rightful owner if it gets lost.

    Taking these steps can help ensure a smooth transition and continued safety for the cat.

    Need to get your cat microchipped? Act Now!

    Animal Trust is a trading name of Animal Trust Vets CIC, a community interest company registered in England and Wales. Company Registration No: 07938025

    Registered Office: Animal Trust Administration Centre, Cedab Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 4FE