The worst nightmare for a fur parent is finding out that their beloved pet has gone missing. In the olden days, the most a pet owner could do was to put their details onto the pet’s collar. Missing pet flyers and posters help, but not everyone will pass by those posters. With the internet, people can post their missing pet posters on social media and this may widen the scope of people that the post can reach.
Getting your cat microchipped is one way to increase odds of getting your missing cat back. Unlike collars that can break or be easily removed, the microchip is barely noticeable but extremely handy in accessing your pet’s information.
Even if putting a microchip in your pet is the best option for your pet, some people are apprehensive about taking the step. They have a few concerns regarding their cat’s safety and their own.
Can you feel a microchip in your cat?
Yes, you can, but it may take a while to find it due to its size. It’ll also depend on the cat’s age, since ideally the chip is inserted when they are quite young, so as they grow, the chip may move. But they stay, roughly, around the same general area, between the shoulders.
The chip is inserted under the skin, so there is no need to worry about the chip migrating into any of the cat’s vital organs.
Just be aware that when you feel something under the cat’s skin, never rule out the possibility that it might be a growth or an abscess.
Do not worry if you cannot feel the chip. Vets will use a scanner and find the chip in no time.
How do I feel for the chip?
- Put your cat on your lap or in a position that is comfortable for the both of you.
- With both hands, gently massage and pinch areas in the cat’s shoulders.
- Most cats will like this and think you are just fussing and petting, so keep massaging.
- Keep working around the area until you feel a rice grain size object.
What is a microchip?
A microchip ID is a piece technology that is roughly around the size of a grain of rice. It is inserted onto the flap of skin between your cat’s shoulder blades via a needle. So, it is no more invasive than your cat’s routine shots.
Information about the cat and their owner is encoded in the chip. This may include names, address, and contact information. It is then logged into the National Pet Microchip Registration Database.
If your cat was to go missing and ended up in a shelter or a vet’s office, they’ll just run a scanner over the cat’s body and it’ll find the microchip and show the necessary info.
What is the best time to get my cat microchipped?
Health is the most important factor when determining if your cat is ready to be chipped. Technically, they can be chipped as early as 5 weeks old, but it is safer to wait until the cat is 8 weeks old just so the kitten is healthier and heavier. Cats with any underlying or ongoing illnesses are not advised to get chipped until they regain their health.
How can I get my cat microchipped safely and quickly?
You can visit your vet and get the procedure done the same day, because vets, normally, have microchips on hand. It is also reasonably affordable.
I adopted my cat. How will I know if the cat’s been chipped?
Aside from physically feeling for the chip, you can give the shelter a call to ask them if your newly adopted cat is chipped. It is mandatory that shelters chip their cats, but of course, there’s a possibility that they may have missed your cat. So, to be sure you can ask the vet to scan the cat or have a radiograph done.
Is microchipping painful for cats?
It is about as painful as their scheduled shots. There is no need for any kind of anesthesia. The cat will barely flinch as the actual implanting of the chip lasts all of two seconds. There is barely any trace of the needle track.
If the potential pain for your cat is holding you back from chipping them, just know that the pros outweigh the cons heavily.
Do microchip IDs use GPS?
Microchips do not use GPS, in the way that you can triangulate the exact whereabouts of your cat from your phone or computer. The only information that is stored in the chip is of the cat and the owners. So, it still is a matter of the cat being brought into a place with a scanner. So, as a responsible cat owner, be sure to always update the information in the chip whenever you change addresses or phone numbers.
Should I worry about my privacy with the chip?
The information in the chip is just between you and the manufacturer of the chip, so you can rest assured that your name, phone number, and address is secure. Only when you give your consent will the microchip company release your information so you can be contacted. So, you cannot be directly contacted by whoever scanned the chip in your cat.
A cat that goes missing can be cause for a lot of stress for the pet owner and the cat, and the affordable technological solution of a microchip can help to improve the odds of finding your cat. So, if you have the means, please chip your pets.
Image: istockphoto.com / ElenaNichizhenova