Nine out of ten cats not microchipped
We’re urging pet owners to microchip their cats, after our figures reveal almost nine out of ten moggies coming into our care aren’t chipped.
By law dogs have to be microchipped, however cats do not. This makes it much more difficult to discover if they have an owner, and to reunite them.
We’re urging owners to make sure they microchip their cats, as 87 percent of cats brought into our national centres in 2017 didn't have a microchip.
Caroline Allen, the director of our London hospitals, said:
We see heartfelt stories where cats have been reunited with their owners after a few weeks, a few months or even a few years because we were able to trace them with the microchip details.
However, there are thousands of cats coming into our care with no microchip at all, or details which are not kept up-to-date, meaning there are lots of cats who are unlikely to ever see their owner again. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.
A vital action for your pet
New figures show that in 2017, 4,896 out of the 5,647 cats that came into our 17 national centres weren't microchipped.
This means only 13 percent of cats were microchipped and many of these didn't have up-to-date details recorded.
Caroline Allen added:
Not only are a lot of cats still not being chipped but during one week last summer, our London veterinary hospitals had nine cats with out-of-date microchip details making it extremely difficult to track down their owners.
Microchipping your pet is vitally important in ensuring that if anything happens to them, if they’re lost or stolen, or hit by a car, then they can be returned to you.
Despite our best efforts to find an owner, the most reliable way to identify a cat is to have him or her microchipped. If the contact details are out of date the chip is completely useless so it is vitally important to tell the chip company yourself if any contact details change.
Keep your microchip up to date
Caroline Allen also said:
We see cases where we would love to reunite microchipped cats with their owner but can't because the details have not been updated.
We also find that many people don’t realise that the chip is just a number that cross references to a database. If the information on that database is old and out-of-date then the chip is useless. Telling your vet does not automatically update the details on the database, but this is something you can do yourself online.
Out of date chips can often be worse than no chips at all, as the cats then spend weeks in the cattery while we are desperately trying to chase details and send letters before we can rehome them.
Cats with no chips
Gizmo (pictured above) was found with a microchip which showed an address and number in Poland. Gizmo was straying, and poorly with diarrhoea, dehydration and a distended abdomen.
Staff believe that the owners of the cat didn't update their details when they moved to the UK. Our Putney Animal Hospital is still trying to trace an owner but have had no luck.
Harley (pictured to the right) had no microchip or collar and was found with a fractured toe. Efforts to find an owner haven't been successful and seven-year-old Harley is still at the hospital currently receiving treatment.
If you recognise Gizmo please contact our Putney Animal Hospital on 0300 123 071, or if you recognise Harley please call our Harmsworth Animal Hospital on 0300 123 0712.
Act now for your cat
We microchip every cat we rehome, and strongly recommend that every owner gets their cat microchipped and keeps the details updated.