Mandatory Microchipping for Cats
According to GOV.UK, a new law is being passed to make microchipping mandatory for cats in the UK. Microchipping puppies has been compulsory since 2016, and the government is now reviewing these regulations to tie in with the new rules for cats.
While microchipping is intended to reunite owners with their pets when they stray, unfortunately, if an animal is found dead, there is currently no rule to ensure the chip is scanned so the owner can be notified. In order to be certain you know the whereabouts of your beloved pet, fitting a Safer Pet cat GPS tracker will ensure you can follow his movements in real-time and locate him regardless of where he roams.
With more than 10 million pet cats in the UK, the microchipping law will have far-reaching consequences. Owners will have to have their kitten microchipped by the time they reach 20 weeks of age. Their contact details will then be stored in one of the national databases so that if their favourite feline goes missing, they can be identified if they're found.
Anyone failing to comply with the new law will have 21 days to get the microchip implanted or be fined up to £500.
What is Microchipping?
In a simple procedure, a tiny microchip, no bigger than a grain of rice, is inserted under the skin of your pet, normally at the back of the neck. It holds a unique number that can be read by a special scanner and checked against a national database to locate the registered owner. This is not a dog or cat tracker, but simply an identifier; a small radio transponder that sends its number when triggered by a microchip reader.
Benefits of Microchips
Although relying on a microchip to identify a pet is not foolproof, it does have a number of benefits:
- It's virtually painless to insert
- The chip is normally permanent, so it won't be lost
- It has a long life, so it will usually last your pet's lifetime
- It can identify a pet using a scanner held by any vet
- The databases of owners are nation-wide
- Studies show that 2.5 times more strays are returned to their owners when microchipped
The move to make microchips compulsory for cats is part of the government's Action Plan for Animal Welfare, which also includes measures to combat puppy smuggling and tougher sentencing for pet theft.
In their consultation, of which 33,000 people participated, it was determined that 99% of people supported mandatory microchipping for cats. It's no surprise, when you consider that a remarkable 8 out of 10 have nothing to identify them when they arrive at Cats Protection rehoming centres across the country.
Ensuring that every pet puss has a microchip will improve the chances that they can find their way home if they're lost or injured.
What to Do If Your Cat Goes Missing
With tens of thousands of cats going missing every year, most families have experienced the worry and heartache of wondering where their treasured companion is wandering.
When your furry friend is microchipped, you know that he can be identified and returned to you if he's found. But everyone knows that cats often have their own ideas and don't always want to be found by strangers. Sadly, about 25% of all those who do stray are never reunited with their owners. So, what can you do to locate him when he disappears?
- Notify the microchip database company immediately to ensure they have your up-to-date contact details.
- Register your lost cat on Pets Located and Pets Reunited. These services manage the UK's largest nationwide missing pet databases and can greatly help increase your chances of finding your lost cat.
- Put up posters in your neighbourhood with a good photo of your cat. Pets Reunited offer a service for printing missing pet posters.
- Call rescue centres and vets in a wide area so that they can look out for any strays who are brought in. Pets Located and Pets Reunited work with rescue centres and vets to try to locate your lost pets.
For a fail-safe way to find your missing cat, fit him with a collar-mounted GPS cat tracker, like the one from Safer Pet. Using a simple app on your phone, you can follow his movements in real-time to be sure you know where he is, regardless of where he roams.