Microchipping is one of the most important things you can do as a pet parent. Should your fur baby become lost, a registered microchip could be the difference in having your pet returned to you.
What exactly is a microchip?
Microchips are small electronic devices about the size of a grain of rice. The chip works by emitting a specific ID number when the scanner activates it. The ID number is then used by the microchip company to pull your contact information.
How are microchips inserted?
Microchips are inserted using a special needle and can be done during any regular appointment. The needle is slightly larger than a standard injection needle so if your pet is scheduled for a sedated or general anesthesia procedure, that’s the best time to microchip.
Why does my indoor only pet need a microchip?
Remember most cats that are lost were previously indoor only cats. They can slip out the door, a broken window, or even become spooked by a noise or house guest. Microchipping is also an important part of disaster preparedness. In the event of a natural disaster, house fire, or evacuation, your pet may become frightened and run off. If you and your pet are evacuated and have to stay in a shelter or hotel, they could be nervous in the unfamiliar surroundings. No one ever means for their pet to become lost so it’s important to microchip.
Is a microchip the only form of identification your pet needs?
While microchips are the most reliable form of identification, it’s definitely not the only one your pet needs. Always be sure your pet is wearing an easily identifiable ID tag and collar (your cat should be fitted with a breakaway collar).
Are all microchips the same?
Most veterinary practices, shelters, and animal control facilities have both types of scanners or a universal scanner to ensure your pet’s chip will scan. So if your pet is ever lost and picked up by Animal Control, a rescue group, or even taken to a veterinarian’s office by a good Samaritan, the first thing they will do is scan the cat for a microchip.
Make sure if you are traveling internationally, you use an ISO chip which can be universally scanned. Be sure to check your country’s destination requirements as many have regulations regarding the timing and type of chip.
How do you register the chip?
Microchips themselves are only as good as the information they’re connected to. Many rescues automatically chip their dogs and cats, so your pet may already have a microchip. If you aren’t sure which company your pet’s chip is registered with, your veterinarian can scan the chip and look up which company the number is attached to. You’ll need to contact them directly to update your information. Remember anytime you move or change your phone number – update your contact information!