We are in the middle of National Pet Identification Week which runs from April 19th to April 25th. It is the purrfect time to make sure your cat is “carrying” its ID in case they get lost.
The American Humane Association estimates over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year and nearly one out of every three pets will get lost at some point during their lifetime and without proper identification 90% of lost pets never return home.
Additionally, a study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association found that less than 2 percent of lost cats that entered the 53 animal shelters participating in the study were reunited with their families. However, the return-to-owner rate for microchipped cats was dramatically higher at over 38 percent – those cats were carrying their ID.
Whether you allow your cat to roam freely on your property, or keep a close eye on them within the perimeters of your home, there is always a possibility that they can wander off and get lost. If they found, don’t you want an easy way for the finder to help reunite your cat with you?
The best way to make sure your lost cat is brought back to you is to have them “carry” identification.
Microchip versus collar and tags
Many people think that putting a collar with an ID tag on their cat will suffice to identify them in case they are lost.
While collars with pet identification tags are easily accessible to anyone who finds your lost cat, tags can become hard to read, and collars can be broken or removed.
Microchipping your cat is the one sure method of insuring your cat will always have identification. Microchips cannot be easily misread, the permanent identification number is tamperproof and the information about the pet and owner is usually readily retrievable.
If your cat is lost, most veterinary offices, shelters, and humane societies have scanners that can locate the chip inside the cat’s body and read the code on it. So as long as your pet’s microchip has been registered and your information is up-to-date in the recovery program database, the vet clinic or shelter should be able to reunite you with your cat.
Where to get your cat microchipped
You can get your cat microchipped by your veterinarian or you can take advantage of services offered by Petco’s Vetco Clinic locations, the San Diego Humane Society or the County of San Diego Animal Services.
Vetco Clinics offer affordable, low cost vaccination services and preventative veterinary care inside Petco and Unleashed stores during convenient evening and weekend hours by state licensed Veterinarians. The cost to have your cat microchipped at a Vetco Clinic is $15.00. You can search for a Vetco Clinic near you on this map of Vetco Clinics in the San Diego area.
The San Diego Humane Society offers microchipping for $10.00 at their San Diego, Escondido and Oceanside campuses as follows:
San Diego Campus
5500 Gaines Street, San Diego
Daily, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
3450 E. Valley Parkway, Escondido
Daily, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Oceanside Campus – Cats
572 Airport Road, Oceanside
Monday through Friday, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
The County of San Diego Animal Services offers microchipping at any of the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services shelters on any Thursday from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm for $10.00.
Remember, it is extremely important you make sure your contact information associated you’re your cat’s microchip is always current.