When it comes to lost pets, most people think of dogs. Sometimes dogs run off, get spooked, chase prey or otherwise wander away. That is why many people take the time to get their dogs microchipped. However, few people realize that this service is also beneficial to cats. Why? The Cat Care Society (CCS) in Lakewood has a few reasons for you.
As pet parents, we often keep cats indoors or some of the old misconceptions about cats being independent come to mind. Cats, just like dogs, can run away, get spooked, chase prey or otherwise wander away, even cats who are allowed to roam outside unsupervised. That is why the CCS recommends all cats have a microchip and the shelter provides a microchip to every cat they adopt. It provides peace of mind that if a cat should become lost, the animal’s home can be found by using the chip.
Most people might wonder, what is a microchip? A microchip is a tiny device called a transponder that contains a radio frequency identification number (RFID) that is inserted under the skin by a veterinarian or technician. The chip is about the size of a grain of rice and each chip is programmed to have a unique identification number. When scanned, that number corresponds to information that can be looked up online to find the cat’s family. Inserting the chip and having the chip does not hurt the cat, which is usually placed in the scruff of the neck. When adopting a cat from the CCS, microchips are provided and the shelter will help families set up their information.
According the Cat Care Society 33% of all pets will get lost or sneak away during their life-time. A microchip is a cat’s best defense for being reunited should he or she gets lost or wander away. All cats who are brought to the shelter are checked for microchips as part of the receiving process and most veterinarians also check for microchips when strays are brought to clinics. If you think your cat might already have a microchip, you can take her to CCS to find out.
Another important part of having a microchip is for families to update a cat’s information when moving or relocating. This is also an easy process and can be done online. Families can also call the chip’s issuer using an 800 number, which may be on the brand’s collar tag that comes with the chip. If you can’t remember what your chip brand is or are unsure who to contact, the CCS recommends Home Again.com or www.petmicrochiplookup.org. There is no charge to register or update information and these sites will accept information from any brand of chip. You do not need to purchase their services to register your cat.
According the CCS, a microchip will last the cat’s lifetime. There is not internal battery or power source so there are no parts to wear out or replace. The chip is inactive most of the time and when the chip gets passed over by a scanner, the chip gets enough power from the scanner to transmit the pet’s ID number.
The biggest reason most people don’t microchip their cats is because they are considered indoor cats and not allowed outside. Unfortunately, as any cat owner will attest, cats are incredible escape artists. Others in the home, such as house cleaners or handy workers, could leave a door or window open giving your cat a chance to run away. Don’t forget about fires or natural disasters that are out of your control. During a disaster such as flooding or wildfire, which are common in Colorado, cats can escape and run away. Without a microchip, it is extremely difficult to reunite cats with their families.
So please consider getting your cat or cats microchipped this spring. It is an easy and inexpensive way to provide peace of mind. Call the Cat Clinic at the Cat Care Society to make an appointment to get your cat chipped today at 303-237-0914. Cat parents can also visit the shelter’s website for more information.
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