It’s National Pet Identification week. Do you know if your kitty has the right ID for your cat necessary to find her way home to you?
Your cat doesn’t have pockets to carry a wallet, so ID for cats takes the form of a microchip and tag. Only two percent of cats who end up in shelters have some form of ID, and until your cat learns to talk, that’s the only way your cat can tell people where she lives.
“A pet’s looks and fur can change drastically in only a few days or weeks on their own,” says Kim Freeman, pet detective and owner of Lost Cat Finder. Cats covered in dirt or wet can look surprisingly different than a nearby lost cat sign that has their photo on it, so ID is the best way for someone to tell it really is your cat.
A microchip is a small transponder about the size of a grain of rice that is has with a unique identification number. The chip is implanted by a simple procedure at your vet or even at a local shelter. Reduced-cost and sometimes even free microchips are available at events in your community at various times during the year.
Be sure to register your chip so that if someone finds your kitty, they can get your contact information. Your chip isn’t registered automatically!
If You Move to a New Home
Update your contact information with the microchip registry so that if someone finds your cat, they will be able to contact you. Animal shelters run into heartbreaking dead ends when they scan a cat for a chip but the phone number on the chip is disconnected. Don’t let this happen to your cat!
If your cat will wear a collar, make sure you use a breakaway collar that will come off if your cat gets it caught on something. Safety first!
Include daytime and evening contact information on your cat’s tag, since you never know when someone might have to try to call you. If your cat has a medical condition like diabetes, you can include that on the tag, too, so that if your kitty is lost, he can get the appropriate care until you are reunited.
If You Move to a New Home
Make sure your cat’s tag includes a cell phone number or the number of someone who knows how to reach you.
Microchip Plus Collar
The ASPCA recommends your cat have a registered microchip and also wear a collar with personalized ID tag. Anyone who finds your cat can read an ID tag, while the microchip reader requires the good Samaritan to go to a veterinarian or shelter where they can read the chip.
Collars with tags make it easy for anyone to get your cat home to you. A microchip, hidden beneath your cat’s fur, won’t be lost like a collar can, so it’s a great way to be sure your cat won’t “lose her wallet” and not have any ID when lost.
We all hope our cat never gets lost, but make sure your kitty has the best chance to get back home to you as quickly as possible by chipping and collaring your cat with ID for your cat.
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