August 15 is National Check the Chip Day. It’s a reminder to all of us that getting your cat microchipped isn’t the only step in the process in giving her a much higher chance of getting home. A 2009 study at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State revealed found that cats have a 20 times higher chance of being returned to their owners after entering an animal shelter if they are microchipped.
Just having a microchip isn’t enough. There is a three-step process you should complete for any microchipped pet:
Step 1: Get Chipped
Getting your cat microchipped is a simple procedure that can be done at your veterinarian’s office. Reduced-cost and sometimes even free microchips are available at events in your community. Microchips are implanted under the skin with a large-gauge needle, like getting a vaccination.
Step 2: Get Registered and Keep Contact Information Current
Register your microchip, and keep it up to date if your contact information changes. This is important because one of the leading causes of microchipped pets not being able to get home is not being able to find the current contact information for the pet’s home. If you get a microchip implanted in your kitty and then move across the country, your old vet who implanted it may lose touch with you. If your microchip isn’t registered, the last person the microchip company knew had the chip was your old vet. Keep your contact information up to date with the chip registry to be found when your pet needs you most.
Step 3: Check The Chip
Check the chip! Microchips are implanted between the shoulder blades. When Ashton was a bony, little kitten, you could feel the chip, about the size of a big grain of rice, if you scritched her shoulders just right, just past the end of her neck at her shoulders. In rare cases, a microchip can migrate. this doesn’t hurt your cat or dog, but it does mean that if someone passes a microchip scanner over your pet’s shoulders, it won’t be energized by the electromagnetic field produced by the scanner. This can lead to the microchip not being detected. To be sure this hasn’t happened, ask your veterinarian to scan for your cat’s chip as a part of their routine veterinary exam.
Microchips Result in High Rate of Return of Shelter Animals to Owners, OSU Research News