Last October, Lisa, one of the members of our local rescue community lost her cat Skittles. A former stray, Skittles had been hit by a car, and Lisa had nursed him back to health, eventually adopting him. While Lisa was out of town, Skittles escaped from the house. After a great deal of searching, a heartbroken Lisa resigned herself to never seeing Skittles again.
Earlier this month, the microchip company called Lisa to tell her that her cat had been reported found. A woman had been feeding the friendly stray cat, but as winter came to a close, the woman who was feeding Skittles was preparing to move back north for the summer months. She took Skittles to vet’s office, where his microchip was found, five months after he went missing.
Now Skittles is home where he belongs, and he is getting all of the love and affection he can handle. And he has a sink as a throne, too.
Frightening contingencies like these are the reason that we microchip cats, but there’s a second half to the task of getting your cat chipped and registered. Someone has to read the chip to help your cat get home. This is why it’s really important to scan that “stray” cat. The cat you think was left behind by your neighbor who just moved out might actually belong to someone two streets over who is frantically searching for her. Don’t assume. Go ahead and scan for a microchip to help be sure that someone isn’t looking for their lost friend.
When you find a lost cat, you can get the chip scanned several places:
- Most animal shelters. The ones I spoke to said that they would be willing to scan for a chip without taking the cat into the shelter population. Call and ask what the procedure is for scanning a lost pet, and clearly identify if you are taking responsibility for the cat rather than having him or her admitted to the shelter.
- Rescue groups. Many other rescue organizations have chip readers, too. Some areas even have groups specifically for helping reunite people with lost pets, and they are the likeliest to have a microchip scanner.
- A veterinarian’s office. Vets implant chips and also read them. Be sure to let them know that you’re just bringing the cat in to be scanned, not for an actual appointment, and many vets perform this service at no charge.
Scan that stray. It can be the key to help get the kitty back to his home.
Cat with microchip scanner, depositphotos/ivonnewierink
Skittles in sink, Lisa Moore