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FAQs About Microchips and Cats


Hi there. CAT Stanley here again to answer your questions about microchips.

Do cats need to be microchipped? A microchip provides the best chance of getting your cat back home again if he or she gets lost. It provides a permanent form of identification for your cat.

Let’s face it. Accidents happen. Sometimes cats can simply sneak outside unnoticed. Sometimes natural disasters (fires, hurricanes, floods, etc.) result in cats getting lost. Whatever the reason, if your cat gets lost, a microchip might be the thing that brings your pet back to you.

Is it painful for a cat to have a microchip implanted? No, it’s just a little pinch much like an injection. The video below (provided by Steve Dale’s Pet World) shows Dr. Shelly Rubin placing a microchip in one of his feline patients. You’ll notice that the cat barely reacts when the procedure is performed. It was the same for me when I had my microchip implanted.

How big is the microchip? A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. In the video below (provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association), you will be able to see what a microchip really looks like. Though this particular video features a dog, the information presented is applicable to cats also.

Just like the dog in the video, your cat can be microchipped without surgery or anesthesia. The procedure takes only a moment and can be done during a routine veterinary visit.

Does an indoor cat still need to have a microchip? Yes. Indoor cats can sneak outside on occasion. It’s a good idea for all cats to have a microchip.

What about a collar with an identification tag? Isn’t that as good as a microchip? Not really. Collars and tags can fall off or be removed. Ideally, your cat should have both a collar with an identification tag and a microchip.

What if my cat’s microchip is not registered with a database? A microchip is useless if it is not registered. It is the registration that links your contact information with the microchip and ultimately to your cat. If the chip is not registered, there will be no way to find you if your cat is located. Be sure to keep your contact information up-to-date if you move or change your phone number.

How long does a microchip last? In most cases, the microchip will last the lifetime of your pet.

Does a microchip function like a GPS device? Can it track my cat’s activity and movements? No, microchips are useful identification devices but they do not utilize GPS technology and cannot be used to track your lost cat. A scanner is necessary to read the microchip. Unidentified pets found or turned into shelters or animal control facilities are typically scanned for evidence of a microchip. If a microchip is found during the scan, the owner will then be contacted via the information provided through registration of the microchip.

So how about it? Does your cat have a microchip? Is the microchip registered? If not, there’s no time like the present.

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