Common Cat Microchip Questions

The cat microchip is a useful tool for cat owners that can help reunite them with a lost pet, control which cat(s) can leave and enter the home and even save their cats' lives.

The Lost Cat

The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy found that of the lost cats who are returned to their owners, the vast majority are microchipped or identified with tags. However, after a long journey in unfamiliar terrain, a tag on a collar can become lost or broken. Cat microchipping can prevent misidentification. The ASPCA reports that every year, 70% of the cats that enter shelters and are not identified or adopted are euthanized.

Why Microchip?

When a cat is found by a shelter or vet, one of the first things they do is use a microchip reader to scan for a cat microchip. If a microchip is present and the contact information is up-to-date, the cat is reunited with its owner. If there is no way to identify the cat, the chances of the pet being reunited with its owner are slim.

How Do Outdoor Cats Benefit from Microchips?

  • Outdoor cats may get stuck somewhere or lost. If someone finds them and takes them to a shelter or vet, they will be identified and returned to you. Microchips also won't get caught and potentially cause choking problems, like collars might.
  • There is also the microchip cat flap, which reads a cat microchip and opens the little door only for the household cat(s). It keeps stray cats, rodents and other unwanted visitors locked out.

Do Indoor Cats Need Microchips?

Indoor cats are even more likely to get lost should they get outdoors. Confused and excited to see new surroundings, indoor cats are not used to the routine of being outdoors, and may not return as readily as outdoor cats. Indoor cats have been known to slip by people's feet when doors are opened or even press against the door or window screens to slip outside.

Can All Shelters and Vets Use a Microchip Reader?

Most shelters and vets embrace cat microchipping and will have a microchip reader available. Although there were initially problems with some microchip reader and chip compatibility, there are now universal microchip readers available.

Does Cat Microchipping Hurt or Bother the Cat?

  • The cat microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. Inserted under the shoulder blade, the cat won't even notice the chip after the initial procedure. When implanted, the cat feels a prick similar to that of any shot. However, the biocompatible microchip is non-irritating and should not leave a scar.
  • The cat microchip has a multitude of benefits for the cat and the cat owner, including increasing the chance of reuniting with a lost pet, decreasing the chance of injury to the cat and the security of the microchip cat flap. The procedure is relatively affordable and doesn't require any annual fees. However, the owner must be sure to update contact information as necessary.