Click here to learn more.
License tags have long been the standard means for identifying dogs. Cats, however, have never been big tag wearers. Outdoor cats tend to catch their collars (and tags) on tree branches and other things, so many collars are purposefully made to break away. That makes tags almost useless, as well as expensive to replace. Indoor cats tend to remain collarless because their owners assume they won't get out the door. That assumption is too often wrong, however.
A few owners at one time tattooed their cats with an identification number, as was done with dogs, but the process was stressful and not always successful in the awake cat. Even when it worked, the tattoo often blurred with age, and it was frequently as difficult to read the tattoo as it was to place it!
Now microchips have added a better option. Microchips are tiny radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips, about the size of a grain of rice. Your veterinarian implants the chip using what looks much like a big hypodermic needle. The chip is placed under the cat's skin on the back between the shoulder blades. Most cats do not even react during the process, which is much like getting a vaccination.
You must register the chip number with the company that makes the chip, so that if your cat is found, it can be traced back to you. The chip must be read using a special scanner, which most veterinarians and shelters own. At one time, scanners were chip-specific, with chips from different manufacturers requiring separate scanners, but now universal scanners can read all modern chip types. The scanner is passed over the cat's back and sides, and the chip, if present, will transmit the chip's identification number to the scanner. The rescuer then contacts the national database, which in turn contacts the cat's owner. It is believed that more than 600,000 pets have been reunited with their owners as a result of microchips. Not only are chips valuable for returning lost pets but for proving ownership.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Austin Flateau has been unable to attend
his school because it won't accommodate
his need for a service dog.
Do you know what a snood is or how fast
a wild turkey can fly? Check out our fun
facts to see the surprising answers.
We toured the animal-friendly residences
at a university in Colorado to find out what
students think of the new…
Like many veterinarians, Dr. Patty Khuly
is allergic to cats, but she doesn't let that
stop her from treating them.
You already know about the dangers of
chocolate, but how about unbaked bread
dough and toxic sugar substitutes?
We’re sharing our favorite budget-friendly
gifts, from a custom smartphone cover to
the perfect dog treats for…
The plus-size Maine Coon has an adorable chirping voice and gets along with everyone, even the family dog.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.