ID Tags, Microchips, And Your Cat’s Safety

(Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

(Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

You love your cat. You’re committed to keeping him safe, healthy, and happy. So of course you have him tagged and microchipped, right? If not, two sobering statistics may persuade you otherwise:

  • Every year in the U.S., more than 60,000 companion animals are lost or stolen.
  • If your cat or dog becomes lost, and does not have a tag or microchip, there’s only a 10 percent chance you’ll see your pet again.

Even if Fluffy’s an indoor cat, even if she’s trained to come running at the sound of her name, all it takes is an open window and the scent of rodent for her to be lured from her scratching post. And while the chances of a natural disaster or house fire are slim, such an event can change your pet’s life forever. Just ask the dogs and cats left homeless after Hurricane Katrina.

Collar with ID tag

In addition to the obvious reason – that is, your contact information is immediately accessible – a collar and ID tag also lets anyone who crosses paths with your cat know that he isn’t feral: This animal has a home where he is fed, loved, and cared for. And should your cat be picked up by city or county animal control, administrative staff will know exactly how to reach you.

Microchip

This tiny chip, implanted (safely and painlessly) between your cat’s shoulders, remains with the animal his entire life. Consider it a valuable back-up plan should your cat’s tags become removed or the collar lost.

Most municipal shelters already have scanners that detect and read these microchips, and as a policy, many scan every animal who arrives at their door. So in addition to being the only permanent ID your cat carries with him, it’s your best hope to be reunited in the event you become separated.