The government recently published a call for evidence on the anticipated impact of making cat microchipping mandatory in the same way it is for dogs.
In 2016, microchipping dogs became mandatory and it is estimated that over those three years, around 92% of dogs are now microchipped. However, the absolute number is unknown given that it isn’t possible to account for unregistered microchips or those which have out of date owner information.
The case for microchipping cats
The Vet Times estimates that there are around 11 million cats in the UK, of which around 29% are not microchipped. That means around 3 million cats are unchipped and therefore untraceable if lost or injured, making reuniting them with their families an impossible task.
The move for compulsory microchipping has been welcomed by animal welfare charities including the Blue Cross and Cats Protection League. In 2017, a quarter of the cats taken into the Blue Cross were strays with 80% not being microchipped. The Cats Protection League reports a similarly high proportion of unchipped animals being taken to their shelters. With this in mind it would seem obvious that microchipping could have positive outcomes.
The feline propensity for losing collars and wandering off, further strengthens the case for compulsory microchipping.
The challenges of microchipping cats
A significant flaw in compulsory microchipping lies in registering the implantation.
For example, dog microchipping is mandatory, but implanters have not been made responsible for registering the chips they implant. This means that if the implanter doesn’t complete the registration of the chips they implant, and instead leaves it to the puppy’s owner to register their animal, if they then fail to do so, the dog may as well not be chipped at all!
Back to cats, the same applies. Until such time as implanters are required to be held responsible for registering the chips they implant, the ultimate benefit of being able to reunite misplaced animals with their owners, cannot be achieved.
Of course, the other problem with cats is their innate nature and fondness for having more than one owner at any one time. On presenting a cat for chipping it would be important for the implanter to thoroughly scan and ensure the animal hadn’t been chipped by a different ‘owner’.
Which leads nicely onto the reliability of the chips being used.
The Trovan difference
Microchipping is a quick and painless procedure that, with quality components, will only need to be carried out once in the animal’s lifetime. Therefore, setting aside the risk of microchips not being registered after implantation, another important factor is the reliability of the components being used.
Trovan microchips are engineered to provide lifelong reliability. By contrast, inferior products boast less longevity with many being limited to 10,000 reads or an anticipated life of 10 years.
How petDetect can help
Whether you need help finding an implanter or would like to be trained to undertake the procedure yourself, petDetect can help. The true benefit of microchipping can only be fully appreciated when it you are reunited with a lost pet; which means it is important to be confident your chosen products won’t let you down.
petDetect is passionate about animal welfare and is the only UK stockist of Trovan animal microchipping products - market-leading, top quality products used in zoos across the world, with a proven track-record of reliability. In addition to implanting tools, we also stock a range of scanners with excellent read-range to help you establish whether an animal has already been implanted.
If you’d like to contribute to the government call for evidence about cat microchipping, you can do so here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-seeks-views-on-cat-microchipping
To find out more about microchipping or to find an implanter, contact us