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Is microchipping my cat worth it?

As a cat owner, you may be considering the benefits and drawbacks of microchipping your cat. This common procedure can provide peace of mind in case your furry friend ever goes missing. Our Tucson vets will discuss the benefits of microchips for cats and why you should definitely consider one.

What is a microchip?

Microchips are small radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips that can assist veterinarians and animal shelters in locating pet owners whose animals have been found. Microchips are about the size of a grain of rice and are typically implanted beneath the skin, between the cat's shoulder blades.

Microchipping your cat does not require surgery. The chip is implanted just under the skin with a needle and causes little discomfort. In fact, most cats have little to no reaction to having the microchip implanted.

Once your cat has been microchipped, you must register the chip's serial number and information with the manufacturer. Matching your cat's information with the serial number of the microchip allows them to be traced back to you if found.

What is the process of getting a microchip for my cat?

The process of getting your cat microchipped is quite simple. It includes the following steps:

  1. Schedule an appointment with your vet and bring your cat in a secure carrier.
  2. During the appointment, the microchip will be inserted under your cat's skin between the shoulder blades using a needle.
  3. Make sure to register the microchip with your contact information to ensure your cat can be identified if it is lost.
  4. Keep all paperwork and information related to the microchip in a safe place for future reference.

How is the actual microchipping procedure done?

During a microchipping procedure, a small chip, about the size of a grain of rice, is inserted under the skin between the shoulder blades of your cat. This process is quick and relatively painless, similar to receiving a vaccination. If your pet ever goes missing, a veterinarian or animal shelter can scan the chip for a special identification number that will help them find you.

After the microchip is implanted, your pet may experience some mild discomfort or soreness at the injection site, but this should subside quickly. It's important to keep an eye on the area for any signs of infection or irritation. If you do, contact your veterinarian for further guidance on how to care for the area and ensure your pet's comfort.

Can a collar and tag work just as well as a microchip?

Collars and tags can provide an additional layer of protection in finding lost cats and returning them to their owners. People can simply read the tag and call the phone number on it to reach the owner. Outdoor cats should always wear collars with identification tags in case they get into trouble. Make sure to put your name and phone number on your cat's tag. Identification tags are also useful for indoor cats, as cats frequently sneak out when their owners are not looking. 

As beneficial as it is to provide your cat with a collar and identification tag, tags can fall off and become lost, leaving your cat without any identifying information. Microchips provide your cat with a permanent means of identification. But you need to keep your microchip registration information up-to-date. If you move or change your phone number, notify the microchip company so that your information can be updated.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is it time to have your cat microchipped? Contact our Tucson vets today to book an appointment.

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