Unlike dogs where there is a legal requirement to microchip as part of the registration, cats don’t require microchipping. However, we still very strongly recommended inserting a microchip in them.
The chip is the size of a grain of rice and is injected under the skin like a vaccine.
It contains a unique number that once scanned can be entered into the companion animal database to obtain your details.
Other points to consider:
- Collars and tags alone are not effective at identifying your pet as these are easily removed or lost by your pet. A microchip gives your pet the best chance of being reunited with you if they become lost or stolen.
- Microchipped animals are able to be reunited with their owners much quicker than those that aren’t. Following the Canterbury earthquake in 2010, well over 80% of microchipped animals were reunited with their owners within 3 days. Whereas those that were without identification, only 10% were reunited with their families.
- If your animal is lost and taken into a vet clinic or the SPCA it can be reunited with you within hours of being found if it has been microchipped.
- The microchip lasts the lifetime of your pet, but you must keep your contact details up-to-date on the NZ Companion Animal Register (NZCAR) as well as in our own database.
- Microchipping can be used as legal identification if your pet’s ownership is in dispute or if it is stolen.
Dr Nikki Frost BSc BVSc MANZCVS (Medicine of Cats)