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Microchipping Your Feral Cat

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If you've ever lost your cat, you know how stressful the experience can turn out to be. If not, just the thought of your cat not making it home can be equally disturbing.

Regardless of our search efforts, it's important to note that many cats are never reunited with their owners. Instead, they find themselves ending up in shelters or on the doorstep of some kind stranger.

Finding a lost cat is entirely doable with the right measures in place. So how do you increase your cat's odds of being returned to you if they get lost? Simple! When your cat wears some form of identification, the odds of finding them increases. One of the most common yet reliable identification methods of recovering a lost cat is through a microchip.

In this article, we take cat microchipping a look and its benefits to both you and your furry friend.

What Are Microchips and How Do They Work?

Microchips are very small radio-frequency identification (RFID) devices about the size of a grain of rice. They are passive, meaning that they passively store your cat's unique identification number and do not continuously broadcast the data.

The microchip is implanted underneath a cat's skin, mainly between their shoulder blades via an application gun or a quick syringe injection. Once done, cats cannot feel the microchip. Notably, microchips don't break down, so they are not harmful to your cat. They also don't require any power source and passively lie in your cat until a scanner reads them.

Once implanted, the microchip is activated by a hand-held scanner. In turn, the chip emits an alphanumeric code that uniquely identifies your kitty. It's important to stress that microchips are not tracking devices.

Note that it’s important for you to register your cat’s microschip with the chip's manufacturer, ensure that the scanner verifies the correct code, and that you provide your current contact information.

Pro Tip: A microchip itself is pointless if your registration details aren’t submitted and kept up-to-date. Ensure that you always update your cats' microchip with your current contact information.

Benefits of Microchips Include:

1. Microchips are a permanent form of identification. Unlike breakaway collars and tags that can occasionally slip off or be easily removed, Microchips are designed to last for the entire cat's lifetime. Besides, they are made without the need for replacement or charging and have sporadic cases of microchip failure or rejection by a cat's body.

2. Microchips are very reasonable and will not have you breaking the bank to afford the procedure. Veterinarians usually only charge for the chip and include the procedure fee. What's more, the microchip manufacturer charges a one-time payment to register your kitty and contact information.

3. Microchips provide proof of ownership in case of any dispute or theft.

4. Microchips are straightforward and quick to administer. Implanting the chip takes a few seconds and only causes a brief pinching pain. Moreover, microchips are only slightly invasive and don't cause any discomfort to your cat.

5. Microchips are helpful when importing or traveling with cats to certain countries.

Is Microchipping Dangerous for Yout Cat?

Microchipping is considered as a very safe medical procedure. Nevertheless, as typical with many medical procedures, side effects may occur, in which case they are infrequent.

Admittedly, even despite our best efforts as cat owners, we cannot ascertain that our felines won't get lost. Cats are roaming and curious creatures who may wander far from home and fail to come back. If they don’t, microchipping provides the best bet to find and reunitr with your beloved furry friend.

In a study, cats that were microchipped were found to be 20 times more likely to be returned to their owners. For any advice on cat microchipping, be sure to consult with your veterinarian.

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