Some disturbing statistics:
- Every 2 seconds a family pet is lost. Most never make it back home because their owners didn't identify them.
- Every year, 10 million pets are lost, and without identification, 90% are never recovered.
- Less than 3% of lost cats who end up in shelters are returned to their families.
- 70% of cats admitted into shelters are euthanized.
Whether your cat is an outdoor enthusiast or an indoor window watcher identifiction is important.
The two most common forms of identification are tags and microchips.
Tags come in a variety of styles and colors making it easier to spot your cat, and can contain crucial information, such as your name, phone number, and even valuable medical data. However, few owners use identification tags and collars for their cats. Many owners site safety concerns and their cats' refusal to wear collars as reasons for the lack of identification. Collars used on cats must be breakaway for the safety of the cat. Collars with tags can be an easy identification method, but tags are not a permanent form of identification.
To give your cat the best chance to come home if it is lost, a permanent identification such as a microchip is critical.
Microchips are small computer chips (the size of a grain of rice) implanted under your cat's skin between the shoulder blades. The implantation procedure takes only seconds and is administered like a shot. Each microchip contains an individual, preprogrammed code that is permanent, cannot be altered, and unique to your cat. The microchip is unbreakable, does not require a battery, and is engineered to last a pet's lifetime. The chip is easily read by a scanner at veterinary clinics and shelters. Veterinarians, humane societies, pet rescue groups, and shelters routinely scan found animals for chips when they come in. At the Cat Clinic of Cobb we implant ResQ microchips. ResQ is supported by a no-cost pet registration database in the U.S. that allows for a true, no-cost registration and lifetime updates. PetLink provides 24/7 customer support, including contact numbers for non-resQ microchip manufacturers and protection for pets regardless of their country of origin. To learn more, visit www.petlink.net.
Be sure to register your cat with the mircochip bank and update your address and phone number with the microchip bank any time that you move. Chips are worthless if they cannot be traced back to the owner! If you are unsure if your cat is registered or your information is current, go to The American Animal Hospital Association universal pet microchip lookup page.
If your cat is one of the lucky ones to have the chip, it may soon be on its way home. The chip is lifetime insurance that almost guarantees the cat will not be euthanized or put up for adoption if he is lost. Best of all, your cat can't leave home without its identification. You never know when a natural disaster may occur in your area. In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina and the recent series of tornados, many animals have been misplaced and lost their homes. With the aid of a microchip, thousands of pets have been reunited with their loving families. Read how Willow was reunited with her family after disappearing from Colorado and turning up in New York City five years later!
If your cat becomes lost, see our tips for finding a lost cat.