Should I Get My Cat Chipped? — Why Microchipping Is an Essential Part of Pet Care

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If the question of Should I get my cat chipped? has been keeping you up at night, do know that the benefits of microchipping far outweigh any potential cons. 


Some say that the cat may develop cancer at the injection spot, but that’s fairly unlikely. Besides, even if the chip migrates, most shelters, and vet clinics already know that they should scan the whole body to ensure they find it.


In the end, getting your cat microchipped is a sign that you’ve taken your cat parenthood seriously. This small, non-toxic computer chip won’t harm your cat, the procedure lasts mere seconds, and it’s permanent. 


Once it’s in, you will just have to make sure your contact information is up to date. If someone finds your cat (when it runs away or gets lost), all they need to do is scan the chip to get the manufacturer’s and your contact information.


Should I Get My Cat Chipped?


We all know that felines are a lot more independent than dogs and tend to slip away at night and come back when they please. Let’s be honest — some cats even use their homes as cheap motels and only go back when they’re in need of food. But if you’re a cat owner, you must have thought to yourself at some point — Should I get my cat chipped? Luckily for you, I’m here to explain why microchipping is the right call for your pet.


Long gone are the days when pet owners used to avoid technology. Today, we should not only accept the latest advances but embrace them wholeheartedly. After all, they ought to make our felines’ lives a lot better. Still, when it comes to pet care, the first step toward keeping your cat alive and well is getting the microchip — and here’s why.


Why Using Tags and Collars Isn’t Enough


Now, we all know that collars and tags can serve as doggy and kitty IDs. That’s what owners used to buy back in the day when technology still wasn’t a part of the pet world. 


However, the main issue with collars and tags is that they can get lost in the blink of an eye. Do you have a cat that loves climbing trees or frequently goes missing only to come back all disheveled? No need to buy any more collars because such a feline is going to lose every single one!


Luckily, microchipping has become a standard in the canine world these days. Now, it’s slowly gaining traction in the feline universe too. 


The only reason it’s still not as popular is that most people believe cats know how to come back home. And for some felines, that sort of natural GPS might exist. But really, is the risk worth it at all when there are no real drawbacks to microchipping?


Should I Get My Cat Chipped? — Explaining the Procedure


Unfortunately, some cat owners are afraid of the procedure and believe that they’re harming their cat somehow. The truth is, microchipping is a lot less invasive than, say, neutering or spaying, and it only lasts a few seconds. 


There’s no universal area where the chip should be, but vets often implant it between the shoulder blades. They use a slightly larger syringe to place the chip under the skin. From then on, the skin will bond to it to keep it in place.


About the Microchip Itself


Now, you may be wondering — isn’t having a real chip inside one’s body sort of dangerous? Well, there’s no need to worry about that, as the chip is non-toxic and in a glass cylinder. There’s little, if any, the chance of your cat getting an allergic reaction, and the pain is barely noticeable. Plus, it’s tiny; at 12 mm, it’s the size of a rice grain.


But what can the chip tell you, exactly? The problem most owners encounter is that they believe the chip will let them follow a feline’s every move. Unfortunately, technology hasn’t advanced so far. Right now, microchips contain unique ID numbers. They’re actually RFID (radio-frequency identification) devices.


When a vet or anyone with a scanner scans the cat, they will activate the device and get the chip number. That number is registered with the company that made the chip. Therefore, unless the owner allows the finder to contact them directly, they won’t contact the owner right away. Instead, they’ll contact the company and get the owner’s name and phone number.


It’s All in Vain If We Don’t Register


The key piece of this puzzle is that the owners have to register on the microchip manufacturer’s website so that the chip can actually work. Most veterinary clinics will offer this as a part of their microchipping service, albeit at a small fee. 


A cat’s microchip lasts forever; we won’t have to replace it as long as the cat lives. What we will have to do, though, is update our contact information in case something changes (we get a new phone number, for instance).


Should I Get My Cat Chipped? — The Main Benefits of Microchipping


Permanent Solution


By getting our cat a chip, we won’t ever have to worry about it being lost forever. This small chip will remain under the cat’s skin until the day it dies. As long as the shelters or vet clinics have the right scanners, they’ll be able to read the chip and get our information. 


Additionally, though there may be some registration fees, the chip will be a one-time purchase. Unless we have to update our contact information at some point (may incur a small fee), we won’t have to pay for anything else.


Useful in Case of an Ownership Dispute


Apart from getting lost cats home, we can use the chip to confirm we’re the rightful owner of a found cat. In case someone tries to keep our pet even though we know it’s ours, we can use the microchip as proof.


More Likely for the Cat to Find Its Way Home


And on that note, keep in mind that it’s far more likely for someone to return a cat if they can get its chip read. If nothing proves that the cat has an owner (no chip, no tag, etc.), they may keep the animal, set it free outside, or just drop it by a shelter. At that point, who knows if the owner will be able to see their pet again; after all, it does seem like they don’t even exist!


You Can Protect Your Privacy


There’s always a risk with tags since they do have our personal information on them. Since someone has to scan the chip to get our contact information, it’s unlikely that we will be getting any prank calls or become a target of some scoundrels. All they’ll have access to is the ID number — to learn more, they’ll need to contact the manufacturer. 


There’s Room for Other Functionalities


Technology keeps advancing every year, so we can expect some improvement and additional functionalities too. Who knows what the manufacturers may think of next? A few of them are already introducing new features, so some owners can even program the chips to open doors for their pets.


Should I Get My Cat Chipped or Could That Make It Sick?


Getting cancer from the microchips themselves seems a bit unlikely. However, cats can get cancer from any type of injection (fibrosarcomas). Thus, there’s always a chance that a tumor may develop at the injection spot.


Other than that, there are no real threats to the cat’s health. The microchip can migrate, though, throughout the cat’s body (but not into its organs — it stays under the skin). Sometimes, it may even go down the cat’s leg, which won’t hurt it at all. At best, it just means that whoever is scanning the cat should scan its whole body to find the chip.


Final Thoughts


The question of Should I get my cat chipped? may seem pretty easy to answer for some people. However, instead of telling cat owners how to behave and what to do in terms of feline care, it’s always better to explain all of the benefits first. Hopefully, you now know that microchipping is a sound decision if you want to keep your cat safe in case of its disappearance or theft. After all, nothing can replace the peace of mind the chip will bring you — and that alone makes it worthwhile.

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