Do you love your pet but are worried about losing them? Want to know the Costs to Microchip a cat? What kind of chip you should use?
The best way to avoid facing the situation that your kitty not coming back after leaving home is by having it microchipped! Microchipping your pet cat is the most reliable way for a pet’s identification.
Besides, it can be done at any age, even kittens as young as eight weeks old. This means that if they ever get lost or stolen, you will have a much better chance of getting them back safely!
If you want to give yourself peace of mind when it comes to keeping track of your beloved feline friend, and no matter what happens, they always come home safe and sound.
What is a pet microchip?
Today, you will found this technology almost in all countries and in all pets. The pet microchip is implanted in pets to track their movements, and the chip also provides identification information. You will find various types of microchips that work in different ways according to their purpose.
Why is it important?
The Humane Society of the United States revealed that around 6 to 8 million cats and dogs are euthanized yearly in animal shelters. This is a tragedy because not all these animals were strays, but lost pets who could not be reunited with their owners due to lack of identification, such as microchip implantation.
Prevent this from happening by getting your own pet chipped for identification purposes. Besides, a microchip is also beneficial for pet parents because it prevents you and your family members from dealing with unnecessary euthanasia of stray animals at shelters.
How Is A Cat Microchip Implanted?
A chip is injected through a syringe under the cat’s skin. Usually, there is no universal or recommended location, but mostly it is implanted between the pet’s shoulder blades.
Measuring around 12mm, the implanting process usually takes a couple of a few seconds, and the process is pain-free. In ideal cases, the chip lasts for a cat’s lifetime.
How much it costs to implant a microchip into a cat?
If a skilled veterinarian implants a chip in your cat, the cost will be between $35 to $50, including registration of your pet’s information in a pet recovery database.
Furthermore, the cost also includes the veterinarian visit and consultation charges. If you want to save a few bucks, we will advise you to get your feline chipped during a routine checkup.
Instead of paying your vet, you can have it done more cheaply through an animal shelter or rescue group. Some shelters host special days with discounted costs for chipping that are similar to low-cost vaccine clinics. In this case, your chip may only be $10!
Moreover, if you adopt your pet from any animal shelter, chances are they will be already be chipped, so verify the same from authorities.
In most cases, the chipping is performed by the shelter itself, so you have to pay the chip fee with the adoption fee, but it will be much less than your vet’s fee.
If its previous parent microchipped the pet, you will have to update the relevant information by contacting the company.
Are there any limitations of a pet microchip?
Microchipping your cat is highly recommended, but it has some limitations. A microchip helps to trace the cat’s owner if it gets lost and someone else finds the pet, but remember that a microchip cannot locate the lost cat.
Some limitations of microchips for cats are:
- They will not help you in searching for the lost pet.
- You rely on others to scan and use the microchip.
- Chips don’t have GPS, so you will not get real-time tracking.
- Microchips will be useless if your contact information is not correct or up to date or when its reader is not working.
Which microchips for cats are commonly used in the USA?
In the USA, the commonly used Microchips for pets operate on one of these frequencies: 125 kHz, 128 kHz, and 134.2 kHz.
Almost all companies implant microchips among these types. The 125 kHz is the traditional U.S. frequency and the most oldest. Some companies are still distributing this chip.
The 128 kHz is the rarest chip, and not many companies use this microchip for pets in the USA. The 134.2 kHz is the ISO Standard microchip. This is as per international standards, and you will find this chip in Europe, Canada, Japan, and most parts of the world. However, the USA is gradually moving towards this frequency.
Some common suppliers that provide this in the US are Datamars, ResQ, HomeAgain, AKC, 24PetWatch, Bayer, etc.
It’s worthy of mentioning that only a universal scanner can track all three frequencies. Not all scanners can scan all types of microchips. And unfortunately, not many companies have a universal scanner, so they will miss the chips and cannot reunite lost cats with their owners.
Furthermore, if you are planning to take your cat outside of the country, don’t forget to check that country’s requirements. Many countries have particular laws and regulations about the microchip’s types and regarding its implementation.
What is an ISO Microchip?
ISO chips are standard chips for cats that you will find in most countries. These are different from other chips, and they have 15 digits. ISO refers to the ‘International Standards Organization. These chips look like a grain of rice and are implemented through a syringe and needle only by a professional veterinarian.
How Do I Know Which Cat Microchip To Use?
For this, the most appropriate option is to discuss the matter with your vet. They will tell you which types of microchips are common in your city and for your pet. This is because they understand your cat and its health, and they also know which scanners are used by the animal shelters in your area. This will ensure that whether their scanners can scan the microchip or not.
The general rule is to implant a microchip that comes from a reputable brand and which the majority of animal shelters can scan. However, as mentioned earlier, only your vet can clarify these things. So, contact them for a precise answer.
Is Microchipping Process Painful for Cats?
All things considered, the process is as aching as having blood drawn. In simple words, it is not painful but a bit uncomfortable. However, your cat will not suffer, and it can handle it easily; neither will there be any enduring effects.
If you are still concerned, we will advise you to opt for chip implanting while your cat is going through another procedure, such as when they are getting neutered or spayed.
In this way, the vet will implant the chip while they are under anesthesia, and they will not know about it. However, it is not compulsory but a good way to carry out the process.
What are its side effects?
Microchipping among pets is safe and quick, with no significant side effects. As per the American Veterinary Medical Association, only 391 adverse reactions were seen during the implantation process, and above four million pet animals were chipped peacefully.
The common side effects of implanting a chip that you might see are hair loss at the location, swelling, and in severe cases, infections. You might across various studies that state that these microchips for cats cause tumors.
But the reality is out of those four million chipped animals, only four animals developed tumors near the implantation location. That’s a rare and low number, and the chances are that any other issue caused the tumor.
Overall, the side effects are minimal and not common. You will not find these side effects in every other pet. Lastly, when it’s about microchips, the potential benefit easily outweighs these potential risks.
Things that you need to discuss with your vet when microchipping your cat
Having your cat microchipped provides the best protection for her when she gets lost. Plus, it is more effective than having a collar and tag on your pet because any person can easily contact you when they find her by using the scanner that reads the chip implanted in the cat’s body.
If you’re considering microchipping your cat, ask the following questions from your vet:
- What type of microchip will they use and the chip’s brand?
- Will they provide the registration of the chip?
- What will be the name of the tracking organization that it will be registered to?
- Is the registration valid for a lifetime, or will you have to renew it?
- If the chip is to be renewed, what will be the charges and intervals?
Frequently Asked Questions: Microchip a cat
My pet cat never goes outdoors. Should I opt for a microchip?
Yes, it is highly recommended to go for the chip for your cat, even if you don’t allow it to roam outdoors. This is because even the most responsible and caring pet parents can’t guarantee that their pet will not go outside or get lost.
If your cat usually remains indoors most of the time, there is always the possibility that they can escape when someone lefts the door open or if anything outside catches their attention.
Similarly, they can quietly sneak out from the open window or during an emergency situation where you have to evacuate the home.
Bear in mind that pet animals, especially felines that remain indoors, mostly are not that familiar with the outdoors. Hence they can get scared quickly, and often they are not able to find a way how to get back to you.
My cat has a collar and an identification tag. Should I go for a microchip?
Yes, it needs to have a chip inside her body even she has a tag and a collar. This is because if your cat gets lost and animal control authorities find it, the more identifications she has, the better it will be.
We know that collars are visible and handy, but they can wear out easily or accidentally fall off intentionally or unintentionally. Similarly, most of the time, tags on the collar can become unreadable. That’s why a pet’s collar is not a permanent solution or form of identification.
What if my cat is microchipped but not registered?
If your cat is chipped but not registered, it means that the physical chip is implanted in the cat’s body, but the tracking company has no information about your cat in their database.
So, if your cats get lost, and the vet or any other person finds and scans the pet, it will show a chip but without any contact info. In short, they cannot return or bring back your pet back to you. That’s why it is obligatory to register your pet and provide your updated information.
If they are unable to contact you, finders are keepers. So no one knows about the cat’s home, who you are, and you will not get your lovely cat back.
Can I feel a microchip in a cat?
Yes, you can feel a chip inside the cat. Usually, it is implanted near the lower neck, between the shoulder blades. When you press that part, you will feel a tiny and hard object, and that’s the microchip.
However, the microchip might slip out of that original location and slide to another area in some cases. Don’t worry; it is entirely normal and not harmful to your cat, but in that case, you might not locate or feel the chip. However, the vet will find it easily using the scanner if this happens.
In the end:
When you microchip your cat, not only are you giving yourself assurance and peace of mind, but also the best opportunity to get them back if it ever goes missing.
Additionally, the process is simple and can be done at any age, and will not affect or interfere with their daily routine. If you are thinking about how much it costs to microchip a cat, well, it is easily affordable.
If this seems something that can be beneficial to you and your furry feline, then don’t hesitate!