6 commonly asked questions about cat microchipping

Written by Napo HQ
20th Apr 2022
3 mins read
With the new cat microchipping law coming into force, here's a quick runthrough of a few questions you might have

Why must I microchip my cat?

The UK government has passed a law that means, soon, it will be a legal requirement for all cat owners in the UK to microchip their cat before it is 5 months old. Several organisations, such as Cats Protection, welcome the legislation. The law is due to come into force in England in 2023. Any pet owner with a cat that isn’t microchipped will have 21 days to comply, or face a £500 fine.

What are the benefits of microchipping my cat?

The simple answer is to help reunite you if they're ever lost or missing. A microchip can help identify a lost cat, and is safer than a collar, which can endanger a cat if poorly fitting. Scanning the microchip is the fastest way to reunite you with your feline friend. (Just remember to update the details on the database that the chip is registered to, if you change your telephone number or move house!) Our cat insurance will also help to reunite you, covering advertising costs and rewards for their safe return.

When do I need to microchip my cat?

The new government legislation mandates that you should have microchipped your cat by the time it is 20-weeks old.
However, you can have a microchip inserted from eight weeks upwards. Your vet can do this as part of a routine visit for your kitten’s first vaccinations or neutering. 

Will microchipping my cat hurt?

Cat microchipping isn’t completely painless, but it isn't very painful either. It can be comparable to having an injection.
A cat microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. The microchip sits under the skin around your cat’s shoulder. The vet will insert it with a needle, and it is similar to a cat having a routine vaccination. Any pain is short-lived and less significant than any separation distress.

What are the health risks of microchipping a cat?

Complications are rare. There is a slight risk of infection from the piercing of the skin. Carcinoma is a similarly rare risk. Our expert, Dr Louisa Lane, has not seen any complications in the ten years she’s been microchipping cats. 

Is it expensive to get a microchip?

Microchipping costs less than £20. However, your vet may have a wellness plan that includes vaccinations, worming, and microchipping, which may be cheaper. In addition, some charities may help with microchipping costs. 

Will scammers be able to get my details from the microchip?

Microchips are only effective if your details are up-to-date on the database where your pet is registered. You should have the paperwork that tells you the database to which your cat’s details are registered. When your cat goes missing, someone needs to take your cat to a vet to scan the microchip. There are some reports of scammers contacting people, but this may also result from seeing posters saying that a cat is missing.

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