Microchipping your cat
Permanent identification is designed to provide an effective way of identifying animals and also reuniting owners with cats that have strayed. Also, with the recent improvement in the ease of international travel, microchipping is obligatory for positive identification if you wish to travel abroad with your cat. In some parts of Iceland, it is the law to have your cat microchipped.
Collars and tags with owner details are traditionally the most common form of identification for dogs and cats. These details are frequently lost or become difficult to read.
Worldwide every year thousands of well-cared for pets end up being re-homed or put to sleep simply because their owners cannot be readily traced.
What is microchipping?
A microchip is a pellet about the size of a small grain of rice. Under sterile conditions this is injected under the skin in the ‘scruff’ at the base of the neck between the shoulder blades. No anaesthetic is necessary and implantation takes only seconds. Most veterinary clinics today undertake microchip implantation.
The procedure need not be carried out by a qualified veterinary surgeon, provided the implanter has undergone a course of instruction.
Is it true that chips can move under the skin?
Modern microchips are designed to reduce this possibility of migration. Most microchips should not move more than a few centimetres under the skin, but the occasional exception has been noted to move longer distances, but it is extremely rare for this to cause any problems to the animal.
How do microchips work?
Microchips emit radio waves, and these are detected by a hand-held scanner, which is able to read the unique number on each microchip. Vets, kennel staff and quarantine personnel all use these scanners and are able to identify an animal and trace it’s owner in this way.
Once taken into care a stray is scanned and if microchipped the unique code recorded by the scanner can be entered into the central database by authorised personnel. Owner’s details can be obtained and contact established. The cat can then be returned home without delay.
What information is stored on a microchip?
The only information stored on the microchip is a unique number. When a pet is fitted with a microchip, the pet owner will complete a registration process which links this unique number to the name and address details of the pet owner. The information is stored on a secure database, accessible only by Veterinary and official authorised personnel. Therefore, if a stray cat is brought to a Vet and is fitted with a microchip, the Vet can scan the cat, read the microchip and access the database to find and subsequently contact the owner of the cat very quickly.
In addition to the legal requirement, the benefits of microchipping are clear. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our staff here at Gæludýr.is and we will happily advise you.