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If the thought of your beloved feline wandering the streets, cold, hungry and scared is too much to bear, keep on reading. Even with the best of intentions, cats can and do get lost, and it is up to the responsible cat owner to provide kitty with the best chance of being returned home.
It may be too difficult to think about, but no matter how safely you keep your cat indoors, there is still a chance of him or her getting lost. In fact, indoors-only kitties may be more at risk – events outside of your control, ranging from a service person leaving the door open to a natural disaster, may lead your cat outside, to an entirely unfamiliar environment where finding the way back home may prove to be an overwhelming challenge.
In fact, according to some estimates, one in three pets gets lost at some point. Pet cats are brought into shelters on a daily basis, but according to the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), their chances of being returned home are slim, with less than 5 percent of shelter cats ever reunited with their owners. Unfortunately, in some shelters, these stray cats may be put to sleep within days of arrival.
You can help change these grim statistics. There is no reason why our cats should not enjoy the same protection provided to dogs, by means of proper identification. An identifiable cat stands a much better chance at being recovered to you.
To make things simple, here is what you need to do to provide your cat with the best chance of being returned to you:
Microchipping your cat is a simple and painless procedure. No anesthesia is required, as your vet injects a tiny electronic chip under the cat’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades. The chip is durable and lasts throughout the lifetime of the pet, and does not require a change of batteries or any form of maintenance.
Each microchip contains its own unique serial number, associated with the owner’s details in a special database managed by the microchip registrar. Once a chip is discovered on a lost pet, the owners can be immediately contacted, and the cat may be returned home safely.
These days, practically every animal shelter or veterinary clinic has a scanner and they do use it when a homeless pet is brought in. All you have to do is make sure that your cat is indeed chipped and that your data is up to date with the registrar. The one-time fee is well worth the peace of mind and may very well save your cat’s life someday. Micro-chipping is not perfect, but experience with dogs proves that it can and does save pets’ lives.
In addition to the chip, you should also make sure your cat wears a safe breakaway cat collar, along with a clearly marked ID tag. The tag should have your phone number or numbers clearly visible. A variety of pet ID tags is available, including durable custom-made metal tags, many of which can be ordered online. Check out the ID tags reviews we have here on the site.
A cat ID tag may be just the thing in case a kind-hearted stranger picks up your lost cat, but never rely on that as the sole means of identification. By their very nature, safe cat collars are meant to come off, and your cat can easily lose the ID tag. A combination of an ID tag and a microchip is your best bet.
Help spread the word about cat microchipping. Our cats deserve the same chance as dogs to be rescued and brought back home. Educate fellow cat lovers about the need for microchipping cats by referring them to this article. If you find a stray cat, take him or her to your vet’s clinic and have it scanned for a possible ID.
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