Every dog owner knows that by the time their dog celebrates their eight-week birthday, they need to ensure they have been microchipped by their vet, and every time they move or change their owner they need to update that microchip.
This has been part of UK law since at least 2015 and has helped on countless occasions to reunite lost and injured dogs with their owners, giving them peace of mind that if they get spooked, run away or something happens, there is a better chance of finding them again.
For years, campaigners have wanted to expand this law to include cats as well, and as of 10th June 2024, cats will also need to have microchips as well.
After this date, any cat over 20 weeks old needs to be microchipped, and much like with dogs there is a fine of £500 for an owner of a cat without a microchip once this deadline hits.
This is currently only the case in England, as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have different laws surrounding the microchipping of pets.
Thankfully, it is not difficult to get your cat microchipped and register your information with an accredited database, and it does not cost a lot of money to do so.
The chip in question is the size of a grain of rice and is painlessly injected under the cat’s skin, where it can be easily and effortlessly scanned by a vet or rescue organisation whenever they need to check contact information.
This is especially important in the case of accidents, as it allows owners to be informed as soon as possible and then there are more options for taking care of them.
It also reduces the time spent in rescue centres unnecessarily.
The majority of cats are already chipped, but that still leaves nearly three million potentially at risk of going missing, and owners are strongly encouraged to look into microchipping.