The current U.K. government has introduced the Action Plan for Animal Welfare. Given its name, it should come as no surprise to learn that it includes multiple measures. For example, there is a ban on the import of hunting trophies. Similarly, there is a ban on the export of live animals for slaughter. However, one of the most notable measures would be mandatory microchipping for pet cats. This is new. However, this isn’t exactly unprecedented. After all, it has been stated that the rules for the mandatory microchipping of pet cats will be similar to the existing rules for the mandatory microchipping of pet dogs. Something that should provide interested individuals with a general idea of what to expect.
Presumably, this means that veterinarians will recommend that cat owners get their cats microchipped. However, the enforcement process won’t kick in unless said individuals choose to ignore said recommendation. Regardless, there seems to be real support for the measure. A high percentage of pet cats have already been microchipped. However, a considerable number of pet cats remain un-microchipped at this point in time, meaning that there is a role for the measure to play. On top of this, it is worth mentioning that the number of cat thefts has shot up in recent times along with the number of other pet thefts, thus making it a very relevant concern.
What Is Microchipping?
By this point in time, microchip implants are very much a proven technology. After all, they have been in use since the 1980s, though they have been becoming more and more popular in recent times. Regardless, there is a lot of expertise and experience that have been built up around microchip implants, which have helped to make the relevant procedure rather simple by the standards of such things. For those who are curious, the relevant microchip is about the size of a single grain of rice. Thanks to that, it is possible for professionals to implant it by injecting it with the use of a syringe. There is some pain to this process. However, there is no need for anesthetic in most cases because said pain tends to be minimal as well as very short-lived. It is common for both cats and dogs to get the microchip implanted at the back of the neck between the shoulder blades, but this is something that can see a fair amount of variation from place to place. In any case, once the microchip has been implanted, the professionals will record its unique ID before uploading said information to the relevant database or databases.
Here are the benefits of microchipping:
There Is Very Little Chance For the Microchip to Become Lost
There are alternatives to microchips. However, none of them are as secure as microchips. For example, cats are very prone to removing their own collar. Sometimes, this is because it is uncomfortable. Other times, this is because it interferes with their self-grooming. Whatever the case, the important part is that cat owners can’t count on a collar to stay on their cat, which isn’t even considering how it can come off for other reasons as well. Meanwhile, it is theoretically possible for a microchip to become nonfunctional or otherwise useless. In practice, the chances of that happening are either nonexistent or next-to-nonexistent.
Offers Long-Lasting Value
Speaking of which, this means that microchips are expected to last for a very long time. To be exact, interested individuals can count on microchips to last for the entire lifespan of their pet. Combined with the minimal invasiveness of the process of implanting the microchip in the first place, this means that microchipping is a very convenient procedure on the whole. Once cat owners have gotten it done, they can continue to benefit from it without having to think about it any further. Something that can’t be said for most of the other measures used to protect their feline companion’s well-being.
Of course, the single most important point is that microchipping actually works. It isn’t a guarantee that a lost cat will be returned to the cat owner. However, it provides a real boost to the odds, as shown by the statistics. Moreover, microchipping is particularly helpful for cats when compared with dogs. This is because a lost dog has a 52.2 percent chance of being returned if it has been microchipped versus a 21.9 percent chance of being returned if it has not been microchipped. Meanwhile, a lost cat has a 38.5 percent of being returned if it has been microchipped versus a 1.8 percent chance of being returned if it has not been microchipped.
Suffice to say that this is extremely important for the well-being of pretty much everyone involved in such cases. Generally speaking, pet cats aren’t very well-prepared for surviving on their own. As a result, it is very common for them to experience malnutrition as well as other serious threats to their health, particularly since urban and suburban environments tend to be capable of supporting a relatively small number of cats. Something that can be very concerning when cats breed at such a rapid rate, meaning that it doesn’t take very long for a stray cat population to exceed this capacity. Unfortunately, stray cats can also be a serious problem for others in the same space. For example, it is common for people to be bothered by the sound of stray cats as well as the smell of stray cats marking out their territories. Similarly, stray cats have been responsible for killing a lot of small birds, mammals, and other animals, which can have a disruptive effect on ecosystems that have no adaptations to their presence.
Naturally, maximizing the chances of lost cats being returned is also good for cat owners. After all, it is very common for people to think of cats as full-fledged members of the family nowadays, meaning that their loss tends to hit very hard. As such, it can provide them with peace of mind to provide their cats with the best chances of making it home.