In celebration of National Chip Your Pet Month all May, we've decided to give you the download on all the ins and outs of chipping your pet.
In my perfect world, all cats would be housecats and stay inside where it is safe and cozy. However, the reality is that cats live outside, may escape, or don’t live in a stable situation. In my case, my Daphne is an indoor-outdoor cat and stays indoors at night while only venturing out for a few hours a day into her 2-acre kingdom. Many of us are familiar with indoor-outdoor cats and understand the risks that come with their outdoor roaming. However, it brings them such happiness that we’re unwilling to confine them to the house. Every housecat has a lion inside, after all.
Why I Microchipped My Cat
I’ve always had lazy indoor-only cats that lounge around in their climate-controlled environment all day and are provided with food and water. I never had to worry about them strolling across the road, running into a wild animal, or as Daphne has done, falling asleep in the backseat of a neighbor’s car. Since she showed up 7 years ago, learning to live with a true indoor-outdoor cat has been a bit of a learning curve.
My vet was quick to explain to me that since Daphne was introduced to the outdoors very young, it is impossible to turn off that switch. She explained that some cats have been known to shred the door or door frame to attempt to gain access outside. In other words, I am now the gatekeeper/doorman for my cat! Over the years, it has been fine except for her once being accidentally locked in my neighbor’s garage all night (I was up all night waiting for her to come home!). Oh, and then the sleeping in the car incident. They told me that they were already down the street when she woke up and they turned around to bring her back home to me. I’m so lucky that my neighbors were that nice, but that experience is eventually what led me to call my veterinarian’s office and set up an appointment for her to be microchipped.
What are Microchips?
First and foremost, it’s important to know that microchips are not GPS tracking devices. They aren’t going to help you find your kitty in the forest. However, they can be especially useful if someone finds your cat wandering around and may prevent your cat from being brought to the pound and adopted by someone else.
It might seem scary or overly-cautious to chip your pet, but the process is surprisingly simple, painless, and cheap. Here are a few things to know before you decide if chipping is right for you.
As I mentioned above, the chips have RFID identifiers in them. The unique registration number associated with you and your pet will be read on the chip if your animal is lost.
For me, this was a no-brainer and brings me peace of mind should Daphne wander off again. I understand that an RFID chip in their animal may be alarming for some people, so I encourage everyone to do some research of their own and talk with their trusted vet about it. This isn’t the perfect solution of an indoor-only cat but, as with anything, one must find a way to adapt to their cat and their unchanging ways.
In honor of National Chip Your Pet Month this May, please consider this low-cost option at your next check-up or ask for it upon an adoption.