Showing posts with label cat microchipping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cat microchipping. Show all posts

Friday 29 March 2024

Free micro-chipping by Blue Cross across the UK

In preparation for a new UK law which makes micro-chipping compulsory on June 10, 2024, the well-known charity, Blue Cross has decided to offer free micro-chipping across the UK after trialling an event at their Stratford House Centre in Marsh Barton.

Blue Cross microchipping a tabby cat
Blue Cross microchipping a tabby cat.

If cat owners fail to microchip their cats by June 10 they may have to pay a £500 fine. Of course, they would have to be found out in order to be successfully prosecuted to pay that fine which I think is unlikely but the law is the law.

This is a first apparently for Blue Cross. They are offering the free service because they are aware of the cost of living crisis in the UK. This problem may have been heightened by the recent extensive news media coverage of rapidly increasing veterinarian prices because veterinary practices have been bought up by conglomerates whose priority would appear to be to increase profits rather than provide an excellent service.

After the trial Blue Cross hope to run the same free micro-chipping service across the UK. Alison Thomas, a veterinarian and head of veterinary standards at Blue Cross said: "As a charity, we are very aware of the impact of the cost of living on pet owners and that is why we are running this event. We aim to run these events over the country if this is successful and we have the resources to do so."

It's almost bound to be successful because the public will be very happy to receive free micro-chipping. Micro-chipping has been a successful process in many countries in many ways.

It allows cats to be reunited with their owners when they are lost. It allows veterinarians to assess who owns a lost cat or a stray cat. It can also help the authorities to assess whether a cat caregiver is providing satisfactory conditions for their cats. What I mean is you can trace the owner of an abused cat and successfully prosecute them if the authorities deem it fit to do so.

It should be noted, however, that a microchip is not complete and total evidence that the details on the microchip is the owner of the cat concerned. It is good evidence that those details provide the name of the owner but it is not conclusive evidence if there is other evidence which overrides it. This is because cats sometimes choose their own "owner" when they migrate from one home to another!

And if there are laws which make it obligatory to keep a cat indoors (this would be very rare but I believe there are certain jurisdictions in Australia where it occurs) you can then make it easier to enforce that law if the cats are micro-chipped. As I said there are benefits for micro-chipping beyond simply finding a lost cat and reuniting them.

Normally the cost of micro-chipping varies between about £10 and £30 in the UK but I'm sure the lower figure is out of date. I would expect it to cost more than that in some veterinary clinics today bearing in mind, as mentioned, the increased charges.

Blue Cross

Blue Cross is a registered animal welfare charity in the United Kingdom, founded in 1897. Their mission is to encourage kindness to animals, protect them, and educate the public about responsible pet ownership. Here are some key aspects of their work:

  1. Veterinary Care: Blue Cross provides veterinary care for pets in need. Their hospitals and clinics offer essential medical services to animals.

  2. Rehoming Services: The charity actively finds loving new homes for homeless pets. They work tirelessly to match pets with caring families.

  3. Behavioural Help: Blue Cross offers expert behavioural advice to pet owners. Whether it’s training, socialization, or addressing behavioral issues, they assist in creating positive relationships between pets and their humans.

  4. Pet Bereavement Support: Coping with the loss of a beloved pet can be incredibly challenging. Blue Cross provides a pet bereavement service to support those grieving the loss of their furry companions.

  5. Education: The charity focuses on educating future generations about responsible pet ownership. By spreading awareness and knowledge, they aim to create a compassionate and informed community.

Through their efforts, Blue Cross helps thousands of pets and people every year. Whether it’s finding homes for animals, providing veterinary care, or offering emotional support during difficult times, they play a vital role in improving the lives of pets across the UK.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Friday 20 October 2023

Can I keep a stray kitten that came into my house?

Stray kitten walks into your home - what to do?
Image: MikeB

There are two major aspects to the question. There may be more. But this is what comes to my mind: there is the legal aspect namely does somebody own the kitten that came into your home. You don't want to be accused of theft, do you? That goes to answering the question in the title but there is a second aspect; one of animal welfare. You will have a compulsion if you are a sensitive individual concerned about animal welfare to adopt the kitten if in a place to do so. To at least look after the kitten and then rehome them. There will always be pressing welfare issues under these circumstances.

This is a complex question actually. You're going to have to find out whether the kitten is owned which would be unlikely under the circumstances and I'll tell you why. And then you're going to have to look after the kitten and protect them before adopting them if that's feasible and legal or before rehoming them all reuniting them with their owner. You can guess the complexities.

Unowned almost certainly

Perhaps I am making it more complex than it really is because I am sure that in 99% of cases when a kitten comes into a home, they don't have an owner because their mother is a stray or feral cat nearby and their kitten has come in for warmth and feeding. Their mother might also come into the warm and/or other kittens. 

Health often poor

The typical scenario is that kittens under these circumstances are in a bad way with upper respiratory infections, often, and they are commonly flea infested. There is work to do on health issues.

Wait and see

You could just look after the kitten if you want to adopt them and carry on as normal. You can wait and see what happens. Sometimes these things resolve themselves in a natural way over time. For example, if the kitten does have an owner, the owner will come around perhaps and chastise you for stealing their cat at which point you will return the cat to them. All you might argue that you should keep the kitten because you've looked after them and they are in a better place. You will play that card as it arrives.


There may be legislation by which I mean local rules in your neighbourhood as decided by city administrators or county administrators or perhaps even state laws if you live in the United States of America. You might wish to check the local laws on this but I don't know of any federal laws which dictate how you should handle this situation.


The natural and normal thing to do is to take the kitten in and look after them. Of course, you might not be in a position to look after a kitten for various reasons. You might have too many cats already. You might have a dog that doesn't like cats. You might have a husband who doesn't like cats or if you are a man, you might have a wife who doesn't like cats. You have to take these things into consideration.

Microchip scanning

As to ownership, you might scan the kitten for a microchip. This would depend on how old the kitten is. If they are very young then they won't be micro-chipped probably. If they are a sub adult by which I mean a kitten that is somewhat grown-up, they might be micro-chipped. You can buy microchip scanners on Amazon quite cheaply. Or you could take the kitten to a veterinarian for a checkup and they scan at the same time.

In fact, this is what normally happens. If the first thing to do is to check for ownership and in parallel the next thing to do is to check the health problems then the natural consequence of those obligations is to take the kitten to a veterinarian for a quick check and scan for a microchip.

Due diligence

If there is no microchip and if on the face of it there is no owner, you can go home and look after your kitten. Or, if you might do due diligence on ownership and knock on a few doors and ask whether they have a mother cat who has given birth to kittens and if so, you can tell them that you have a kitten and can you keep her. That may be the way it pans out. There is an obligation here to try to find the owner but I don't think it extends to trying massively hard. It's just a natural step to take.


If you can't keep the kitten then you might take them to a shelter for rehoming. Or you might rehome the kitten yourself by talking to people you know. I would tend to prefer the latter because you can't always trust shelters as sometimes, they are euthanised even when healthy. But kittens are very adoptable normally and therefore there shouldn't be a problem in this regard.


The bottom line is that it comes down to whether there is an owner and if not whether you want to keep the kitten and look after them as an adult for the rest of their lives. This is a big obligation and if you've not cared for cats or pets until that moment then you would have to think about this seriously as a cat will change your life. It restricts you and you take on a responsibility in terms of expenditure (it can be quite expensive) and in terms of time and commitment. It's a big step like I say. I wouldn't take it casually.

Sunday 5 December 2021

District Council in New Zealand abandon the idea of mandatory micro-chipping

NEWS AND COMMENT-TASMAN DISTRICT COUNCIL, NEW ZEALAND: This is an interesting story in the light of the UK government committing itself to making cat micro-chipping compulsory by 2023. Failure to microchip a cat after that date in the UK will result in a £500 fine. That's the plan in outline. No doubt there will be some more details. It's a firm commitment to do this and it was in the Conservative manifesto. It is already compulsory to microchip dogs in the UK.

Microchipping a cat
Microchipping a cat. Photo: Pixabay

So, it a little surprising to hear that the Tasman District Council have abandoned a cat management bylaw which was scheduled to go out for public feedback in early 2022. Quite a lot of work had been gone into this after submitters to the Tasman-Nelson Regional Pest Management Plan 2019-29 called for the Tasman District and Nelson City council to do more to manage cats.

Obligatory micro-chipping is considered to be beneficial in terms of reuniting cats with owners, reuniting deceased cats after a traffic accident with owners, the overall management and improvement of cat ownership and to generally have a handle on domestic cat ownership in an region to better protect wildlife and ultimately to ensure that all cats are sterilised. It creates a structure around which you can build beneficial processes.

However, after a lengthy discussion the council, on Thursday, voted against the proposal for a bylaw and for it to go out to consultation. They voted for a non-regulatory approach to micro-chipping and want to rely on better education in cat ownership instead.

It seems that some committee members didn't think it can be justified. One said that it was "essentially an identification bylaw". I'm not sure what point is being made. The proposal was for a $20,000 fine for a breach of the proposed bylaw which would have been too severe.

The councillors appear to have balked at the possible expense of it at the time when Covid is piling on expenses to the community. This is a difficult time to introduce a new bylaw which they think has marginal benefits and is not worth the trouble. They feel it would be hard to enforce too.

That's my reading of it. It's in complete contrast to Britain where, as mentioned, there is a commitment to follow through on the manifesto.

Saturday 4 December 2021

Microchip your cat or face £500 fine cat owners are warned (UK)

Compulsory dog micro-chipping has been in place since 2016 in the UK. It's now the turn of cats. In England, from 2023, all cat owners will be required to have their feline companions microchip or face a fine of up to £500. It's finally coming about. There's been a discussion for a long time about compulsory micro-chipping in the UK. However, it is not as simple as simply enacting a law because with respect to dog micro-chipping the law is marginally workable as there are too many microchip databases.

Lost cats can be reunited with microchips
You don't have to rely on a veterinary clinic to scan for a chip. You can do it. If you find a lost cat you can reunite that cat with their owner. You can purchase a scanner on Amazon for about £50. The scanner will tell you the chip number. You can then find out online which chip company has that number and contact the chip company.

There has been a delay in introducing mandated cat micro-chipping due to a review taking place into the regulations on micro-chipping of dogs. Veterinarians have raised concerns that the system which requires registering the microchip on about 15 separate databases can cause problems when trying to reunite dogs with their owners.

Microchip. Pic in public domain.

Defra plans to improve the database system before introducing mandated micro-chipping to cats.

There are over 10.8 million cat companions in the UK. I'm told by The Times newspaper that as many as 2.8 million are un-chipped. And 80% of stray cats brought to Cats Protection are not microchip.

Under the new law, can owners will have to ensure that their pet is microchipped before they reach the age of 20 weeks. Further, the contact details will need to be kept up-to-date on the database. Failure to comply with the law could result in a £500 fine if they do not rectify the problem within 21 days.

Lord Goldsmith, an animal lover and a friend of Carrie Johnson, who I suspect is pushing for these changes to animal welfare laws, said:

"Cats are much-loved parts of our families and making sure they're microchipped is the best way of making sure that you are reunited with them if they are ever lost or stolen."

The new rules will help protect millions of cats across the country. They are part of the government's Action Plan for Animal Welfare according to Lord Goldsmith.

Jacqui Cuff, the head of advocacy at Cats Protection said:

"Every day, we see how important micro-chipping is for cats and for people who love them - whether it's reuniting a loss cat with their owner, identifying an injured cat, or helping to ensure an owner can be informed in the said event that their cat has been hit and killed by a car."

The BVA (British Veterinary Association) are very much behind the new law but they are adamant that the database issue is dealt with in order to make the law effective.

P.S. In 2016, the Daily Record reported that at that time there were up to 6 firms operating separate databases in the UK which, it is claimed, made it almost impossible to operate. Some veterinarians said that the compulsory micro-chipping of dogs was unworkable as a result. There are other databases in Europe, the US and Canada. These databases are meant to be part of a network so they are cross-referenced but apparently this is not always the case. On occasions it seems that you can key in the microchip number for a dog that you know is micro-chipped and registered but the database comes up with a "no registration found" warning. This is the problem referred to by Lord Goldsmith.

Comment: one problem I foresee is enforcing the law. How does an official know whether a cat is micro-chipped or not? I suspect that the only time it will become apparent is when a lost cat is found and scanned by a veterinarian. If that cat is not microchipped and the owner can be found then they will be in line for a fine, potentially.

Saturday 24 April 2021

Cat microchipping is largely mandatory in Australia

There are six states and two territories in the Commonwealth of Australia. I will call these non-federal legislatures. Of these eight legislatures, six have mandatory micro-chipping of domestic cats. The two that don't are the Northern Territory and Tasmania.

Photo: Pixabay.

Tasmania has mandatory micro-chipping of dogs but not yet for cats. Although cat owners are encouraged to have their cat microchip and sterilised if they are over six months of age. There are plans to phase in obligatory micro-chipping by amending the Cat Management Act 2009. The introduction of the law is planned to be at the end of 2021.

As for the Northern Territory, although micro-chipping is not compulsory, it is compulsory if a citizen lives within the city of Darwin as part of the council's animal management by-laws.

As I understand it, in each case where micro-chipping of cats is mandatory in Australia the law is triggered when a cat or dog is sold or transferred before the age of 12 weeks. 

You can read more if you wish on this topic by clicking on this link which opens a new window and take you to the main website.

Comment: governments, both federal and local of various types throught the developed workd are gradually coming around to the idea that compulsory micro-chipping should be obligatory within their jurisdiction. This applies to the UK where there are advanced plans to make micro-chipping obligatory for domestic cats. It is already obligatory for dogs. The reason? To better control cat ownership, to enforce better responsibility in cat caretaking, and to reunite owners with their loss cats and finally to reunite owners with deceased cats who have been killed on the roads. There are other indirect benefits for compulsory micro-chipping which don't come to mind immediately but will no doubt surface once the law is in force.

Thursday 15 April 2021

Is it a legal requirement to microchip cats in the UK?

Currently, 15 April 2021, it is not a legal requirement to microchip your cat in the UK. However, the UK government, after consultations, are planning to introduce mandatory micro-chipping for domestic cats. It is part of a package of changes to cat ownership which have perhaps been accelerated because of an increase in thefts of companion animals during the coronavirus lockdowns.

Is it a legal requirement to microchip cats in the UK?
UK law being changed to improve pet welfare. Image: Pixabay.

There has been a 12.6% increase in cat thefts and a 20% increase in dog thefts over the past year, as I understand it. Notwithstanding this, changes have been in the pipeline for some time. I believe that UK citizens will see this law introduced this summer. Owners will be obliged to microchip their cat by law on pain of a £500 fine. It makes sense. Obligatory micro-chipping of dogs has been in place since 2016 in the UK.

There are multiple advantages to obligatory micro-chipping. It should, for example, improve cat ownership. This is because you can connect a neglected or abused cat with their owner. And, of course, micro-chipping helps to reunite lost cats with their owner.

However, I am told that there are approximately 2.5 million domestic cats in the UK which are not microchip and the remaining approximate 8 million are microchipped. Therefore this is not an extensive issue.

Another benefit which will come about when another law is changed is that when cats are killed by road traffic they can be reunited with their owner. There are plans in the pipeline to make it obligatory for people who drive cars which kill cats on the road to contact the police or the local authorities to inform them of what has happened. This obligation is currently in place for dogs and should be extended to cats.

In addition, the government is planning to ban purchases and sales of cats with cash. The purpose of this is to make these transactions traceable which in turn should help curtail theft. The idea comes from a change in the law regarding the sale and purchase of scrap metal at scrap metal merchants in 2013. There was a huge surge in theft of metal components from railway lines, church roofs and memorial plaques for example. Making it obligatory to sell scrap metal at dealers with payment by means other than cash reduced theft of metals by 50%, I am told.

Animal Welfare Minister Lord Goldsmith is behind the moves referred to above. He said that it is important "that cats and kittens are microchipped as this is often the only hope owners have of seeing their lost cat returned safely to their home. These plans to make microchipping compulsory build on our actions to improve our already world leading animal welfare standards, including taking steps to end live animal exports and ban the practice of keeping primates as pets."

Cats Protection reported that 80% of stray cats handed in to their adoption centres during 2018 were not microchipped. This led to unsuccessful efforts to reunite them with their owners. The organisation has campaigned for many years for compulsory micro-chipping to give cats the same protection as dogs in the UK.

These changes are also in line with a change in attitude of cat owners which has occurred over many years which is that people regard their companion animals as family members. There are very close bonds. Improved animal rights need to be extended to domestic cats.

The theft of cats dramatically impacts the psychological welfare of the cat and their owner. In addition, the monetary value of domestic cats needs to be re-evaluated to incorporate the emotional connection between cat and human. The intrinsic value of domestic cats is not the same as the intrinsic value of an inanimate object but currently that is the way courts apply the law.

Postscript: in Russia they have just changed the law. Until recently the authorities were able to seize companion animals to force individuals to pay their debts. This is been changed and it is no longer allowed.

Friday 25 December 2020

Cat micro-chipping to be compulsory in UK but who will enforce it?

The UK government has been discussing the mandatory microchipping of domestic cats for a long time. It makes sense and surveys indicate that the citizens of the UK want compulsory micro-chipping. The current government minister who can introduce a bill for compulsory micro-chipping is Lord Goldsmith who failed to get a seat in the Commons but who was appointed a peer by Boris Johnson. He wanted to keep him in the government. One reason is probably because Boris Johnson's fiancé is Carrie Symonds and as you probably know by now she is very much an environmentalist and an animal welfare advocate. She is a member of a campaign group called Oceana. She speaks a lot about cleaning up the oceans and her presence at the centre of government, in effect, is very welcome for animal advocates. I'm sure that she together with Lord Goldsmith with whom she is friends decided to attempt again to get through Parliament a bill which would make cat microchip in compulsory. It is long overdue but the practicalities are a constant headache.

Having announced that the UK government would be introducing a bill next year, the veterinarians of the UK came out vociferously against it. This is despite the fact that the animal welfare charities and the animal rescue centre such as Cats Protection and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home were very much for such a bill because they would hope that it would reduce the number of unwanted cats in their shelters. When obligatory microchipping came out for dogs in 2016 there was a massive surge in micro-chipping. Nobody appears to have complained about that project but the veterinarians are fearful that if they become obliged to police compulsory micro-chipping cats it will take them away from their core work which is more profitable or should be.

I think their big worry is that the government wants veterinarians to be the front line of this project to both deliver the microchips to cats and then participate in a nationwide registration process and indeed an enforcement process which may be quite time laborious and labour-intensive. They also believe, through the president of their association, that micro-shipping does not necessarily enhance animal welfare. The spokesperson said that there would be more disputes about ownership of cats because of microchipping and that this could lead to the euthanasia of cats at shelters.

What they are alluding to is the situation whereby a cat is brought to a shelter and a microchip has not been updated for instance so the shelter cannot ascertain the owner's name and address or contact details. The cat is then adopted by a thirds party at which point the original owner comes forward having discovered that their cat is at the shelter only to find that they've lost their animal to a new adopter. A dispute commences in which the shelter is the referee. Nobody is happy about that and the outcome is uncertain. In the past when shelters have been in this invidious position they have felt obliged not to disclose to the original owner the new owner's contact details on privacy grounds. This ends up with a deadlock and the genuine owner being unable to reclaim their cat.

In that instance the animal welfare issues are limited except that the cat becomes the centre of a tug-of-war. It is hard, however, to equate poorer animal welfare with micro-chipping. I disagree with the veterinarians. Microchipping is known to help with the reunification of last animals with their owners. This clearly helps improve animal welfare. The bottom line is that the veterinarians are fearful about their income which is constantly under stress.

I suspect that they feel they deserve more than they are paid because they are as qualified as human doctors. Indeed they can call themselves doctors but they cannot get parity with human doctors in terms of salary. This means they constantly try to improve their profit margins as independent veterinary practices or sometimes they sell-out to big veterinary chains in order to improve their income. The fact of the matter is that human doctors are paid by the NHS (tax payers' money) whereas all veterinarians are paid privately which invariably means that money is tighter. That's the root cause of their objection to compulsory micro-chipping in my opinion.

There are some more points to make about micro-chipping. Although it is highly useful it is not entirely safe because you inject quite a large object under the skin of a cat. This can cause injury on the injection and the microchip can move sometimes. And there is always the ongoing issue of microchip data not being updated which nullifies their efficiency. Finally, the registration of microchips is a private affair. It is not a government run operation and therefore these businesses are constantly changing name or going bust or being reformed et cetera. This scrambles, in my opinion, the registration process. 

Or at least it muddies the water and makes things more complicated. These are the downsides, the biggest of which is how to enforce compulsory micro-chipping. Let's think about it. A cat owner does not microchip her cat. The cat is never ill so for years she would be in breach of the law. If she was caught she would be subject to a fine of perhaps £500 but she's never caught because no one knows whether a cat living in a home is microchipped or not. A lot of people don't take their cat to a veterinarian for many years so even if a veterinarian was charged with enforcing the law they wouldn't know about the cat. That's the kind of problem the government is up against in practical terms.

Saturday 21 April 2012

Earthquakes and Microchips

Here are two bits of interesting news (21st April 2012) about cats, even though the first story concerns dogs:

Eminent scientist says his cats predict earthquakes

Japan, as most of know, is a country that is more than many others subject to earthquakes as it is situated near a fault line in the earth's crust.  There is a great need in that country to predict the onset of earthquakes.

There is a widely held view that animals are sensitive to seismic activity. Cats are cited in this regard. Associate professor Naoki Yada at the Kanagawa Institute of Technology has decided to run a study with the aid of schools to test the animal sensitivity theories. He says that his cats predict earthquakes by showing increased levels of activity about 70% of the time. An American lady, Kathy, would confirm that.

Rather than use cats he is using catfish! Catfish are prominent is respect of earthquakes in Japan because there is a myth that earthquakes in Japan are caused by a giant sleeping catfish under Japan that swishes its tail. The professor thinks animals is general are able to sense an oncoming earthquake. I'd be pleased to see the outcome of this study. It is interesting that the animal is being relied to predict earthquakes rather than machines. It may help animals to become better respected generally.

Obligatory microchipping of newborn puppies

This is a firm proposal of the British government (April 21st 2012).  The objective is to curb the numbers of irresponsible owners of dangerous dogs in the UK. There has been an increase in the seizure of dangerous dogs, lately. In other words it is about taking proactive steps to prevent attacks by dangerous dogs. There will be a fee of £35 for the microchipping. The details on the microchip will be stored on a central database.

This interests me because it tells us that a western government can create law that imposes an obligation to microchip all domestic animals in the country of a certain species.

On that basis it could argued that domestic cats could and should be micrcohipped under a similar law in other countries or states of other countries as a proactive measure to curb irresponsible cat abandonment that results in an increase in the number of stray and eventually feral cats - "the feral cat problem".

Australia leads the way in this area as they are the country that is most sensitive to the feral cat preying on native wildlife. This attitude resulted in banning of the importation of Savannah cats into the country.

Tuesday 29 July 2008

Microchipping for pets

photo by jshots

Microchipping for pets is a secure (but is it safe?) way of identifying the person who is responsible for the pet - and, from my point of view, the cat. The microchip in this instance is a glass encased implanted radio-frequency (RFID) microchip transponder (see picture below). It sends out a signal that is received outside the body of the cat by a device (a scanner) held by the veterinarian or other person. This produces a registration number from which data can be accessed. In the USA they are FDA authorized. But I guess that is not 100% conclusive as to their safety.

Domestic cats are still talked about as being "owned" by people. I prefer "living with" or "kept" as it fosters are more equal and more healthy relationship, which leads to better cat care. The concept of ownership is promoted by the law which generally treats cats and pets "chattels", that is objects in the possession of people. This I believe should be changed.

Anyway another way to identify the cat's keeper is by the cat wearing a cat collar but this are potentially dangerous. Microchipping for pets is much safer for pets and cats, we are told, and this seems to be the case. But is it?

Some animal research has been done on mice apparently which indicates a 1%-10% incidence (see below for a slightly more accurate figure) of malignant cancers around the microchip. It is worth adding at this point that in the USA there is (or was) a scheme for microchipping humans as a more efficient means of accessing medical records when treatment was required. About 2,000 humans have the microchip. The plan is for many millions. This is a neat idea but there seems to be some controversy about it due to the possibility of malignant cancer being induced by the presence of the microchip.

There have been several reports on the the subject of tumor induced microchipping for pets (at least 11, it seems, over the period 1990-2006). The reports were reviewed by Katherine Albrecht in November 2007. The report is called, "Microchip-Induced Tumors in Laboratory Rodents and Dogs: A Review of the Literature 1990–2006".

In 6 of the 11 projects tumors developed around or close to the site of the implanted microchip in between 0.8% and 10.2% percent of the tested animals. It is thought that the presence of the microchip has a negative impact on the genetic make up of the cells near the microchip. If this is the case the mircochip would be a genotoxic object. A genotoxic substance is one that can cause damage to DNA material. This research is against microchipping for pets.

These tests would appear to have been carried out for the protection of humans in relation to the scheme to microchip people mentioned above. Clearly the research is of interest to cat and pet keepers as well. It would seem though that the jury is out on whether microchipping for pets has an overall benefit.

If cancer research is supported by live case studies over a period of time this will obviously mean a rethink. As millions of cats and dogs have been microchipped with, as far as I can see, no significant reports of cancer it would seem fair to say that microchipping for pets is beneficial overall in that the benefits outweigh the possible detriments.

However, one of the issues always present with consumer objects is that it can be hard to get to the truth as big business tends to muddy the water of any attempts to find the true facts if those facts are against profit.

Microchips can migrate from the back of the neck where they are implanted to the shoulders and sides. The cost of implantation may include lifelong registration (usually does). Petlog a branch of the Kennel Club run a registration service in the UK. If you move you'll need to update the database. This may incur a small charge.

Microchipping for pets - Conclusions

---indications are that the benefits outweigh the possible health issues of microchipping for pets but the jury is still out.
---common sense dictates that if your cat is like mine, a cat that rarely goes further than 15 yards from the patio door, is old and a moggie there is no need realistically to consider microchipping. The same would apply to full-time indoor cats.
---routine inspections (by touch) around area of the implanted microchip and surrounding areas would it seem be advisable.
---on a visit to the veterinarian's surgery it would be sensible to have the microchip scanned to see if it has moved, to see that it still works and also for the vet to check for cancer.

Microchipping for pets to Cat health problems

Photos: both are reproduced under a creative commons license. The header from Flickr and the small image of the microchip from a search conducted from the creative commons website. The picture of the microchip comes from the website: For the Love of the Dog

  2. For the Love of the Dog
  3. Wikipedia (on definition of genotoxic)

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