Make Sure Your Cat Is Identifiable
April 12, 2013
Make Sure Your Cat is Identifiable
Next Monday marks the start of National Pet ID Week, and CATalyst Council, a national initiative comprised of animal health and welfare organizations working on behalf of cats, is urging owners to ensure their cat has proper identification with the following list of identification options.
One in three pets will go missing in its lifetime and only 10% will ever be reunited with their owner. Ensuring your cat can be identified boosts your chances that your cat will be returned to you if it ever gets out.
1. Collars and Tags. This is the most basic element and every cat should wear a collar with an identification tag-even if it's an indoor-only cat. Rabies tags provide additional information which shows that your cat has been properly vaccinated. Some cat collars are designed with a break away feature so that if they get caught in a tight spot, the collar won’t choke them. The most important point about collars is to make sure they are fitted properly and you can slip only one or two fingers between the collar and your cat. Scientific studies show that properly placed collars are very safe and save lives. Collars are a first line of defense, so other identification tools must be used so that you and your cat can be reunited if it escapes or becomes lost.
2. Microchipping. This permanent identification method is a small bead about the size of a grain of rice which is inserted under your cat’s skin and has unique information encoded in it to identify your cat when it is scanned at an animal control facility, shelter, or veterinarian’s office. Implanting the chip can be done at your veterinarian’s office quickly and easily. It's crucial to register your pet’s microchip with a national pet recovery service if your veterinarian has not already done this for you and to update your contact information if you move or get a new phone number. Cats with microchips are twenty times more likely to be reunited with their owner than cats without them.
3. Tattooing. Tattoos are more common in dogs than they are in cats, but are another way to identify your pet. There are a few downsides: they can fade over time, they can be covered by fur which can make them difficult to see, and your information is more difficult to update if you move or get a new phone number. Tattooing also requires anesthesia, so speak to your veterinarian about the pros and cons prior to the procedure.
Veterinarians are your best resource for all information about your cat, so speak to yours about the pros and cons of each type of identification. They will be able to recommend what's best for you and your cat.