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9:37 AM 10th June 2024
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Cat Microchipping Now Mandatory

 
All cat owners should now have their pets microchipped as new legislation comes into force today (10 June).

Owners must ensure their cat is microchipped before they reach the age of 20 weeks with their contact details stored and kept up to date in an approved pet microchipping database.

With more than 9 million pet cats in England, the introduction of mandatory microchipping will make it easier for lost or stray pet cats to be reunited with their owners and returned home safely. Microchipping is already compulsory for dogs and is proven to be the most effective method for identifying lost pets, with microchipped dogs more than twice as likely to be reunited with their owner.

Microchips are safe and easy to implant with an average cost of around £25 for microchipping and registration. Charities and reputable cat rescue organisations may be able to microchip your cat for a reduced rate.

The process of microchipping involves the insertion of a chip, generally around the size of a grain of rice, under the skin of a pet. The microchip has a unique serial number that the keeper needs to register on a database. When an animal is found, the microchip can be read with a scanner and the registered keeper identified on a database so the pet can quickly be reunited with them.

Owned cats must be microchipped before reaching 20 weeks of age, with their contact details stored and kept up to date on a pet microchipping database. This includes cats that usually only stay indoors.

Microchipping is not compulsory for free living cats that live with little or no human interaction or dependency, such as farm, feral or community cats.

The legal deadline was confirmed in legislation laid in March 2023 giving owners overs a year to comply with the new requirements. Failing to comply with the law could see owners receive a fine of up to £500.