What Is Microchipping?

By: Talin Seta Shahinian

Whether you have a cat that’s allowed outdoors or not, you may want to consider microchipping your pet. In fact, indoor-only cats may get disoriented and scared if they manage to sneak out of an open door, making it equally important to microchip your pets that aren’t allowed to wander around the neighborhood. You also don’t want your outdoor cat to wander too far from home, getting lost along the way. Microchipping provides pet owners with a means of locating their lost feline friends.

What Is Microchipping?

Microchipping is implanting a micro-sized electronic chip in your pet. The chip is often referred to as a transponder. The chip is enclosed in a sterile glass cylinder about the size of a grain of rice. The chip has a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag that contains passive information about your pet. Passive information means that the chip does not transmit any data; it only stores it. The microchip is activated when a scanner is waved over the chip.

Where Is the Microchip Implanted?

A microchip is generally implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades of your cat. Because the microchip is so small, your cat does not need to be sedated to be chipped. Your vet will use a needle slightly larger than what would be used for their shots. The glass cylinder is injected into the skin just like a shot was given. It’s quick and easy and can be completed in the office.

When you get your blood drawn or receive a shot in your arm, the small pinch you feel is very comparable to what your cat will feel. For the most part, your kitty won’t have the slightest idea of what just happened. They may act dramatic, but the microchip isn’t causing any pain or harm.

When Should I Microchip my Cat?

If you’re going to have your cat spayed or neutered, now is the time to get the microchip implanted. Sedation is not necessary, but it makes it easier for everyone involved. As the owner, you don’t have to witness your cat being annoyed by the shot. The vet doesn’t need to quickly inject the cat with the chip before they squirm away. Microchipping can also be done at a routine check-up, but doing it while the cat is being spayed or neutered is ideal.

How Does Microchipping Work?

Unfortunately, a microchip doesn’t track your cat’s location because it doesn’t contain a GPS. You need to hope that a friendly stranger finds your cat and takes her to a shelter or vet clinic. The vet or shelter will scan the cat looking for the microchip. Once the chip is located, the scanner will read it and provide an identification number. This number is then entered into a system to find the owner. If you have your information current in the database, you should be reunited with your kitty. As a responsible cat owner, you need to update the database with any new information, such as phone number, address, name.

Why Should I Get my Cat Microchipped?

In 2009, American Veterinary Medical Association found that 38.5% of animals that have been microchipped are reunited with their owners. Animals that aren’t were only reunited with their owners 1.8% of the time. Microchipping significantly increases the likelihood of being connected with your cat if he sneaks away and becomes lost. Microchipping is a fairly inexpensive procedure and could save you the heartache of knowing if your cat will be returned or not.

Microchipping is a great way to be able to be connected with your lost cat. Many cats lose their lives every year because their owners cannot be located.

If you live in NW Wisconsin, Purple Cat Mobile Vet Clinic is here to help you keep your cat healthy and happy. We’re a high-quality, high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter clinic. Purple Cat doesn’t offer microchipping services but highly recommends it. We see cats exclusively. Find information for scheduling on our www.purplecatvet.com website. You can also look on our Facebook page for more helpful information on all things feline!


All cat spay/neuter appointments are made on this website. We post new clinic dates 6 weeks ahead of time. Check back often if you do not see a date that works for you.

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