At some point in the future, we will hopefully have a small tag or maybe even an implantable chip that would have a GPS tracking device in it so that if your cat slipped outside and was lost, you could simply open the app on your smart phone and follow the signal to your cat’s location to retrieve him. But until that tech comes our way, the next best thing to do is to have a microchip implanted into your cat. It is the size of small grain of rice that is implanted by the shoulder blades under the skin and contains several bits of information that can be retrieved with a special reading wand passed over the implant site. Every veterinarian and every shelter and rescue in this country has a microchip reader so we can ch
eck all found animals on intake. Over the years, we have returned at least a dozen cats to their owners because they had a microchip implanted and the information was still current.
Last year, we had a call from a person who had been feeding a stray for over a year. They could not take it in and felt so sorry for this friendly cat. Fortunately, this cat was microchipped. Here is his amazing story- His owner was in the process of moving to North Carolina and the last thing he was loading up in the car was his beloved cat safely secured in his carrier. As he walked towards the car, the carrier broke open and the cat ran away in a panic. They stayed for 2 more days searching for their cat but they had to leave before they were able to find him. He was lost for over a year. He was only a block away all this time. The microchip gave us his owners name and phone. I can’t tell you how excited the family was to hear that their cat had been found. A family member who lives in Tampa, drove down to pick him up and bring him to his loving family in North Carolina. The person from Tampa had spent time with the family and the cat knew him. He leaped into his arms and you could see the relief in his eyes! We all cried with joy! Without that microchip, he would never had been reunited with the family he knew and loved.
We all think that this will not happen to our cat. We have them safely ensconced indoors. However, in the blink of an eye, you cat can be gone. The plumber left the front door open while he was going in and out to repair your toilet, the lanai screen is ripped where you did not notice it, the pool service left the lanai door ajar, your visiting snowbird relative left the window open. You can see that there are so many accidental opportunities for your cat to find its way outside and be lost, perhaps forever. A microchip will give your cat a much better chance of coming home.
In our area, Domestic Animal Services on Davis Rd in Naples, offers a low cost microchip implant service once a month. Call them at 239-252-7387 for more information. If your cat is already microchipped, please be sure that the information is up to date if you have moved or changed your phone. You can update the chip information by going to the website of the chip manufacturer. Check your registration paperwork or have your cat scanned at your veterinarian to get the chip number and the phone number to call. Your cat will thank you!!