Cat owners in England face £500 fines due to new law next Monday

Cat owners in England face £500 fines over a new law from next Monday. From 10 June 2024, cats in England will need to be microchipped and registered on a database by the time they're 20 weeks old. You can be fined up to £500 if your dog or cat is not microchipped when they need to be.

Your pet’s microchip must be fitted by a trained professional. You can ask your vet, local council or local rescue and rehoming centre if they can microchip your dog or cat. They might charge a fee. Your pet’s microchip contains a number, which will show up whenever your dog or cat is scanned.

You’ll be asked for your address and contact details when you register your pet on one of these databases. You’re responsible for keeping your pet’s microchip information up to date, for example if you move house. Contact the database company your dog or cat is registered with to update any of your details.

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It is recommended to have your cat microchipped before they go outside for the first time. There is no minimum age requirement for microchipping your cat, but many kittens are microchipped when spayed or neutered while under local anaesthetic. However, the new law requires cats to be microchipped before they are 20 weeks.

Garston Vets explains: "Microchipping your cat is a quick and painless procedure, no more painful than getting an injection. Your cat won’t need any recovery time and is unlikely to experience any discomfort or pain, as they may not even notice the microchip’s presence. The chip is no bigger than a grain of rice and is usually inserted under the skin between their shoulder blades, and you (or your cat) won’t notice it once it’s there."

And Roundwood Vets adds: "For pet owners looking to learn more about microchipping and its benefits, contacting a trusted veterinary professional is the best first step. By embracing this change, we can all contribute to a safer and more secure environment for our pets."