Cat owners given five-week warning before facing £500 fine

Veterinarian identify cat by microchip implant
All owners must have their cat microchipped by the deadline -Credit:LuckyBusiness/Getty

Cat owners have been given a five-week warning to microchip their pets or face a £500 fine. From June 10, all cats in England must be microchipped and registered on a database by the time they reach 20-weeks-old.

Recent reports suggest 25 per cent of cats are not currently microchipped - which is almost three million cats. Once the new law comes into force, owners found without their cat microchipped will have just 21 days to have one implanted.

After the 21 days, owners may face a fine of up to £500.

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Microchipping offers the best chance for lost or stolen cats to be reunited with their owners swiftly. It can also help keep other cats out of your home with a microchip-activated cat flap and control food access with a microchip food bowl. If you use these devices, you can easily monitor your cat's movements and eating habits.

A spokesman for the Cats Matter charity said: "The process of microchipping involves the quick, simply and painless insertion of a chip, generally around the size of a grain of rice, under the skin. The microchip has a unique serial number that the keeper needs to register on a database.

"When a cat 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. We would urge owners to comply with the new law because it is working for them and their cats, not against."

The Government has said: “From June 10, 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.”