Cat owners issued five-day warning over £500 fine as vet says 'you should'

Cats will need to be microchipped by June 10
-Credit: (Image: Generic image)

Cat owners have been warned that they must microchip their pets by June 10 or face a hefty fine of £500. The new law is set to reduce the number of lost moggies who fail to be reunited with their owners.

Pooch & Mutt's Resident Vet, Dr Linda Simon, has warned owners of the risks if they do not comply with the new rules. She has also offered some advice and clarity on what microchipping is, where to go to get it done, how much it will cost and if it will hurt.

Dr Simon said that many cats will undergo the microchipping procedure during a neutering operation and so will be under anaesthesia. For those that are awake, she described it as 'uncomfortable' but similar to the pain of an piercing.

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What is microchipping?

Dr Simon said: "Microchipping means inserting a small chip under the skin, usually between the shoulder blades. It's about the size of a grain of rice. It contains a unique number, and when we scan it, the number shows up on our microchip reader.

"This number can be looked up in a database, so the cat's owner can be found. Many owners think a microchip allows for their cat to be tracked and located but this isn't the case'."

Where can it be done and how much will it cost?

"You should have your cat chipped in a vet clinic and it's very affordable, usually about £15-25," Dr Simon said.

Does microchipping hurt the cat?

The vet explained: "Many will get it done while neutered, so they won't feel a thing! If awake, it is uncomfortable and I usually equate it to getting an ear piercing. There's a very small risk of infection, but the majority experience no side effects'."

What are the benefits of microchipping a cat?

Dr Simon continued: "As well as microchipping to avoid getting fined, you should microchip to ensure your cat can be easily returned to you if they ever go missing or get stolen. Microchipping also means if your cat is injured and brought to a clinic, you can be called and given the green light for the vet to provide treatment right away.

"Sadly, many un-chipped cats go missing every year and are never reunited with their original owners due to a lack of microchip."