Final warning to cat owners of new £500 fine

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


New research reveals one in five cat owners surveyed do not plan to ever get their pets microchipped. This is despite new rules coming into effect tomorrow (Monday, June 10) requiring all felines in England to be microchipped.

Owners could face a £500 fine if they do not comply, although they will be given a three-week grace period after this date for their cats to be microchipped. A large number (18 per cent) of cat owners surveyed are not aware of the new legislation and risk being fined if they do not act quickly to microchip their beloved felines before the regulations come into force.

Many cat owners were not aware of the scale of the fine, reports Wales Online. The data, from Direct Line Pet Insurance, shows that 56 per cent of cat owners surveyed didn’t know the maximum fine if their pet was not chipped after July 1.

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Microchipping of cats in Wales is not currently a legal requirement. But the Welsh Government is understood to be looking into it.

Its Animal Welfare Plan for 2021-26 says that ‘In partnership with the UK and Scottish Governments, we have commissioned research on the effectiveness of existing dog microchipping regulations. The research will also report on the potential benefits of the compulsory microchipping of kittens and cats."

Meanwhile, other research amongst England-based veterinary surgeries showed that almost two thirds (60 per cent) of vets have seen an increase in appointments for cat microchipping, with nearly a quarter of vets (24 per cent) experiencing a significant uplift in bookings as we approach the July 1 deadline. There is still time and availability for cat owners to have their pet microchipped, with 98 per cent of vets saying they still have appointments available.

A fifth (19 per cent) of cat owners surveyed who have not yet had their cats microchipped said they were worried the procedure would hurt their cat and 17 per cent said it was too expensive. The average cost across England to have a cat microchipped is £28.34 but some surgeries are charging as much as £55.

Madeline Pike, Veterinary Nurse for Direct Line Pet Insurance, said: “Microchipping is a very quick and relatively painless process no more painful than having an injection or blood test. It’s also one of the most effective and efficient methods of finding lost pets. We urge cat owners who haven’t yet done so to seek an appointment in the next few weeks and by July 1 at the latest. Nearly every vet we spoke to said they still have availability or could make room for anyone needing an appointment.

“The compulsory microchipping of cats will provide families with much-needed comfort and peace of mind that if their cat gets lost or strays, they can more easily be reunited with their much-loved feline friends.”