New law means all cat owners in England must do one thing before June 10 or face £500 fine

Portrait of a green-eyed cat. A photo in the home space
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

A new law that is being introduced means that every cat owner in England must do one thing before Monday, June 10 or face a £500 fine. The new law being introduced means that all pet cats in England must be microchipped by June 10.

The new compulsory law gives you 21 days after the deadline to have your cat microchipped otherwise you could be hit with the £500 fine. The microchip, which is about the same size as a grain of rice, is inserted under your cat's skin and contains a unique code that can identify the cat on a database.

Microchips mean that it is much easier to be reunited with your pet if it ends up lost or stolen. A vet can scan a lost cat's microchip and see on the database the owner's details.

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A cats chip being scanned
Vets can identify cats by the microchips and return lost pets to their owners -Credit:LuckyBusiness

It usually costs between £20 and £30 to get your pet microchipped and it must be done by a trained professional such as your vet. It is said that microchipping is like an injection and should not be that painful for your feline.

The microchips will not affect your cat in any way either meaning that it won't even know it is there and it will not be shaved for the insertion either. From June 10, your cat will need to be microchipped and registered on a database by the time they turn 20 weeks old, with there being no minimum age to have them chipped. You are responsible for updating the database if any of your details change.

Why microchipping your cat can make a big difference

Cats Protection help to reunite countless owners with their pets each year and a spokesperson said in most cases this is only possible thanks to the cat being microchipped. They added: "No matter how far from home a cat is found, or how long they have been missing, having your cat microchipped gives them the best chance of being returned home safely to you."

Keeping your details up to date is really important. Unfortunately, many cats can't be reunited with their owners due to contact details being out of date. Updating your cat's microchip details is an easy process.

Get your cat’s microchip number. Keep your cat’s microchip number stored away so you can have it to hand. Not sure what it might be? Call your vet to see if they have it in their records, or take your cat to the vet to have them scanned.

Confirm your cat's microchip database. Lost your original paperwork? You may be able to check which database your cat is registered with by entering their microchip number into the identi look-up tool.

Update your details. Now that you have your cat’s number and contact information of the database, call them or go to their website to change your address or phone number.

Many kittens are microchipped at the same time as being neutered (spayed or castrated), when they are already under general anaesthetic. It is recommended that your cat is microchipped before they go outside for the first time.

The possible ongoing charge in relation to microchipping occurs if you change your contact details because this can something sometimes mean paying a fee on the database. Depending on the database, this might be a one-off fee for the lifetime of your cat, or a cost every time you update.

How to find out if your cat is already microchipped

f you’ve adopted a cat from Cats Protection or another animal welfare organisation, there is every chance your cat may already have a microchip. Cats Protection will update your cat’s details when you formally adopt them. If you’re getting your cat from elsewhere, you’ll need to ask for further information about the microchip and see if you can access the cat's original paperwork.

You’ll be given the paperwork once you have officially adopted your cat, which will include your cat's unique microchip number. If you have had your cat microchipped by a vet or organisation, they’ll let you know how to register your details online. You’ll usually be sent registration documents following the procedure, within a couple of weeks.

If you don’t receive anything, check with the person or organisation that microchipped your cat. Remember to keep your registration documents and cat’s microchip number safe.

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