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Because your cat's collar can easily become detached, microchipping is another option to ensure your cat will be identified if lost. A microchip, which has a lifetime of 75 years, is the size of a grain of rice and is quickly and easily injected under you cat's skin, giving them permanent identification.

Each microchip contains a unique 10 digit ID code that must be registered with the American Kennel Club's (AKC) Companion Animal Recovery program by completing a form supplied by your veterinarian. This code on the microchip holds the key to all of your cat's personal information, stored in a central computer. Vets, police, shelters, and pet rescue organizations have hand scanners available to them so that they can detect and read the microchip so that they can contact you in the case of a lost or injured cat (or dog).

Your local veterinarian can microchip your cat as easily as they would give him a shot (although the needle is a bit thicker and causes some cats discomfort). It is normally implanted in the scruff of an animal's neck (the loose skin over its shoulder blades). The chip, antenna, and capacitor are all encased in a tiny glass tube, which is composed of soda lime glass known for its compatibility with living tissue. The glass is hermetically sealed to keep moisture out. Once inserted it can only be removed surgically.

Two local veterinarians that I contacted said that they install the microchip for $45.00, which includes the price of the chip, the installation, and enrollment in the national computer database. I've also read online that shelters charge about $15.00 because they buy microchips in bulk, but you should contact your local shelter to verify pricing.

Because this is such an affordable option, this should be considered for your cat.  A study showed that 1 out of 3 pets are lost (an estimated 10 million pets), and 75% of them are never returned due to improper identification.  Further, 50% of dogs and 75% of cats are without collars by the time they reach a shelter.

Check out the HomeAgain website, where you can view an informative video on how the procedure is done, and learn so much more about this great program.  Over 50,000 pets have been returned to their owners through this system. The HomeAgain system is one of the best because you can report your cat missing to them and they will notify all shelters and vets in your area (rather than waiting for someone to find your pet and take them to a vet/shelter). They also offer a lot of extra benefits, read their webpage for more details.



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