Cats charity demands compulsory chipping for pets

A key pets charity is marking National Microchipping Month by renewing its call for compuslory chipping of pet cats - something which presently only applies to dogs.

This cat, named Ginny, wandered from her home in Dunbar and spent a year away from home in Leith - having walked all the way there along the shore - before her microchip helped trace her owners.
This cat, named Ginny, wandered from her home in Dunbar and spent a year away from home in Leith - having walked all the way there along the shore - before her microchip helped trace her owners.

Cats Protection regularly flags up cats needing new homes in the Falkirk Herald, and some of these are strays which might have been reunited with their owners if they had been microchipped.

One East Lothian cat disappeared from her Dunbar home and was only traced a year later - miles away, in Leith - after she was checked and found to be carrying a microchip which helped to trace her owners.

Other strays have been known to end up hundreds of miles from home after climbing into vehicles like delivery vans.

Jacqui Duff, head of advocacy and government relations at Cats Protection, said: “Cats and dogs are both much-loved pets by owners across the UK.

“Yet currently microchipping is only compulsory for dogs, and we believe this should also apply to cats so they have the same level of protection.

“Microchipping is a safe, permanent and cost-effective method of identification which ensures cats can be reunited with their owner should they go missing and that lost cats are not mistaken as strays by rehoming charities.

“It also ensures owners can be notified if their cat has been injured or killed in a road accident. Cats Protection encourages local councils to scan any cats they collect that have died in road accidents for a microchip so their owners can be informed”.

Cats Protection aims to continue campaigning on this issue, and there’s more on its effort at www.cats.org.uk/microchips-reunite