Cat owners everywhere are pretty familiar with the reasons behind giving their
cat some form of ID. No matter how careful you are about keeping your cat indoors and confined to the
apartment or the house, chances are they’ll find a way outside at least once or twice. If they have some
form of identification, then there’s less risk involved of them either getting adopted by someone else or
of getting snatched up by the pound and then put down, but for those of you who haven’t considered giving
them some ID, here’s what you should look into.
ID Tags and a Collar:
The standard method of identifying any pet, the collar and tags, seems to work incredibly
well after all these years. Probably the biggest positive of the collar/tag combo is that you can get the
complete set for under $10 at pretty much any pet store. The hardest part is just selecting a collar that
fits properly around your cat’s neck where it isn’t choking them, but it can’t be slipped right off
either. The other downside to these are that they can easily be removed either by someone else or by
standard feline activities. The collar won’t easily pop off, but it’s very possible for the cat to break
free of it as it goes about its business. When you get a tag made out, make sure the phone number on it
is current, otherwise you’ll be entirely out of luck even if someone finds your lost cat.
It’s become standard practice in most US animal shelters to put an identification
microchip under the skin of any cat that happens to pass through them. The process is simple and just
involves a chip the size of a grain of rice being injected just under the skin, making it something
permanent that can’t be lost or removed without the help of a vet. Any cat that is picked up by a shelter
equipped with the means to scan them can do so and have their pet’s information brought right up.
Naturally, you’ll need to inform the shelter when you move so that your info is up to date.
A bit more common in the UK, some cats are getting an ID number tattooed in their ear
which functions just like the microchip except without the need of injecting something under their skin.
Also like the microchip, the tattoo is permanent (unless the ear is lost somehow). The number that’s
tattooed is unique in the computer system, so when entered it will give all the information needed, which
again needs to be updated whenever you move or change your phone number. Currently, the microchip is the
more popular form of shelter identification.
No matter what, your cat should have some form of ID, especially if they’re roaming around
outside. Don’t let this important detail slip you by. Just because cats may be simpler than dogs doesn’t
mean they can get away without some of the same conventions. Get a tag, get a microchip, and just be
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