Cat lying down in the woods

Is cat microchipping mandatory? No, it’s not mandatory right now, but it soon will be.

Changes in UK law mean cat microchipping will become mandatory in 2024.

Here at Closer Pets, we feel really positive about the new cat microchipping law.

As pet owners ourselves, we know that there’s nothing worse than sitting and waiting for your pet to come home and not knowing if they ever will. And in some ways, it’d be even worse knowing that your cat may be found, but unless its collar and tag are intact, there might be no way to reunite you.

A cat microchip changes that. And for that, we think the cat microchipping law is an excellent idea.

What is cat microchipping?

Cat microchipping is where you insert a tiny chip under their skin that contains a unique code, which links to a special database with your contact details.

If your little moggie has been on an adventure and can’t find their way home, a vet or authorised person with a special scanner can use the chip to find you. A quick phone call and the two of you can be reunited and all is good in the world again!

The chip is tiny, about the size of a grain of rice. It’s injected into the back of the neck and sits just under the skin between the shoulder blades.

It’s painless for the cat to have the chip injected and once it’s in place, they won’t even know it’s there.

Why is it important to get your cat microchipped?

Kitten walking in the woods

It’s important to get your cat microchipped so you can be reunited as soon as possible should they wander off or lose their way home.

Collars and tags are great, but they can get damaged, fall off or be lost. To be extra cautious – and really guarantee that your cat will come back to you – you should consider a microchip.

Unless you’re exceptionally lucky, without a form of identification, your cat could end up in an animal rescue centre. And we don’t want to leave anything to chance when it comes to our precious pets!

There are sadly too many cats in centres already and we don’t want to add more.

If possible, we want all pet owners to avoid that feeling of loss when your cat is no longer around.

And not to forget, changes in the law mean you’ll have to get your cat microchipped soon either way.

When does cat microchipping become law in the UK?

Cat microchipping will become law in the UK on 10th June 2024. After that date, any cat over 20 weeks old must have a microchip.

If you missed the news, don’t worry. Although the change in the law was announced back in March 2023, we all have plenty of time to adapt, take note and plan to have our cats chipped.

Failure to have your cat chipped can result in a £500 fine, so it’s best to get the ball rolling sooner rather than later. And even worse, should you lose your cat, it’s much harder to reunite the two of you if they aren’t chipped.

Is cat microchipping mandatory?

Cat microchipping is not mandatory – yet. After the law changes on 10th June 2024, it will be mandatory for all cats over 20 weeks old to be microchipped.

It makes a lot of sense, especially if your cat loves to explore and roam the area, to get them chipped and keep them safe.

With microchipping becoming mandatory, there’s no better time to take advantage of the latest microchip technology for your cat.

Here at Closer Pets, we offer a great range of microchip cat feeders and microchip cat flaps that read your cat’s microchip and only grant them access, keeping other cats out.

What do you need to do?

You need to make sure your cat has a microchip by June 2024 if they don’t already.

And we recommend getting it done as soon as possible if your feline friend doesn’t already have one.

You never know when they might roam too far or get lost on an adventure. We’d like to do everything we can to prevent this from happening!

Plus, if you leave it until the last minute, there may be a queue. Wait times are typical when there’s a deadline and that will likely be the case with vets next year. So, the sooner you get it done, the better.

How to get your cat microchipped

Getting your cat microchipped is easy. Request a microchip appointment at the vet and they’ll take care of the rest.

We recommend having your cat microchipped when they get their vaccinations or when they are being spayed or neutered.

If they’ve already been treated, then it’s well worth making a specific appointment for the chip. This is especially true if you have a curious cat who loves to wander and explore the neighbourhood!

The microchip is injected behind the head so it sits between the shoulder blades. The process is painless, and your little one won’t even know it’s there for the rest of their lives.

Having your cat microchipped with their vaccinations or when they are spayed or neutered will have a very small to no effect on them. Having it done when they’re being vaccinated means they won’t even notice the injection. Or if you have it done while they’re being spayed or neutered, the vet will chip them while they’re under anaesthetic so it won’t affect them at all!

How much does it cost to get your cat microchipped?

Costs vary between vets, but on average, you should expect to pay £30–40 for the microchip and the database entry.

Some vets may combine the cost with vaccinations or neutering, so it could be even less.

Whatever it costs, it’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind of knowing you can be reunited should you ever lose your little one!

Microchipping your cat

Even if it wasn’t going to become law next year, we’d be urging all pet owners to get their cat microchipped.

Unfortunately, there are untold numbers of cats who wander too far, get lost or can’t get home and end up in animal rescue centres.

Those centres are already exceptionally busy, so anything we can do to help them is a good thing.

Plus, nobody wants to lose a family member if it can be helped. If something as simple and as cheap as a microchip could prevent that, we’re all for it!