When the Identichips are down…
No, Identichips doesn’t mean you name each one before you eat it. Instead, it’s how you reduce the chances your feline friend might wander off and not get back home.
As humans, we see mandatory identification as suspicious, wondering why someone wants to know where we are 24 hours a day but, at some point, you will know the anguish of not having seen your cat for several hours and not having any idea where she is. The fact is, no matter how intelligent the average feline is, accidents happen, and even the most homebody cat can be ‘geographically embarrassed’ (aka lost), so here’s the lowdown on the reloCATion process!
Mostly, cats know where they are. However, sometimes, their owners are not so sure of their location. If your kitten will tolerate a collar and disc, that is of assistance when your pet makes an unauthorised sortie further from home.
The permanent form of identification, which is a silicon chip put under the skin – the aforementioned Identichip – is compulsory now. The size of a grain of rice, although the needle may smart a bit when going in, the cat will have no other awareness of the chip being in place. The chip itself is usually inserted between the shoulder blades, as this is usually where it can’t be scratched or gnawed at and, once in, is permanent.
All vets and councils have the scanners to check all stray animals, and can then contact the database for the owners details. These pets are then rapidly returned to their owners, especially if the pet is registered on the AAR (a private database, accessible 24 hours a day and on the Internet, by any vet). NSW now requires cats to be registered and identified, so if there is no Identichip, then your pet will be permanently lost to you. Registration also gives the cat a legal status, so more can be done to protect them from irresponsible or neglectful owners. If you have an older cat, a collar and disc is still enough, but if that is lost, the cat will be hard to trace back to you. The chip can be inserted at any time, so please enquire at any time, and www.aar.org.au works 24/7 once your feline friend is registered there!
Home is where the heart is – just take me back there please! I don’t really want to have to train another human just because I’ve done something silly like escape and hop a few fences! And by the way – it works the other way too. If you find a feline (particularly a friendly one) – take them down to your vet or council – that little chip may mean the trip back home is quicker than lickety split!