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July 1st is National ID Your Pet Day, and in honor of this holiday, today we’re taking some time to talk about why giving your cat an up-to-date ID is so important. You might think this is only necessary for outdoor cats who are prone to wander — but indoor cats need ID, too!
An identification system, such as an ID tag or microchip (or both), is essential for your cat. According to the American Humane Association reports, one out of three6 pets will go missing in their lifetime – a total of 184 million7 animals in the United States. Sadly, around 80%8 of those dogs and cats will never be found.
You can help increase your cat’s chances of being in the 20% that make it home by giving your cat proper ID.
While a collar and tags can be helpful (anybody can see your cat’s information at first glance), a microchip is more important. Your cat’s collar might break or somehow come off – while a microchip that’s implanted between the shoulder blades can stay put for a lifetime with proper checks by your vet.
And remember, it’s not just your outdoor cat that needs these precautions. Indoor cats should be microchipped and wear tags, too!
You might not mean to let your cat outside; they may not even like the outdoors. But accidents and emergencies can happen. And sometimes, whether you intended to let them out or not, your indoor cat may find themselves outside and in an unfamiliar location. In fact, pet ID is even more important for indoor cats since they won’t know their way around their yard and neighborhood.
If your indoor cat doesn’t have tags or a microchip, now is the time to get started with both.
The best cat collar will be both functional to use and comfortable to wear.
If you have a kitten, consider purchasing an expandable collar that will grow with your cat. While not all kittens and cats like wearing collars, it’s important to help your cat get used to the experience of wearing a collar and getting a collar put on.
It’s important that you put your cat’s ID tags (you can get these engraved at most pet stores) on their collar. Be sure to check the tags that are located on their collar periodically to make sure your address and phone number is still readable, as this information can rub off over time.
A break-away cat collar is another option to consider. With this type of collar, it will allow the collar to come loose if it were to get snagged on something while your cat explores. This break-away collar can prevent choking and strangulation. However, if the break-away collar becomes detached from your cat this can leave your cat without their ID tags. This is why a microchip is also an important and additional step to take so that your pet has a way to be properly identified.
If desired, you can also attach a cat tracker to your cat’s collar. A cat tracker is used similar to a Global Positioning System (GPS) that your cat wears on the collar. This can help you keep an eye on his or her whereabouts and prevent them from wandering too far.
A microchip is the most effective way to identify and protect your cat.
Microchips are tiny implants that go between your cat’s (or dog’s) shoulder blades. These implants are the size of a grain of rice. When they’re scanned with a special scanner, your unique ID number comes up. By searching that ID number in a registration database, your address and phone number can be found, too.
Once the microchip has been placed properly, you will want to register the chip with a recovery system of your choice. Sometimes your veterinarian will submit the paperwork for you, but other times, the responsibility is up to you. Most manufacturers do have their own databases that they use when storing and searching for pet and pet parent information.
Remember, your microchip will only be effective if it’s both registered and updated. If you move, you’ll want to immediately update your address on the online registry.
If your cat (or dog) doesn’t have both updated tags and a microchip, put this at the top of your priority list! With the proper ID in place, you and your cat are much more likely to have a happy reunion if they were to ever become lost or slip away.
If your cat ever becomes lost, they might get into an accident or scrape along the way.
Here at PetFirst1, we know accidents and illnesses happen to all pets – regardless if they spend their time indoors or outdoors. PetFirst Pet Insurance1 can help cover unexpected vet visits2 and can provide peace of mind. PetFirst Pet Insurance1 has cat and dog insurance policies2 as well as Routine Care Coverage2 to fit every budget. Consider getting pet insurance for your furry friend today.