Hint: even house cats can get outside sometimes
Microchips help lost cats get home. That’s the simple answer. Veterinary clinic and shelters have microchip readers, and they scan a pet to look for a microchip. The microchip number is called in to the company, and they contact you to tell you where your pet is.
See that small black cat with lovely green eyes above? That’s my Ruby and I will share her lost cat story some day. Now she has a microchip. If she ever sneaks out again and ends up at a shelter or veterinary clinic, my contact information is easily available.
If you want some facts about microchips and what they are made of, Wikipedia has a great summary.
There was a study published in 2012 about lost pets. One of the findings of that study was that cats do not have microchips as often as dogs. Another finding was that more dogs make it back home. Because of the type of study, we can’t say one causes the other, but we can say that microchips and ID collars helped return lost dogs to their homes.
If you google microchips for pets, you’ll likely find some scare stories that claim ‘studies show’ some terrible outcomes. These studies were done in laboratory mice over 10 years ago. Since then, millions of pets have been implanted with microchips with no side effects and no problems.
Would I say the risk is zero? No. But the risk of crossing the street is not zero.
Think about your pets and their lifestyle and risks. Ziggy doesn’t have a microchip because any time she ends up outside and looks up, she makes a frantic vocal dash for the safety of indoors and a ceiling over her head. Ruby has one, because she’s an adventurer and she’s quiet.
Let’s give our friends at Lennox & Addington lost and found pets less work to do.