There’s a good chance you’ve seen “lost cat” posters throughout your town. Cats are naturally curious and often follow that curiosity outside. Whether you have an outdoor cat or a little escape artist on your hands, you may want to consider microchipping them. Cats have an astute sense of direction and can often return on their own within 24 hours. But what happens when they don’t come home?
This is where cat microchips can come in. Microchipping your cat is essentially putting a tag inside of them. But why not just put a collar and ID tags around your cat’s neck?
A traditional collar is still important so whoever picks up your cat can call you. But cats can slip out of it or otherwise lose it. Meanwhile, a microchip can’t be slipped, stolen, or lost. Once embedded in your cat, that cat is marked as yours. Veterinarians and some animal shelters can scan the cat, get your contact information, and give you a call. Read on to learn more about microchips for cats and why it may be a good idea.
Microchips are tiny radio frequency identification (RFID) computer chips with a unique identification number. You’ll register the chip with a microchip company’s online database and fill out your information, including your name, your pet’s name, phone number, address, and any important health information about your cat. This way, when the vet or shelter scans your cat, they know how to reach you, as well as how to best care for your cat until you get there.
It’s important that you keep this information up-to-date in the microchip registry. If you move or change phone numbers without updating it, then whoever finds your cat won’t be able to reach you.
Microchips are small, comparable to a grain of rice. Your veterinarian will use a syringe to implant the chip right under your cat’s skin, usually between their shoulder blades. It’s similar to a vaccination, so your cat may feel a quick pinch. Like a vaccination, your cat may experience some irritation at the injection site, but that’s about it.
If you’re getting a new kitten microchipped, you’ll want to make sure they’re old enough. Generally, vets will microchip kittens that are over 8 weeks old or weigh over two pounds. They just want to make sure they’re not too fragile.1
According to internal claims data, a microchip bill can cost between $50 – $70.2 Some vets may charge an additional examination fee, while others may just charge for the microchip and injection. The cost of microchipping your cat could vary based on your location and vet. Alternatively, some animal shelters offer cat microchipping services if you’d rather go through one of them.
If you adopted your cat from a shelter, they may already have a chip or the shelter might cover the cat microchip cost with the adoption fee.
Overwhelmed by the costs of cat ownership? Cat insurance could help cover some of the costs associated with cat microchipping. A MetLife Pet policy can help you cover examination fees, plus we offer a Wellness Plan add-on that includes regular checkups vaccinations, routine dental work, and more.3
If your little escape artist gets injured on one of their adventures, you don’t want to have to fret about the vet bill. And for reasons like this, the cost of pet insurance can be worth it for some pet parents. Get started on your pet insurance journey today with a free quote.