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Microchip For Cats
According to Staff Writer Brad Pederson of Your North Hills News, In November of 2008, Lucky, a 12 year old brown Mackerel Tabby left his home early one morning, off on his usual outdoor adventures. His owner, Heather Goncz had no idea she wouldn’t see her cat again for fourteen months! As the days passed with no sign of her beloved cat, Heather started alerting the local animal shelters and passing out photos of her kitty. Thanks to her diligence coupled with the fact that she had microchipped Lucky months before his disappearance- she received a phone call fourteen months later that Lucky had landed in an animal shelter. After being scanned and identified Lucky returned to his original family.
What you need to know about microchipping yocur cat:
How does microchipping work?
The microchip itself is encased in a material made of glass that is biocompatible (meaning it is non toxic and won’t harm your cat).
Inside the chip you would find a silicone microchip that holds a tuning capacitor and an antenna coil. The chip is energized by the scanner used to find and read the chip and extract the information stored inside.
For a cat, the procedure is best if done during a routine spay. The chip is the size of a grain of rice and can be a bit unwieldy when injected under the cat’s skin. It doesn’t cause immense pain, but it can be uncomfortable for the kitty.
After the injection, the cat owner is given paperwork to send (or to call) into the company that made the chip. This information consists of owner’s contact information, veterinarian’s name and information about the cat; color, sex, age, etc…
How many types of microchips are available?
Currently, there are four types of microchips available. Please note, not all chips are picked up by all scanners.
The ISO Conformant Full Duplex- generally used internationally. Banfield initially distributed these chips causing pet owners in the United States to become alarmed as these chips can’t be easily located by the scanners used in the U.S. Banfield countered this controversy by inserting a second chip into the animal for their United States clients.
Trovan Unique- In 1990 these microchips were introduced, but due to patent problems, these chips were finally withdrawn until 2007 when they were re-introduced. However, some scanners on the market today are still unable to read the earlier chips.
Destron Chips - HomeAgain Microchip is their common name and they are the most widely used in the United States.
Avid Brand Friendchip - the problem with this microchip lies in the fact that it is easily counterfeited and can fool any of the AVID scanners. Strides have been made toward correcting the problem and making this chip easily readable from all scanners or readers although there are still problems with false readings.
Why not just use a collar and tag?
Collars and cats are not a good match. Even an indoor kitty can get his collar hung up on common household furniture. If you are not around to free him, you may lose him for good. Outdoors hold greater danger for cats with collars. There are branches, iron gates, loose wire on fences, rotting supports underneath homes, all spell out slow strangulation for kitties caught by their collars. If you put the elastic breakaway collar on your cat and it breaks off- what is left to identify your pet and get him back?
Microchips on the other hand will travel slowly over time underneath the cat’s skin, but he can’t rub it, shake it or scratch it off. You should call local shelters and vet clinics and find out which reader or scanner they use, and then base your decision on the most popular chip in your area. Cost varies anywhere from $30.00-$65.00. Not a bad price for peace of mind.
If you still feel that microchips are only for dogs, then your cat has a potential of becoming lost and that wouldn’t be lucky for either one of you.