Tuesday, July 28, 2009

ID Tag or Microchip??

As you know from my 2 previous posts....One of my cat's got outside and I was forced to put up Lost Cat posters everywhere. If you're a cat lover you can empathize with me on how difficult it is when you see one of these posters. Nothing can approximate the emotions playing hopscotch through the mind of someone who has lost a cat: fear that you'll never see him again; fear that you will see him again-- a broken corpse thrown to the side of a road; paranoia that someone has stolen him; anger at the cat for escaping; guilt and remorse for allowing him to escape; hope that any minute now you'll hear that familiar "meow" (or squeak) and he'll be waiting patiently at the front door; and that heavy, dull, empty feeling of loss.

Whether cats are of the indoor only variety or indoor-outdoor, the fact is that at one time or another, given the right conditions, they may disappear--for a few days, or for forever. My first thought was that there was nothing I could do.......my mind has been racing trying to come up with a better way to identify my cat if he ever comes up missing again. Using "black cat, yellow eyes, red collar, approx. 9 lbs" fit the description of about 3-4 cats in our neighborhood so I needed a better solution.

All cats need an identity. It does no good for a kindhearted neighbor to take in your freightened, lost kitty if he/she doesn't know how to locate the owner. Proper identification could increase the odds that your pet will make it back home.

Both of my cats wear a collar so maybe I could add an ID tag containing my name and phone number along with veterinarian info. The pro's to this idea are that it is inexpensive and I can do it at home but the con's are that they are limited to the amount of information they can hold, they can be easily removed by someone with theft in mind, the collars could break and fall off and the jingly noise of the tag could very well put me over the edge.

Another idea is Microchips. Your veterinarian implants the microchip just under the skin between the shoulder blades. The chip's memory circuit contains a unique number registered to your cat, which can be read by special scanners found in many veterinary offices and shelters. The pro's to this idea are that the microchips are permanent. The chip cannot be dislodged and has a lifetime of 75 years. It's quick (less than a minute), there is no anesthetic involved, the cat is not bothered by the implant and it may deter theft. The Con is that this is more expensive than ID tags and not all people will know to take a found cat to the vet for scanning.

Are any of you familiar with the microchips? What are your thoughts on what I should do?

1 comment:

Marisa said...

My cats are chipped, but they don't wear collars. Because they get to go outside, collars are dangerous, and they have a knack for removing them and leaving them carefully placed by the front door. Buttheads.

If they already wear collars, how about writing your number on the collar with permanent marker?