Every year millions of pets get lost, and many without proper ID are never reunited with their families. Cats escape under unexpected circumstances, such as broken screens, fires, and burglary. Microchipping is the best tool to help assure your cat is returned.
Q. What is a microchip?
A. The microchip is a tiny computer chip which has an identification number programmed into it and is encapsulated with biocompatible material. The whole device is small enough to fit inside a hypodermic needle and can be simply injected under the skin of our pets, where it will stay for the life of the animal. This provides a permanent, positive identification which cannot be lost, altered or removed -- a safe, simple and inexpensive way to protect your pet against loss or theft.
Q. How does the microchip work?
A. The computer memory in a microchip contains a unique number - no two animals will ever have the sample number. A radio signal is used to read this number through the skin of your pet. In addition to the number, the microchip generates a reliability check to guarantee that your pet's identifying number is read accurately.
Q. How much does the injection cost?
A. The fee is extremely reasonable and far less than the cost of trying to locate a lost pet. The microchip also includes a 'lifetime' registration with PetLink.
Q. How long does the microchip last?
A. Once injected under the skin of your pet, the microchip becomes incased by a think layer of protein which anchors it in place for the rest of the life of your pet. It does not pass through or out of the body. The microchip itself has no power supply to replace or moving parts to wear down. Therefore it can be expected to last for decades -f well beyond the lifespan of most pets.
Q. What is the youngest age a pet can be identified?
A. Animals of any age can be injected with the microchip. Puppies and kittens can be microchipped any time during their initial vaccine series.
Q. My pets never leave my house, why should they be identified with a microchip?
A. It only takes one time for a repairman, friend, emergency response personnel, or even a home invader to leave the door ajar. Unaltered pets in particular have a desire to roam.
Q. Does my pet have to be sedated for the injection?
A. No! Injecting the microchip is just like any other injection or vaccination. Anesthesia is not required or recommended since there is minimal discomfort with the procedure. It is injected under the skin and is no more painful than a typical injection. Most pets don't even react to it.
Q. Could my pet be allergic to the microchip?
A. The microchip is inert and biocompatible. There is virtually no chance of the body developing an allergy or trying to reject the microchip after being properly injected.
Q. If my pet is found, how does the shelter know to contact me?
A. When a shelter finds a pet with a microchip, they will call the PetLink database. If the pet is registered, the shelter will be given the owner's name. If the pet is not registered, they will be given the name of the veterinarian who injected the microchip.
**Remember you must keep your contact info (address & phone number) up to date with the PetLink database!**
Q. Does a microchip replace identification tags?
A. Absolutely not. Microchips are great for permanent identification that is tamper-proof, but nothing replaces a collar with up-to-date identification tags. If a pet is wearing a collar with tags when it's lost, it is often a very quick process to read the tag and contact the owner. But if a pet is not wearing a collar and tags, or if the collar is lost or removed, then the presence of a microchip might be the only way the pet's owner can be found. Although the presences of a microchip is not a 100% guarantee that you will get your pet back, it does dramatically increase the chances you will be reunited with your pet.
Q. What should I do to "maintain" my pet's microchip?
A. Once your pet is microchipped, there are only two things you need to do:
1. Make sure the microchip is registered.
2. Keep your registration information up to date. If you've moved or your phone number has changed, make sure you update your microchip registration as soon as possible! Far too often, shelters and veterinarians are unable to reunite with their families, because the information database is outdated.