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All cats need a chip on their shoulder!

Last year we took on 3 rescue kittens from the CPL. Two of them are obviously sisters from the same litter, and are fairly small and shy. The third is male and as he has grown up, I have found myself drawing parallels with both the story of the ugly duckling and the natural progression of a cuckoo chick as it gradually takes control of the nest. “Rebel”, as he was aptly named by my eldest son, has become a big, fluffy, marauding, bruiser who seems to have no fear of anything two or four legged – as all of our dogs and his supposed litter mates can testify to!

This fearlessness and the natural curiosity of the cat was nearly his undoing recently when he took it upon himself to jump into a delivery van. He then ended up going on a short tour of the locale before he was spotted lounging behind an HP printer box like an escaped convict. Luckily, the driver retraced his steps and returned Rebel to sender. However, Rebel could well have continued in the trait of an escapee and done a runner into territories unknown. Had this been the case, he would have joined the ranks of many a stray cat – roaming until hopefully picked up, and bought into a vet or rescue centre for process and packaging.

In this eventuality, at least we would have had the comfort of knowing that Rebel is microchipped, because the first thing that we do on being presented with a stray cat at the surgery is to scan for a chip. If one is present, as long as the owner’s details are current, then it is a fairly straightforward process to reunite the errant Moggy with their relieved cat servant.

It is for reasons like this that the government is implementing legislation which will make it compulsory to have all cats microchipped from 10th June 2024. Owners found not to have microchipped their cat after this date will have 21 days to have one implanted, or may face a fine of up to £500. Similar legislation has been in place for dogs since April 2016.

Having a microchip is a way of unequivocally identifying your cat. This has implications for the pet travel scheme (for which a microchip is already mandatory) and in the rare, but stressful situation where there is a dispute over a cat’s ownership. As I have already referenced, some cats do experience wanderlust and stray cats are all too common. If one does turn up in your garden and you’re unsure where it came from then it’s always worth getting it checked for a microchip – don’t just feed it! I should also mention the much sadder, but just as practical application of a microchip, which is when an unknown cat which has died is presented to us. If a microchip is present, we are able to inform owners who may have otherwise never known the outcome of their cat.

One thing a microchip can’t do is act as a tracking device. Unfortunately the technology is currently too small to fit in a microchip which is the size of a grain of rice. If you happen to be some kind of techno guru and think you can make this possible now, then you could make a lot of money! It’s the kind of thing that would allow you to saunter in to the dragon’s den with a justified sense of superiority and watch as Peter Jones et al try to woo you with their business connections…

So, hopefully you can see both the reasons and the benefits behind getting your cat microchipped.

If you need to get your cat microchipped before the law change, then good news! We’re offering a discounted price of only £15.00 for all kitty microchip implantations until 10th June 2024. Additionally, if your pet joins our Practice Health Plan, then a microchip is completely FREE! Implanting a microchip is quick and simple and can be done in a normal consultation

Hawthorn Veterinary Surgeries, Hawthorn House, High Street, Henfield, West Sussex. BN5 9DA.

Call 01273 495227 or email:

Please contact us for more information or to book your pet in.
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