A chip helps a cat to be clearly identified - for example, when it runs away and its rightful owner is to be determined. In this way, it gives owners of free passers more security to find their velvet paw if the worst comes to the worst. However, you should also have a house cat chipped as a precaution if it does get out of the door.
Chipping the cat at the vet
When chipping, a microchip is placed under the cat's skin. The chip is about 10 x 2 millimeters in size and is used with a syringe in the neck area. The treatment is quick and hardly differs from that with a normal syringe, for example when vaccinating - anesthesia is usually not necessary. The cost of chipping is between 30 and 50 euros according to the regulation in the fee schedule for veterinarians.
Once the chip has been inserted, it lasts a lifetime, is not visible from the outside and does not hinder the cat in its normal daily routine. For example, this is a significant advantage over a collar with an address tag. During their excursions, free-fallers with a collar can get caught on branches and in the bushes and, in the worst case, injure themselves. The chip is inactive until a reader is held by the neck to read the data. In addition, the chip is made of a tissue-compatible material such as glass or plastic, so that your cat's body does not react to the foreign body with inflammation.
This is how the microchip works
After the velvet paw has been chipped, it is possible to read a 15-digit number with a reader that is held over the neck for this purpose. Thanks to him, the cat can then be clearly identified because the number is unique. Tattoo numbers, on the other hand, are sometimes assigned multiple times. So that the legal owner of an animal can be found quickly, registration in certain databases is necessary - for example at "Tasso e.V." or "FINDEFIX - The Pet Register of the German Animal Welfare Association". This process is free of charge and can be done directly by the veterinarian. However, talk to him briefly to make sure. In addition to the identification number, the data of the animal and the animal owner are recorded there.
Important when vacationing with the cat
By the way, chipping the cat is currently voluntary in Germany - unless you want to travel with your animal within Europe. This requires an EU pet passport, which also includes the microchip number and the date of the implantation. If the ID was issued before 2011, a tattoo number is also sufficient.
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How can you tell if a cat is chipped?
Unfortunately, a chip is not visible from the outside and can only be felt with difficulty under the skin. Therefore, it makes sense for cat owners not only to have their pet chipped, but also to have a tattoo. The tattoo fades over time and the number is not unique, but for outsiders it is immediately apparent that your cat has a home in case it should escape.
If you are observing a cat in your area and you are unsure whether it has a family or is a stray animal, first look for a tattoo in your ear. If you do not see anything there and the animal looks strikingly trusting, maybe it is already emaciated, it is quite likely that it is somewhere exploited. Try to catch the cat and then take it to a vet or animal shelter. There, the employees have a reading device with which you can check whether the animal has a chip. You can find more tips on how to react correctly in the event of a cat finding in our guide "Cat running: What to do?".