Why Your Cat Should Be Microchipped in St. Petersburg, FL

St. Petersburg, FL, is a beautiful place to be, but if your cat happens to get lost in this gorgeous city, it’s large enough that it may be challenging to locate them and get them home safely. One of the best ways to improve your chances of getting reunited with your feline pal, who may be a talented escape artist or have wandered out the door one day out of pure curiosity, is getting your cat microchipped.

Here’s what you need to know about the process and how it can help keep your cat safe.

What is a Microchip?

First, if you’re not familiar with them, a microchip is a tiny device that can be injected under a pet’s skin for multiple purposes. This device is entirely safe and is simply a small glass capsule containing an electronic microchip that can be programmed to contain your cat’s personal information, such as their name, home address, and phone number. It may also have the contact information for your cat’s veterinarian. This information is linked to an identification number that pops up whenever the chip is scanned, generally at a shelter or a veterinary clinic when a pet is lost and found. The rescuers are trying to check for a chip to get the pet’s info.

Multiple companies supply these microchips and allow you to set up your cat’s information online in their database after a shelter, or your vet has implanted the chip, making it easy to identify your feline pal if they were ever to get lost, helping reunite you with them much more quickly than searching the online ‘missing pets’ listings or risking having a simple collar with a tag break off if your cat were to go on quite the adventure outdoors before being found.

Why Should I Microchip My Cat?

Speaking of collars and tags, microchips help to make your cat’s return back home much more likely compared to other identification alternatives. Not all pet parents use collars and ID tags for cats as frequently as they do with dogs, but even for those who do have cats that don’t mind the neck gear, there is always the risk of the collar or tag breaking and getting lost. In a worst-case scenario of someone stealing another’s cat, the collar and tag could be removed.

With a microchip implant, if the cat were ever taken to the vet for care, got loose, was caught by animal control, or ended up at a shelter, they could be scanned, identified, and brought back home as soon as possible.

Additionally, the databases connected to any of the various microchip brands are not location-independent. This means that your cat could even be significantly relocated somehow. However, once they were scanned and had their identification info pulled up, thanks to the implanted chip, all of the personal information you provided could be accessed. You could be contacted even if they were hundreds of miles away.

How Do I Get My Cat Microchipped in St. Petersburg?

Getting your cat microchipped is a quick, easy, and painless process that can be done with ease at your veterinarian’s office or even some local animal shelters, as many tend to hold events open to the public to help microchip pets or offer other discounted services such as spaying and neutering. However, getting your cat microchipped takes less than ten minutes and provides a lifetime of added protection.

You’ll typically need to schedule an appointment to have the implantation done, but it’s over quickly. It doesn’t require any anesthesia, sedation, or other medications before or after the process has been completed. You’ll walk in for your appointment, the vet tech will take your cat back to have the chip implanted, and you and your cat will be headed out the door nearly as quickly as you walked in.

Often, your vet or the other technician implanting the chip will provide you with the appropriate paperwork to set up an account with the manufacturer of your cat’s microchip to upload your feline friend’s photo and information to their database. This part takes a bit longer than the actual implantation process. Still, it’s important to ensure you provide as much accurate information as possible so that—if your cat gets lost—whenever he or she has their chip scanned, you can be contacted and reunited swiftly.

What Should I Do If My Cat is Lost?

The first thing you should do when your cat appears to be lost is contact your local animal control and animal shelter to give them a heads-up that your beloved pal has gone missing, provide a description, and leave your contact information with them in case they come across them. By letting them know immediately if they manage to capture your cat roaming wild or have someone call in to report a stray matching your cat’s description, they can piece together what’s going on and get your feline friend home as safely and as quickly as possible.

Additionally, most databases connected to pet microchips allow you to report your cat as missing, and it will flag your pet’s identification number for whoever scans it. Often, these databases will send out alert emails to your local areas notifying other pet parents of your cat’s name and whatever photo you’ve uploaded, letting them know that your cat is missing and to keep an eye out for them in those areas nearby.

However, it’s also worth noting that these alerts will not give away your home address or any other information to jeopardize your privacy or safety—only your pet’s information will be provided unless you specify otherwise, and if your cat is found by someone who received one of these emails, they’ll be able to contact you through the microchip company, ensuring your personal information isn’t simply given out to strangers.

Aside from the steps above, it is also a good idea to post images and descriptions of your missing cat on any relevant social media to give more individuals a chance to see your pet and be aware that they’re missing and away from home. Websites like Nextdoor and Facebook are great for pet parents whose cats or dogs have gotten lost, with many locals checking these sites, seeing the notices, and helping to look for the missing animals to get them home safely.

The Negatives of Microchipping

Although there are very few downsides to getting your cat microchipped, it’s at least worth noting that the process is not entirely guaranteed to go perfectly in all scenarios. Despite being an incredibly rare occurrence, a microchip can dislodge from the injection site and migrate within a cat’s body. It may also cause some adverse reactions like hair loss or an infection at the puncture site. It’s incredibly rare for these events to take place, but they have been documented. In most cases, the procedure and implant itself are a simple and safe way to ensure your cat’s return home if they run off or otherwise get lost or relocated.

Additionally, if someone without good intentions came across your cat in the wild and wanted to keep them, they could avoid seeking veterinary care to ensure the microchip was not scanned and the cat appropriately identified. In such a scenario, this would make the microchipping process unhelpful.

Conclusion

Implanting an electronic chip in your cat may seem like a potentially intimidating event. Still, when your top priority is making sure your feline friend makes it home safely as swiftly as possible, this process is one of the best ways to ensure that you reunite in record time. Providing as many ways as possible for your cat to be identified in the event of their disappearance is one of the best moves you can make as a pet parent.

In the meantime, whenever you need to step out for an appointment or be away from home for a few days, we here at Delightful Pet Sitting offer a variety of in-home cat-sitting (and other) services to drop in and check on your feline pal in your absence to make sure they’re happy, well-fed, and well taken care of while you’re away. If you need some extra peace of mind, please get in touch with us today!

 

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