Vet Blog

When Should I Microchip My Kitten?

April 04, 2019

Kitten microchipping is recommended by vets in Boiling Springs SC as the best way to help ensure that your furry feline is returned to you should she become lost or stolen.

However, if you have never microchipped a pet before, you probably have a number of questions about the process, including when you should microchip your kitten. Here is everything that you need to know.

Why Is Microchipping My Kitten so Important?

Unless you plan on keeping her inside permanently, chances are that once your kitten has had all of her essential vaccinations and has matured a little, you will let her out into the big wide world. Now, most cats are very street smart and quickly learn how to negotiate their way around your neighborhood safely. They will know which streets are busier to try and cross, which homes and yards contain dogs and other potential predators, and where to go to find themselves something extra to eat. However, the moment you let your kitty outside, you run the risk of her becoming injured, lost, or stolen. If this happens, she may not be able to return home to you - something that is every dedicated owner's worst nightmare.

In the past, collars with identity tags attached were the go-to solution for owners so that they could be contacted if their lost cat was suddenly discovered. However, tags and collars can fall off or even be removed - two flaws that seriously affected the usefulness of the procedure. Instead, pet microchipping was invented as a tamper-proof method of identification. Studies have shown that felines are up to twenty times more likely to be returned to their owner if they are microchipped and subsequently become lost or stolen. Unfortunately, some cats and kittens will be found having already passed away, often due to injury or illness caused by being away from your home. While this is a devastating and heartbreaking scenario for any loving cat owner, if she is microchipped it does mean you can still be contacted and made aware, giving you the opportunity to collect her body and bury or cremate her as you see fit. This often helps owners immensely since it provides closure and enables them to grieve.

It is also very difficult to prove ownership of an animal and if you find that you have entered into a dispute with someone over who your kitty actually belongs to, a microchip containing your personal information can help to seal your case and ensure your furry feline is returned to you.

How Does Kitten Microchipping Work?

The microchips used in cats and kittens are about the size of a grain of rice and implanted under the skin in the area between their shoulder blades. Each microchip contains just one piece of information - a unique reference number that pertains to an entry on a database of the owner's contact details. This database is run by the microchip provider, most of which invest a great deal of money into their cyber-security to ensure that your information is kept safe from misuse such as identity fraud. When your kitten is found, she can be checked using an RFID scanner which will give the vet or shelter scanning her the details of the microchip provider and the unique reference number. This means that you can be contacted and told that your kitty has been located.

How Old Does My Furbaby Need to Be for Kitten Microchipping?

Although there is no exact reason why you couldn't microchip your kitten shortly after she is born, she is still very fragile and is just adjusting to the world. In most shelters, it is standard practice to microchip animals once they reach eight weeks old and most veterinarians also subscribe to this timeline. You are very welcome to speak to our offices about the best time to arrange for your kitten to be microchipped.

Will Microchipping My Kitten Hurt Her?

Many owners are understandably worried about opting for any process that might hurt their pet. Nevertheless, the benefits of kitten microchipping far outweigh any risks or the momentary pain that she will feel when the chip is inserted. Since the microchip is inserted using a needle, the procedure is just like a shot and takes just a few seconds. Experts agree that the sensation would also be the same as your kitty would feel when receiving vaccinations - a short, sharp scratch or pinch. No anesthetic is needed and your furbaby will be absolutely fine immediately afterward - although we're sure she won't turn down some added love and attention!

If you would like to learn more about microchipping your kitten, or if you would like to arrange for your feline to visit our animal hospital in Boiling Springs, SC, please don't hesitate to contact us and get in touch by calling (864) 578-1220.