Compulsory microchipping for cats

The Government has announced that microchipping is set to become a legal requirement for cats, with penalties of up to £500 for those who fail to comply. We are urging all cat owners to not leave microchipping their pet to the last minute. This is vital for helping to keep them safe.

Background

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) estimates that as many as 2.8 million cats in the UK are unchipped, meaning that it would be difficult to reunite them with their owner if they get lost or stolen. Under the new plans, all keepers in England must ensure their cat is microchipped before they reach the age of 20 weeks and their contact details are stored and kept up to date in a pet microchipping database linked to the microchip. Owners found not to have microchipped their cat will have 21 days to have one implanted, or may face a fine of up to £500.

When does the legislation come into force?

The new rules will come into force after the Government’s review of the current regulations on dog microchipping.

The Kennel Club/Petlog position

Microchipping your pet and registering them on a microchipping database, which holds the keeper’s address and phone number, is such a simple step to take but can genuinely be a life-saver for your pet, and gives peace of mind during what is always an extremely stressful and worrying time.

Microchipping is already mandatory for dogs and ensuring that the same rules apply to cats underlines the government’s commitment to keeping our nation’s pets safe in the event of the worst happening, which is never more important than now, with rising concerns about pet theft.

Given the well reported shortages in the vet sector, since the pandemic, we urge cat owners to not leave microchipping until the last minute but to take the steps needed now, to ensure that their cat is kept safe and that they are compliant when the law changes. Of course, a microchip is only as effective as the contact details on the database that the chip is registered with, so this is also a timely reminder to all pet owners to ensure that their contact details are up-to-date, in order to help ensure swift reunification.

Updating details

Address updates cost £10 for standard Petlog customers and it is free throughout the lifetime of the pet for Petlog Premium customers. Petlog customers can upgrade to the premium service, which has other benefits, such as lost pet alerts to vets, rescue centres and local authorities, within a thirty mile radius. If you are a Petlog customer and wish to check that your details are up-to-date login to your account.

If your pet is not microchipped

If your pet is not currently microchipped you can get this done with your vet, or another authorised agent for microchipping, who will also register your pet’s microchip on a microchipping database, such as Petlog. We urge pet owners to always check that the details inputted into the microchipping database – which will be used to help reunite you with your pet in the event of it going missing - are correct. To find out more about us and our benefits please see the about us page.