Missing cat reunited with owner after 12 years thanks to microchip


As UK’s largest lost and found pet database urges all cat owners to make sure their pets are microchipped and details up-to-date ahead of June deadline  

Finn, a cat from Devon who went missing from his home more than a decade ago, has been reunited with his owner thanks to his microchip.  

Finn disappeared in 2011, after going out one evening as usual. His owner, Michelle Watkin, from Barnstaple, searched for days and nights on end, but to no avail.

“Finn went out as usual one evening, but disappeared without trace,” commented Michelle. “I put up lost pet posters and leaflets through doors, reported him missing to local vets, walked the streets looking for him and reported him missing to Petlog, who he is chipped with.

“I got Finn as an eight-week-old kitten and his disappearance was devastating and traumatic. There were no sightings and I feared the worst.”

Then, 12 years later and out of the blue, Michelle got a phone call from the vets saying they had a small male cat, who had been found less than two miles away from home, and having scanned his microchip, Michelle’s details came up. Within an hour, Finn was home.

“I’m so happy to have him back,” said Michelle. “He's become semi-feral due to, we think, living rough, but had been being fed by someone. He's slowly settling back home and I'm gaining his trust! It's going to take time but I'm just happy he’s home, after all this time.

“Please get your pets microchipped and ensure your contact details are kept up to date. If you find a lost or seemingly stray cat, immediately try and get them checked for a chip. If your pet is missing report it to your microchip database, local vets, and use social media. Above all, never give up hope.”

Finn is now happily settling back into home life.  

Bill Lambert, spokesperson for The Kennel Club, which manages Petlog, commented: “We’re so pleased that Finn was found safely and could be reunited with his family, after all this time, because of his microchip.

“Sadly not all pets are so lucky. Microchipping gives owners the best chance of being reunited with their pet if they go missing, but it is only effective if your contact details are up to date.

“Cat owners in England should also be aware that they have until 10 June 2024 to microchip their cat, to comply with new laws. Amid the trauma and heartbreak of losing a pet, in the future owners could also face fines if their cats are not microchipped – so it is really important not to leave this until the last minute.” 

A microchip is the size of a grain of rice which is inserted under the skin at the back of an animal’s neck. It permanently identifies pets and connects them with an owner’s contact details, which are held on a database, like Petlog, enabling vets, local authorities and animal charities to scan the chip and match it to the owner’s details to reunite stolen, lost and found pets.   

Currently, it is a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. From 10 June 2024, pet cats in England must be microchipped.

More information about this is available on our website here and further advice about keeping your pet safe, or information about microchipping and how to register with Petlog is available here

Microchipping will be a legal requirement for cats in England from 10 June 2024 and owners must register and keep contact details up to date on a microchipping database. If your cat is registered with Petlog, please check your details are up to date now.

If you haven’t created an online account with us since our March 2021 website upgrade, please do this before 10 June 2024.