To identify or not to identify!

Welcome to all new Cat Chatters !

This morning our cat Charity received a call from a distraught lady whose beloved Siamese cat (9years old and weighing in at 8 kilos!!) had disappeared a week ago, she thinks the cat got into a water board van. No sign of him as yet.

One of my first questions was, is he microchipped. The answer I received astounded me. The lady told me that it was a waste of time as she knew someone who’s Labrador was microchipped but he disappeared and was never seen again, so no point in getting it done!

I’d love to have your opinion on this.

Thousands upon thousands of cats and dogs go missing, stray, get into cars, or just disappear, every year. Rescue centres and SPA’s are overrun with them.

I wonder how many are genuinely lost. How many could find their true owners? How many owners could be brought to justice for having knowingly abandoned their pet?

It is a legal obligation in France, that an animal that changes hands, albeit a stray from a rescue centre or your own animal given up to a new owner, has to be identified by microchip.

Only last week a lady who had adopted a cat from us two years ago and who had signaled his disappearance from the cattery whilst they were on holiday, was found nearly 7 months after his disappearance!

Another cat bought to our Rescue Centre was re-united with its owners over 300kms away after a year’s absence!

If in doubt – please get your cat or dog identified, our work would be so much more simplified and we could concentrate our funds towards many other cases. Most of all, if you loose you pet, odds of you finding it and being reuniting are so much greater!

Photo of Sadie, one of our young cats for adoption

When a cat turned up at our house in the middle of a storm, begging to come in out of the wind and rain, we thought he’d disappear back home when the storm finished but he didn’t. Yes, I took him to the vet to see if he had any ID, and no he didn’t so I had the vet chip him as mine there and then. He’s still here nearly 3 years later but someone somewhere is without him because they didn’t bother to ID him in any way.
Also, before I came here to France I was fortunate enough to have a cat returned to me after he was lost, because the person who found him made the same effort I did, except my cat was chipped and easy to trace.

You are right Claudia, especially here in France, people are used to the tattoo’s and of course, with feral cats, it is an instantly recognisable sign that the cat is neutered and ‘belongs’ to the commune, so saving it from being re-operated and offering some protection.
The reasons given for the change are the laws in ‘mutilation’, it is seen to be an infringement, a mutilation to tattoo an animal.
I am not sure if it is still used in the UK, but another very useful way of identifying feral cats that had been neutered was to cut off the very tip of the left ear whilst they were being operated. This healed very quickly and made the cat instantly recognisable as already ‘done’.
The first thing we ask or check for is a microchip in cats bought to us for rehoming.
I think the microchip system is better. Tatoos are sometimes difficult or impossible to read and more and more people are getting used to the idea of the microchip.

I agree with you entirely. I had my cat brought back to me 2 years after he disappeared, only because one lady saw the tattoo in his ear.Now where I do not agree is that tattoos are no longer means of identification, but were replaced with microchips. This lovely lady who actually saw the tattoo phoned it into the vet and he checked the address on the national register. How many people would take a stray animal to the vet on the off chance that it may be chipped and lost??? This change must be setting back the rate of animals being found merely by their ID in their ear. Not to mention that not all lost animals will want to be touched, let alone stuffed in a cage to be carted to a vet who has a reader. Any ideas why this was changed?