A few weeks ago one of the volunteers for Sunshine Cat Rescue brought in a cat who had been hanging around near Cogges Church for some time. He was obviously an elderly boy, underweight, with a matted coat. We scanned him for a microchip, not holding out much hope that we would be able to contact his previous owner.
Somewhat to our surprise, he had been microchipped. We found out that his name was Morgan, that he was around 15 or 16 years old, and that his owner was actually registered as a client of ours, with her other pets. There was also a note on his microchip account that he was missing – and had been since 2004!
We contacted his owner who was stunned to hear that Morgan had turned up after so many years. We gave him a thorough check over and discovered that he does have a few problems – his thin condition despite a ravenous appetite, a high heart rate, and eyesight that wasn’t 100%. We decided, with his owner, that we would see how he settled in back at home before performing any tests. So far, Morgan is doing well. He has gained some weight, his heart rate is now lower, and he has adapted well to being back with his family.
Microchips are the only commonly available, permanent means of identifying your dog or cat, and we strongly advise that all pets are microchipped.
Once the chip is implanted, it is vital that your contact details are kept up to date on the chip database. There is nothing more frustrating for us than having an animal brought in who is microchipped, but whose owner can not be contacted because they have moved house or changed their phone number.
Microchipping dogs will be a legal requirement from next year, and is currently free of charge thanks to subsidies from Dogs Trust. We usually microchip cats while they are under anaesthetic for their neutering procedure when they are around 6 months old, but we can also simply implant the microchip (via an injection) during a normal consultation, if your cat has already been neutered.
If you see a cat who you suspect may be a stray, we recommend monitoring the situation initially but not feeding the cat. Cats are free-roaming animals and the majority of “stray” cats we deal with are actually owned and well cared for and just taking advantage of an extra dinner! If the cat is persistently spending a lot of time in your garden, or seems to be ill or injured, then contact us. We can arrange to scan the cat for a microchip and give it a health-check, then reunite it with its owner if possible, or treat any problems.