What does it mean to microchip your cat?

Microchipping your cat means that we have installed and used a syringe to implant a very small chip between the shoulder blades at the back of the neck of any dog or any cat. That is to be able to give them a permanent identification number, like a social security number, that would be unique to that cat.

Dr. Mary Beth Soverns
Countryside Veterinary Clinic

Why do veterinarians recommend cat microchipping?

It's important that our cats are identified as to who they are in case they get lost or misplaced, as this can help them find their way back home.

Is microchipping dangerous or painful for my cat?

Not at all. The microchip comes in a syringe. This is a box of microchips. It comes in a syringe, and then the syringe has the microchip inside of it. We take it out of the package, and we just pick up the skin, the back of the neck, as if we were going to vaccinate your cat. We insert it right under the skin, put their hair back, and we're done.

How is a cat microchip used to identify my cat?

Once the microchip is inside the cat, we have microchip scanners. We push the button, and it'll say, "Searching," and then we put it over top of the cat in the area. We know that everyone microchips their cats in the same area. The number, a unique number, comes up that would only be for, in this case, Willis. Then, we can call a company, tell them that number, and be able to find out who this cat is and then who they belong to.

Why does my cat need a microchip if they already have a collar with a tag?

Good point. It's great to have a collar on your cat and have a tag on it, but guess what? Sometimes that tag gets worn off, and we can't read it. Sometimes the tag falls off, sometimes the whole collar is not on a cat. A lot of indoor cats don't wear collars. Sometimes on cats that go indoors and outdoors, the collar gets caught on something and comes off. Also, if there was a person that wasn't nice, they could always just take off the collar and say it's their cat. But if it's microchipped under the skin, then we can determine exactly whose cat it is.

Will my cat's microchip be able to tell my cat's location?

No, the microchip that we have in there has a unique number that is only for that particular cat, but it's not like GPS. It cannot track a cat and tell you where it is.

Who can scan my cat's microchip information?

All veterinary hospitals have scanners, animal welfare, animal control, and probably any kind of shelter. There may even be some pet stores that have those kinds of scanners to help you relocate that cat back to where it goes.

When will my cat microchip be scanned?

At Countryside Veterinary Clinic, we scan the microchips at every single solitary wellness visit, and we can do it any time any person asks us to besides that.

What if I forget or lose my cat's microchip information?

We always have it in your permanent medical record. Every microchip that's given to us, they know that they came from Countryside Veterinary Clinic. From there, any time that we implant in a cat, we put it into our system. Then when we're done putting it into the system, we register it on a form. For Home Again, we send that out or fax that into them, and then they have your number in their database. So, we take care of that for you.

What is the difference between a GPS and an ID microchip device?

A GPS is actually a battery type of technology that can detect where something is, like where your watch is, where your phone is. But a microchip doesn't have a battery with it at all. It is just a tiny little chip that has a unique number on it.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (410) 461-2400, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.

Cat Microchipping - FAQs

Dr. Mary Beth Soverns
Countryside Veterinary Clinic

How is the microchip implanted in my cat?

Well, good question. We use HomeAgain microchips. These sterile syringes come in little packages. Inside the syringe is a sterile microchip. They also give you an identification card, like a social security card, that you can keep in your wallet. We keep some of the numbers in our records, and then they also have a tag if you want to put the microchipping information on that.

What we do is we open up this sterile microchip. It's just like a syringe, as if we’re vaccinating your cat for a distemper vaccine or a rabies vaccine. We always put it between the shoulder blades at the back of the neck. We pull the skin up just a little bit. We insert it right under there while they're wide awake, just like a vaccine. It's not a surgery. And then that number has been implanted in this cat.

To check on it, we have a scanner. We have two scanners. This is a big industrial-use scanner that we use all the time. We go over to the kitty. We know where everybody places them in the same area. We scan over that area, and then the microchip number comes up, and then we know that it has a unique number. We can call the company and find out who that belongs to.

We also have this. This is a personal use scanner that people can buy at home, and the beauty of it is when we microchip your cat these days, it also will tell their body temperature. Any cat that has been vaccinated with the new microchips will not only pick up their microchip number when we scan them, but it will also tell their body temperature. So people at home might have that to be able to monitor their cat's body temperature.

How do I get my cat microchipped?

Here at Countryside, you just call and make an appointment, and we just do it right on a regular examination appointment. If they're kittens, we almost always ask you while they're here, "Would you like us to get them microchipped?" Some animals aren't microchipped until they're here for a spay or a neuter, but it does not require anesthesia. It's not a surgery. It's a speedy procedure.

Where in my cat's body will the microchip go?

Always between the shoulder blades at the back of the neck. It's uniform, so everybody knows across the country, across the world, where to look for a microchip on a cat.

Is microchipping painful for my cat?

Certainly doesn't seem to be. I've microchipped hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of cats, and it's a syringe with a needle on it. We just place it right under the skin. We barely hear a peep out of them, and they're all done. We just put the hair back. It doesn't bleed. The microchip doesn't migrate, and it's done in no time flat.

Are there any risks or side effects associated with the cat microchipping process?

I've never seen it. I've never seen a cat scratch it. I've never seen them be in pain from it. There has never been any indication that it causes cancer. I don't believe there are any negative associations with microchipping a cat at all.

Is a recovery period needed after microchipping my cat?

Nope. We would just put the microchip in, give them a couple of pets, maybe a treat that they like, and and then off they go. They're ready to go back home.

How often should my cat be scanned after implanting a microchip?

We immediately scan it to make sure it's working. At Countryside Veterinary Clinic, every time they come in for a well-check, we scan it, or anytime you might want to ask us to double-check that it's there, in place, and that you can count on it, we'll be happy to scan that for you.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (410) 461-2400, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.