National Cat Adoption Centre is reminding owners of the benefits of microchipping as one of the best methods of pet identification in light of a Cats Protection survey revealing that almost one in two cats (49%) that go missing never return.
The National Cat Adoption Centre has seen several cases where cats who have been missing for a significant amount of time have been able to be reunited with their owners thanks to the presence of a microchip with up to date details, the longest case being 10 yrs.
Having a cat microchipped is a cheap and simple way of providing a permanent method of identification for the thousands of cats which go missing every year.
Tania Marsh , Deputy Manager said: “Having your cat microchipped will dramatically increase the chances of a happy reunion if a pet cat goes missing.
"Whereas collars can be removed, get snagged or lost and are not the safest way of identifying your pet, a microchip will stay with the cat as permanent identification.”
Microchipping is a simple procedure carried out by a vet or trained animal care staff and involves a small data chip inserted under the cat’s skin. Details are stored on a national database and can be accessed by scanning the animal with a special device. Most vets and rescue centres will routinely scan all lost cats and can use the information to quickly reunite the missing pet with their owner.
Microchipping their cat reunited a family with missing puss Tosha, an amazing ten years after he went missing.
The ginger moggy went walkabout from Crawley in 2007 after being left in the care of a family friend while owners Natasha and David were working overseas.
He was later taken in by an elderly lady living nearby, who cared for him until she sadly passed away earlier this month.
Having been named Ginger, he was then brought to Cats Protection’s National Cat Adoption Centre, for rehoming.
A routine microchip scan revealed the details of his original name and owners, who were overjoyed to discover he was alive and well.
Deputy Manager of Cats Protection’s National Cat Adoption Centre Karen Thompson said: "All cats that come into the centre are routinely scanned for a microchip, and it’s not unusual to be able to trace owners for cats which have been missing a few months.
"However, it’s rare we find a cat that has been missing for such a long period of time. It seems that Tosha had become lost and started straying but was fortunate to have been taken in to a loving home.
"He has clearly spent the past decade being a much-loved pet, and while the circumstances of him coming into the centre are very sad, it’s comforting to know he can now be returned to his original owners.
"Tosha’s story goes to show why microchipping is so important. Had he never been microchipped we would have had no way of returning him to his home."
Relieved owner David, who now lives in Tollgate Hill, said he was thrilled to have Tosha home.
"When he went missing, there was never any sightings of him, so we assumed that he must have sadly been involved in a car accident,' he said. "It was very sad, and we were all very upset for quite some time.
"We were really stunned to get the phone call from Cats Protection to say he was alive and well and being cared for at the centre. After ten years, it really was a bolt from the blue.
"It was great to see him again – of course he is a lot older, a bit slower and is still getting to know us again. But we can see he’s the same old Tosha and it’s really wonderful to have him home again. We're just so pleased we had him microchipped, otherwise we'd never have had this happy ending."
To find out more about adopting any of the other cats currently being cared for at Cats Protection’s National Cat Adoption Centre, please contact the centre by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Cat Adoption Centre is situated in Chelwood Gate, on the A275 between Wych Cross and Danehill. For a map and directions to the National Cat Adoption Centre, please visit www.cats.org.uk/find-us/find-the-ncc/
National Microchipping Month will run during June in the UK to promote responsible pet ownership through microchipping as the preferred method of permanent pet identification.