Microchipping involves inserting a tiny implant under your cat’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades. This contains a unique number that is linked to a central database – the New Zealand Companion Animal Register – containing your cat’s details, your details, alternate contacts, and if you like, even a photo of your cat.
Microchipping of your cat is safe and very rarely associated with any problems. The microchip is the size of a grain of rice and is implanted in a similar way to giving a vaccination, causing very minimal, temporary discomfort.
Many owners have their cats microchipped at the same time as vaccination or desexing. A cat can be microchipped as a kitten or an adult at any time, though. Here at Cat Hotel Stoney Creek, Ellis can microchip and register your cat on the NZCAR for only $50.
The NZCAR database is accessible 24/7 by over 850 agents, including veterinary clinics, SPCA’s, local authorities, pet shops, shelters, rescues and other animal welfare agencies in New Zealand. If your cat is found and taken to one of these agencies, they can scan him for a microchip, search the NZCAR database and quickly find your details and contact you.
By adding ‘PiP’ Facial Recognition (photo) for an additional $30, you increase the odds even more. Photos of found pets uploaded to NZCAR’s Web-App ‘PiP’ application are analysed and matched with photos of pets identified as lost. When your cat’s photo and unique identifying features are registered on the NZCAR database, they can quickly determine a match between your lost cat and any found cats in the area.
NZCAR also partners with the leading animal welfare organisations and social networks in New Zealand, like LostPet.co.nz and Neighbourly, offering a one-stop service that provides information and the tools you need when your cat goes missing. Once you have registered your cat, all their repatriation services are free.
An added bonus of having a microchipped cat: if you have unwanted neighbourhood cats entering your home, there are now microchip cat doors available, giving your cat exclusive access to his home.
Following the same principle, there are now even microchip feeding bowls available, meaning your cat’s food stays his own.
Because of the risk of collars becoming separated from your cat, they should only be used as a secondary means of identifying. Use only safety collars with an inbuilt feature that enables them to break under strain (‘snap-open’ collars), as these minimise the risk of severe injuries.