Petlog urges 2.8 million cat owners to get ahead of new compulsory microchipping laws

Petlog is urging cat owners to not leave microchipping of their pet to the last minute, ahead of the introduction of compulsory microchipping for cats announced by the Government.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) estimates that as many as 2.8 million cats in the UK are unchipped, which means that it would be very difficult to reunite them with their owner if they get lost or stolen.

Petlog, which holds a database of 13.4 million microchipped pets, is also concerned that many pet owners forget to alert their microchip database about changes of phone number and address, which is a further barrier to successful reunification.

The new rules will come into force after the Government’s review of the current regulations on dog microchipping.

A spokesperson for Petlog, which is managed by The Kennel Club, said: “Microchipping your pet and registering them on a microchipping database, which holds the keeper’s address and phone number, is such a simple step to take but can genuinely be a life-saver for your pet, and gives peace of mind during what is always an extremely stressful and worrying time.

“Microchipping is already mandatory for dogs and ensuring that the same rules apply to cats underlines the government’s commitment to keeping our nation’s pets safe in the event of the worst happening, which is never more important than now, with rising concerns about pet theft.

“Given the well reported shortages in the vet sector, since the pandemic, we urge cat owners to not leave microchipping until the last minute but to take the steps needed now, to ensure that their cat is kept safe and that they are compliant when the law changes. Of course, a microchip is only as effective as the contact details on the database that the chip is registered with, so this is also a timely reminder to all pet owners to ensure that their contact details are up-to-date, in order to help ensure swift reunification.”

Under the new plans, all keepers in England must ensure their cat is microchipped before they reach the age of 20 weeks and their contact details are stored and kept up to date in a pet microchipping database linked to the microchip. Owners found not to have microchipped their cat will have 21 days to have one implanted, or may face a fine of up to £500.

For more information about Petlog, which is managed by The Kennel Club, please visit petlog.org.uk