Cats Protection has called on cat lovers to support compulsory microchipping of pet cats by taking part in a Government consultation on the issue.
The charity has set up an online tool to make it quick and simple for animal lovers to back new Government proposals that would make microchipping a legal requirement for pet cats, as it already is for dogs.
According to Cats Protection, compulsory microchipping would significantly improve the welfare of cats in the UK – making them easier to identify if they are lost, injured or killed while outdoors.
A Government consultation into making microchipping of pet cats compulsory was announced in December. Cat lovers now have until 16 February to take part in the consultation and can register their support by using Cats Protection’s online tool at www.cats.org.uk/microchippingcampaign
It is estimated there are 10.2 million owned cats in the UK – 2.6 million (26%) of which are not microchipped, according to Cats Protection’s CATS (Cats and Their Stats) report 2020.
Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations, Jacqui Cuff, said: “Pet cats are a much-loved part of the household for millions of people. Over the past year especially, we’ve seen just how important their companionship can be – from providing comfort in stressful times, sharing fun and games with children, or providing joy and company to elderly people or those living alone.
“It can be devastating when a cat goes missing, and having a microchip is the best way of ensuring they can be returned home. Sadly, if they are not microchipped, there may be no way of tracing a cat’s owner and they may be rehomed, or face a life living as a stray. Making microchipping compulsory would ensure it becomes a routine part of responsible pet ownership, enabling lost or injured cats to swiftly be returned to their owner.
“After many years of campaigning for compulsory microchipping, Cats Protection is delighted the Government is holding this important consultation. A previous call for evidence held by the Government showed 99% support for the measure, so we hope this new consultation is the next step towards ensuring all pet cats benefit from being microchipped.
“As the law currently stands, compulsory microchipping only applies to dogs, and it’s only right that this should apply to cats to give them the same protection.
“We’d urge all cat lovers to take part by using our microchipping campaign webpage. It’s quick and easy to send Government an e-message of support and doing so will help bring huge welfare benefits to cats both now and into the future.
“We’re grateful to players of People’s Postcode Lottery for supporting our campaigning work this year, helping us make a better world for cats.”
Cats Protection recommends microchipping as a safe, permanent and cost-effective method of identification which ensures cats can be reunited with their owners should they go missing. Under regulations that came into force in 2016, dogs must be microchipped but this law does not extend to cats where it’s down to owners to decide.
To find out more about Cats Protection, please visit www.cats.org.uk