Microchips for my Cat

Feb 28, 2013 by     No Comments    Posted under: Tips & Advice

In Dr. Brunt’s article about when Cat Stanley went missing she mentioned that Cat Stanley was microchipped. It was the puurfect segue for me to provide information about microchipping.

A microchip is about the size of a large grain of rice and is an identifying integrated circuit that is placed under a cat or dog’s skin between its shoulder blades. The radio frequency protocols used by the chips placed in the United States are 125 kHz, 128 kHz or 134 kHz. The 134 kHz chips are also referred to as “ISO” chips, which are recognized globally. “ISO” stands for the International Standards Organization, which is an organization that developed standards for microchips to help prevent incompatibility between products. Cats traveling outside the US should always have “ISO” chips implanted. Though there was an effort in the US to move towards only implanting the 134 kHz chips, 125 kHz and 128 kHz chips are still being used. In fact, some states’ veterinary medical associations have mandated the use of 125 kHz chips. Microchip manufacturers offer different ways to register your cat’s microchip, so before your microchip your cat find out whether there is an easy way to register your cat’s chip and whether there is an annual cost to maintain your cat’s information in the registry’s database. Many manufacturers include lifetime registration when their chip is used. Sedation is not required to place the microchip. The needle used for implantation looks large, but it is sharp, so most cats and dogs hardly move when it is inserted. It is easy to have a cat microchipped during a routine office visit.

Most veterinarians and animal care and control facilities have universal scanners which are meant to pick up chips that are different frequencies. However, no one scanner can read 100% of the microchips placed in the United States. Holding the scanner at an angle when the scanner is used can affect its ability to read the chip as well. So, if your cat goes outside, a safety collar with identification and microchipping is the best way to provide a good way for your cat to find its way home if it gets lost.

Manufacturers of microchips in this country include:

  • 24PetWatch – 125 khz here in the US and 134 kHz in Canada
  • AKC Companion Animal Recovery (AKC CAR) – 128 khz
  • AVID – 125 kHz
  • Bayer ResQ – 134.2 kHz
  • Home Again – 134.2 kHz
  • InfoPet – 128 kHz
  • TruePaws – two chips are used – both 125 kHz and 134 kHz (only used by Banfield)

My thee cats and my dog are microchipped and as soon as they were chipped I made sure I registered them in the national database associated with the type of microchip I used. Yes, I recommend microchipping your pets, but my recommendation comes with a qualification. Please make sure you register your pet after it has been microchipped! Microchip manufacturers tell me that way too many owners forget to change their contact information when they move or change phone numbers preventing many lost pets from being reunited with their owners.

Dr Diane Eigner

Diane Eigner graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School in 1980. Dr. Eigner established her exclusively feline practice, The Cat Doctor, in Philadelphia in 1983, and began offering house call services at the Jersey Shore in 1991. She is a past president of the University of Pennsylvania’s Veterinary School Alumni Society, a Past President of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and is a member of the advisory board of Harcum Junior College’s Veterinary Technical School. Diane has been the consulting veterinarian for the Morris Animal Refuge since 1983. Doctor Eigner’s column “Ask The Cat Doctor” appeared in the Cat Fancier’s Almanac from 1996-2000. Diane joined the Catalyst Council’s board as the American Association of Feline Practitioner’s representative in 2009. She is now serving as the immediate past-chair of the Catalyst Council.

An avid Sailor, Diane loves nothing better than to be at the Jersey shore where she keeps her sailboat, Purrfect, and where she has a second home. Since meeting her husband, Fred Turoff, Temple University’s Men’s gymnastics team head coach, her family life has been dominated by men’s gymnastics. Her son Evan is a level ten gymnast that competes nationally and will join her husband’s division I men’s gymnastics team in the fall.. Diane also shares her life with three very entertaining cats. Though she shouldn’t have a favorite, her Sphynx cat, Velvet, which she rescued at the shelter where she consults, is the cat love of her life. Her integrated home also includes a Welsh Corgi named Twinks, two Cornish Rex cats, Naui and Padi and a Russian Tortoise.

The Cat Doctor
535 North 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Phone: (215) 561-7668
Fax: (215) 561-3616
Email: meow@thecatdr.com

Website: http://www.thecatdr.com
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