Cats, curious and independent, can sometimes find themselves in predicaments, including getting lost. But there’s hope: your cat is microchipped. This guide will walk you through the steps to leverage this technology to its fullest, significantly increasing your chances of a heartwarming reunion. Remember, if your cat’s microchip is registered with Peeva, you have access to a vast network of veterinarians and shelters that can scan and identify your pet, quickly notifying you.
Understanding Microchips in Cats
A microchip is a small electronic chip, about the size of a grain of rice, implanted under your cat’s skin, typically between the shoulder blades. It contains a unique identification number that is registered in a database with your contact information. When a lost cat is found and scanned by a veterinarian or animal shelter, this number is retrieved and used to contact the owner. Peeva’s universal microchip scanner can read any microchip, regardless of the brand, making it easier for shelters and vets to identify your pet and get in touch with you.
The microchip itself is passive, meaning it doesn’t have a power source and can’t actively transmit a location signal. Instead, it is activated by a scanner that passes over it. It’s crucial to understand that microchipping is an identification tool, not a GPS device, but it’s an invaluable resource in reuniting lost pets with their owners.
How to Find a Microchipped Cat?
As soon as you notice your cat is missing, act quickly. Start by searching your home thoroughly to ensure your cat isn’t hiding or stuck somewhere inside. Cats often hide in unlikely places, especially when scared or injured.
Next, check your yard and nearby areas, softly calling your cat’s name. Shake their favourite treat container or toy to attract their attention. Since cats can be nocturnal and more active at night, consider repeating this search in the evening.
Have your cat’s microchip number handy. This number will be crucial in the search process. If your cat is found and taken to a shelter or vet, this number will identify them as yours. If registered with Peeva, you’ll have the added reassurance that the finder can easily access your contact information, expediting your cat’s safe return.
Begin by notifying your immediate neighbours. Cats often don’t stray far from home, and a neighbour might have seen them. Check under porches, in sheds, and in other hiding places in your neighbourhood.
Create a ‘lost cat’ flyer with a clear picture of your cat, their microchip number, and your contact information. Distribute these in your neighbourhood, at local vet offices, and community boards. Digital versions of the flyer can be shared on social media and local community groups.
When creating your flyer, include specific details about your cat, such as breed, colour, age, and any distinctive markings. Offer a description of their personality (e.g., shy, friendly) to help people approach your cat appropriately.
Remember, the sooner you start your search, the better your chances of finding your cat. Stay calm and methodical, covering each step thoroughly for the best chance of success.
Notifying the Microchip Registry
Once you’ve begun your local search, the next critical step is to notify the microchip registry. Contact the company that registered your cat’s microchip and report them as missing. This can often be done online or over the phone. Provide them with your cat’s microchip number, a current photo, and any relevant details about your cat’s last known location or condition.
Most microchip registries have procedures to flag a pet as missing. They may offer additional services like sending out alerts to a network of shelters, vets, and pet recovery agencies. Ensure that your contact information in their system is up to date, so you can be reached immediately if your cat is found.
Track a Microchipped Cat: Community Assistance
While microchips don’t have GPS capability, leveraging community assistance can be instrumental in tracking your missing cat. Share the ‘lost cat’ flyers and digital posts with as many people and places as possible. Post in local social media groups, neighbourhood apps like Nextdoor, and send out emails to local pet-related businesses.
Engaging the community can significantly widen the search net. People walking their dogs, local mail carriers, and neighbourhood watch groups can be valuable eyes on the street. Encourage people to check garages, sheds, and under decks – popular hiding spots for scared cats.
Remember to check online resources daily, such as local lost and found pet pages and Craigslist. Sometimes good Samaritans post found pets on these platforms in an attempt to locate their owners.
Chipped Cat Missing: Extending the Search
If your initial search doesn’t yield results, it’s time to extend your efforts. Contact animal shelters and rescue groups within a wider radius, not just in your immediate area. Cats can sometimes wander far from home, or be accidentally transported in vehicles.
Visit local shelters in person if possible, as descriptions of animals can sometimes be misleading. Leave a copy of your flyer and check back regularly. Engage local veterinarians as well, as people often bring found animals to nearby clinics.
Additionally, consider setting up a humane trap in your yard or near where your cat was last seen. These traps can be baited with food to safely capture your cat without harm. Local animal control or shelters might lend these traps to you.
How to Find a Lost Cat with a Microchip: Advanced Strategies
For cats that remain missing despite these efforts, consider advanced strategies. Some microchip companies offer services that send out a ‘pet amber alert’ to a network of animal professionals and enthusiasts in your area.
If financially feasible, hiring a pet detective could be an option. These professionals use various techniques, including tracking dogs, to help locate lost pets. They can be particularly helpful if you believe your cat may have travelled a significant distance or if the search area is too large for you to cover alone.
After Your Cat is Found: Next Steps
The moment you are reunited with your cat is one of immense relief and joy. However, there are a few important steps to follow once your cat is back in your care. First, take your cat to a veterinarian for a health check-up, even if they appear unharmed. This is to ensure they haven’t sustained any injuries or health issues while they were missing.
Next, update or confirm your details with the microchip registry to ensure all information is current. If your cat wasn’t found through the microchip, this experience underscores the importance of ensuring the microchip’s registration details are accurate and up to date.
Thank your community and everyone involved in the search. Notify them that your cat has been found, and take down any flyers or digital posts you have made. This not only shows your gratitude but also ensures that people do not continue searching unnecessarily.
Prevention and Safety Tips
Prevention is key to avoiding the distress of a lost cat in the future. Here are some tips to help keep your microchipped cat safe:
Ensure your home and garden are secure, reducing the chances of your cat wandering off. Check for and block any potential escape routes.
Regularly check that your cat’s microchip is functioning and that the registration details are up to date. This can usually be done during routine vet visits.
Consider additional safety measures, such as a collar with an ID tag, even for indoor cats. The tag should have your contact details, providing an immediate way for someone to reach you if they find your cat.
Train your cat to respond to a call or a whistle. This training can be beneficial if they venture close to home.
Keep a recent photo of your cat handy. This can be invaluable for identification purposes if they go missing.
Losing a cat can be a distressing experience, but having a microchipped pet provides a beacon of hope. Following the steps outlined in this guide will maximise the chances of a happy reunion. Remember, the key to successful recovery lies in immediate action, community involvement, and keeping your microchip details up to date. Take a moment today to ensure your pet’s microchip information is current. Let’s give our feline friends the best chance of finding their way back to us, should they ever wander too far from home.