Efficacy of microchips in cats

Kodami scientific committee member said

Counselor for human-cat relationship

How can we maximize The effectiveness of microchips in cats? Are we aware of all the tools we can use between ASL and private enterprise?

So far Microchip is the most effective tool Going back to a cat’s family because that’s the only thing that can’t be managed from the outside. Collars with tags can be easily lost if not intentionally bypassed, and GPS systems can operate in a limited range of space and time: stealing a microchip implant from a cat is not so immediate – though not impossible.

So, what can we do to increase the effectiveness of the microchip, the cat is not found in us? Here are some basic steps you can take to begin the process of preparation for mediation.

How does a microchip work?

Microchip implantation
In the picture: Microchip implantation

Microchip Hall A very small device that is planted subcutaneously To a cat with a special “syringe”. This is a few seconds operation that can be performed by a qualified veterinarian or ASL service, basically painless. Number of chips It is then registered in a registry office Including your data. The idea is simple: If one day the cat needs to understand that the “car”, a veterinarian, an ASL employee or a municipal police officer, through a special reader for their disposal, could find the identification number of the chip and from there the registry, your telephone number to which you return. Will be contacted for. All these steps are performed as ex officio.

Proceed to implant

Unfortunately, I have received testimonials regarding this fact, since In Italy, implanting microchips on cats is still a voluntary practice – Except men Lombardy and Puglia where it is mandatory From 2020 -, there are those who advise against calling it “useless”. Don’t be discouraged by anyone: To this day, compulsory or not, microchips are the only tool in our decision to prevent anyone who meets a cat from taking it with them, or worse, from handing it over to others. The idea. “Find him a home” or “Keep him safe.” It could also be a tool to warn you that the cat has run away and is probably hospitalized somewhere.

Installation must be followed by a registration

Once installed, The microchip number must be registered with a registry office So that it can be detected in future searches and returned to your contacts. This aspect is very important: we are at a historical stage where ASLs are trying to comply with the obligation to register the number of microchips after an implant but sometimes things do not work out as they should and this can happen to a cat, even if the microchip is not registered in someone’s name. As a responsible owner, observe this step, verify that the registration of the microchip number in the regional registry has actually taken place.

Register it in the regional registry

Be sure to register your cat in the registry
In the picture: Be sure to register your cat in the registry

Microchips are traditionally stored in regional registers maintained by the ASL and can be dealt with by a veterinarian or personally by visiting the company with an implantation declaration issued by a doctor. This is an exercise that lasts a few minutes. From that moment on, you can access the regional registry portal of your region at any time (list here), enter your cat’s microchip number and check the presence of registration (if it does not exist then go back to ASL and report the problem).

Be careful though: This portal shows whether the cat is registered in the registry or not, but for privacy reasons, to whom it is registered. If you want proof that it actually is and still is in your name, just contact your veterinarian who has more extensive access to data in the regional registry of relevance.

If someone tells you that there is no “cat registry” in your area, do not be discouraged: some areas operate an ad hoc archive for cats, others store any chip in the canine registry, but everyone is obliged to follow a registration request.

Check attendance at the national registry

Theoretically, about once a monthEach region has to transfer the data collected in its personal register electronically To a Single national registration Founded in 2015 and known as the Animals Registry. I suggest that at least 30 days after registration in the regional registry, your cat can also be identified in the National Register as this register will make the cat identifiable even after leaving the area. Unfortunately, these IT tools are not free of errors (communication, processing, use, disruption) so it can happen – and I personally confirmed this before I wrote this article – that a microchip can be found in the regional registry but not in a national one or vice versa.

Check, periodically check and, in case of problems, do not hesitate to contact your ASL.

Take advantage of alternative registry

One more piece of advice I can give you, because these tools are useful but not always as effective as promised, Register the microchip at another national registry office, Managed by the National Felline Registry (ANF) ANMVI. Since it is largely a personal and voluntary register (ANMVI is a federation of trade associations and has a representative role), the register can only be used by veterinarians (such as those registered on the Registry Portal). If not, you can ask him or her to be one or you can contact one of the recognized and recognizable veterinarians through the search engine provided by the ANF website.

Keep data up to date

This is another fundamental aspect of keeping a microchip effective. Whenever you change accommodation with your cat and above all, whenever you change your phone number, remember Report changes to the registry where the chip is registered. In case of migration be sure to register the cat in the new territory (regional registries do not communicate much between them), as well as to announce the final death. Don’t forget that the registry has the power to trace your contacts: if they are outdated or do not take you away, the ultimate goal of this whole organizational machine, which is to bring the cat home, cannot be achieved.

The role of the veterinarian

Control of the microchip after an adoption
In the picture: Control of the microchip after an adoption

A final element of efficacy can only be added by veterinarians whose clinic will always be tasked with checking for the presence of microchips in each new cat, especially if the source is suspicious or unknown and the cat is not first coated. . Because in the end, a microchip only works when and only when someone detects it. From the evidence I have gathered, however, it seems that this practice is struggling to coalesce, perhaps because its application is still considered excessive or unlikely in cats. But society has changed and it is likely that implantation will soon become mandatory by law, even in the case of cats: we too can begin to adapt.

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