WHY SHOULD I MICROCHIP MY CAT?
1. What are the benefits of microchipping?
Frequently cats become lost or sometimes stolen and have no method of identification enabling them to be returned to their owners. External tags can either be not worn, become unreadable or simply removed.
Microchipping provides a permanent, safe internal identification and so avoids these issues. It provides a lifetime identification & proof of ownershp when recorded on a licensed National microchip registry must provide service for 24 hours each day. 365 days a year.
Importantly the microchip number is made only once and is GLOBALLY unique, thuse enabling potential return to the owner from anywhere in the world.
2. Is there any down side?
The only downside is if the animal's information has not been sent to the registry and so not recorded on the registry or if the owner's contact details are NOT KEPT UP TO DATE. Implantation of microchips in many millions of animals globally has demonstrated their effectiveness and safety. Recovery statistics prove that there are only positive benefits from microchip indentification of animals. (see www.car.com.au)
Microchips are used widely on rare and endangered animals as well and this is further evidence of their effectiveness and safety.
3. What sort of information is stored on an animal's microchip?
Information stored on a microchip is only the actual microchip number which is encoded at the time of manufacture. The microchip number is simply a link to data on the licensed registry in a similar way to a car licence plate. Owner and animal details are recorded with the chip number as well as laternative contact details at the time of the animal being implanted by the Authorised Implanter and those details must be forwarded to the registry within 2 days of implantation.
4. Is this information readily accessible to other members of the public?
No. Licensed National animal registries that hold animal and owner information related to any chipped pet operate under strict privacy guildelines and this information is only released to authorised scanning centres such as Councils, Animal Welfare Shelters and Veterinarians. The purpose of microchipping is to reunite a stray or otherwise unidentified cat with its owner. The details on the database are also accessible to the owner but not to any other unauthorised person.
5. Is it compulsory for cat owners to have their cats microchipped?
Each State and Territory in Australia is responsible for their own animal management legislation. Currently, it is compulsory to have dogs and cats microchipped in NSW. Victoria and South-East Queensland. Additionally all dogs and cats sold from a companion animal business, such as a pet store or registered breeders, must be chipped prior to sale.
6. What are the consequences of not microchipping my pet cat?
Apart from contravening the legislation in Victoria, NSW and SE Queensland, if not chipped, it becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible, to determine identity and ownership of a cat when impounded, particularly if it's also not wearing a collar and I.D. tags. If the animal is injured AND microchipped the owner can generally be contacted quickly to facilitate quick veterinary intervention in treating the injuries.
Cats can be very stressed or nervous when captured and, if not identified externally or by microchip, they can easily be suspected as being feral and consequently euthanased.
Some animals can end up in another municipality or even in another state making the reunification process even more difficult! Each year many thousands of animals are put to sleep because they are not properly indentified.
7. What exactly does the process of microchipping entail?
The chip is pre-loaded into a sterile needle at the time of manufacture. Using an implanting device specific for the microchip being used, the microchip is then implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades ( in dogs and cats) .In victoria, NSW and Queensland the act of microchipping can onl be done by an Authorised Implanter, such as a veterinarian or qualified veterinary nurse, animal technician or Council officer, but they must have completed the accredited Authorised Implanter Course. In Western Australia, microchipping is deemed to be an act of veterinary science and should be proformed only by a vet.
8. Is it painful for cats to be microchipped?
Because it is an injection, there may be some minor discomfort, but experience of now hundreds of thousands of implants performed in Australia over 20 years indicates that many animals do not react in any way to the implantation. The implantation needles are specifically designed to minimize this discomfort.
If you wish, thre precedure can be performed at the same time as a veterinary consultation or vaccination and generally does not require the use of either sedation or local anesthesia. Many cats are microchpped at the same time as a surgical procedure such as desexing.
9. How much does it cost to microchip a cat?
Microchipping is generally inexpensive, especially if it is combined with other procedures. You wiould need to contact your veterinarian or Auuthorised Implanter to ascertain the exact cost but generally the costs are in the range of $40 to $80 including lifetime registration on a licensed National animal registry.
Sometimes discounted microchipping is offered at organised events such as Council or Animal Shelter Chipping Days.
10. Does my cat also have to be registered with the local Councl?
Yes. In most stares you must also register your cat with the local Council.
What is TRAP NEUTER AND RETURN?
Trap Neuter and Return is a world wide practice and has been used for over 20 years in most countries. TNR is used extensively in countries including the USA, UK, Italy and Singapore to name a few. This method of control has been debated and fought for over the last 20 years and has prevailed as the best and most humane method of dealing with the semi-domestic and feral cat population.
This means no more kittens are born and the condition of these cats improves and their lives are made more bearable whilst cat colonies are stabilised.
Desexing does away with all the problems that come with mating, urinating, not to mention the sound of fighting cats as they compete over females.
Trap Neuter and Return saves councils thousands of dollars every year in cutting the nuisance calls and ranger call outs. The animal welfare organisations save thousands every year in unnecessary use of resources and money it takes to trap and kill cats that cannot be rehomed.
Trap Neuter and Return not only saves money, manpower and millions of dollars for all those dealing with the semi-domestic and feral cats it is the responsible and humane way to care for cats that do not and cannot live indoors.
Why Trap and Kill does not work.
Trap and Kill has been widely practised here in Australia with Councils and Wild Life advocates hiring shooters to shoot thousand of cats each year along with hiring of cat traps. This costing governments and rate payers hundreds of thousands of dollars, year after year with no real outcome. Animal shelters spend thousands of dollars towards euthanasia and this has had no effect on the numbers for the last 40 years. Cats choose to live in locations because 1) there is a food source available and 2) because of shelter. When a cat is removed from this location other cats will breed to capacity to fill this gap or other cats will move in from outside the area. This is known world wide as "the vacuum effect".
What is the effect of a cat on wild life?
Although cats have been blamed for eating the wild life the prime proven cause is "Humans are the cause of wildlife depletion".
It is not feral or semi domestic cats that cause wildlife depletion it has been shown overwhelmingly that the cause of wildlife depletion is the destruction of their natural habitat due to clearing and urban sprawl, chemical and pesticide use and like we have seen just recently in the news, drought.
You can encourage birdlife back into your back yard by replanting native plants to attract the bird life that has been lost due to urban clearing, place feeders and nesting boxes in strategic places. By not using pesticides and baits on insects and mice around your house as birds like willywag tails etc eat the insects and owls and hawks will eat sick rodent from your yard and die.There are plenty of websites on how to create a bird friendly environment.
What can we do to help turn around the bad name cats have been given?
Education is the answer. Education yourself by reading "ALL" relevant studies and be informed. As you can see the cat has been demonised and blamed for all our social ills but together we can learn the facts and make a difference. We can educate people about the semi-domestic and feral cats and emphasise the fact that they don't belong in animal shelters and elevate them to a better status in the animal kingdom.