Preventative Information

Microchip ID Importance

Cat Identificationcat 115

Why Your Cat Should Wear a Collar and Tag: The Facts

Your child learned to recite his address and phone number as soon as he could speak. Your car is tagged front and back with a number easily traced to you.

Your name is on your suitcase, bowling ball, office door, mailbox, welcome mat, and family bible. There's an ID card in your wallet in case of an accident that leaves you unconscious.

If you have a dog it's possible you've labeled it too. But what about your cat? If you forgot, or never thought to label your pet cat, you've made a big mistake.

If you think you have a reason for not tagging your cat, read on: 

Why bother if it's not legally required?
If your cat gets lost and you want it back, what difference do legal requirements make?

It never leaves the house, why does it need a tag?
With luck and care, a housecat can live 15-plus years. If you open the front door no more than three times a day for 15 years, you'll give your housecat almost 17,000 opportunities to slink through your legs into the outside world. And that's not counting torn screens, unwary visitors forgetting to close doors, basement or attic escape routes, or the times you take it to a veterinarian or boarding kennel when unknown automotive or architectural exits may appear.

No amount of diligence can guarantee an indoor cat will remain forever indoors. Sometime, somewhere, it will get out. Once it does, it won't have the slightest idea how to get home. Strange sights, smells, and sounds can sent it scurrying. It may run two yards or two miles, but when it stops it will be in unfamiliar territory, and won't know the way home.

When that happens, an ID tag can make a life-or-death difference for your cat.

The cat doesn’t like to wear a collar.
No cat is thrilled the first time a collar is buckled around its neck. A kitten adapts quickly. An adult cat may panic and writhe in frenzy for some time (usually 10 minutes or less, but it will seem like hours to the sympathetic owner.)

You can skip the dramatics by purchasing a catnip toy when you purchase a collar. Put the collar on the cat, then give it the toy. Chances are the cat will ignore the collar and play with the toy. Later, when the toy is shredded, stained, and defeated, the collar will be long forgotten.

A cat can hang itself by its collar and die!
First, there are collars made especially for cats that have a soft, durable safety stretch. These collars should be buckled snuggly around the neck (one finger width space between collar and neck is plenty of rooms), and most cats can’t wriggles out of them alone.

However, if the cat gets caught by the collar in a tree limb or on a fence, its weight will stretch the elastic insert and expand the collar enough for the cat to escape without risk of strangulation.

The built-in safety factor protects the cat. If you’re still worried about a collar strangling your cat think about this: How many cats have you known or heard of in your life that have been lost and never found? How many times have you personally seen a cat hanging dead by its collar, or heard of such an event from an eyewitness?

Cats often get lost, and those without ID tags are rarely found by their owners.

Animal shelters take in millions of lost cats each year, and ninety-nine out of a hundred wear no identification. Less than three out of a hundred are found and reclaimed by their owners. One of those three is wearing a tag, and is usually found quickly. The other two have owners willing to spend hours, days, or weeks advertising and personally visiting local shelters in search of their lost felines. Many owners search long and hard, and never find their pets at all!

On the average, about 15 percent of the unclaimed strays get adopted into new homes. Most of the adopted cats are young kittens. Very few older cats get adopted. The unclaimed, unadopted cats must be put to sleep to make room for new stray/lost or abandoned felines. Very few cats die because they are wearing a collar, millions die because they are not wearing collars and tags.

Protect your cat the same way you protect any precious or valuable possession label it with your name, address, and phone number before it’s too late.


For more information and to make an appointment to have your pet microchipped, call 617-522-7400.