Orchard House Vets - one of our team with an orange tabby cat

Cat microchip law

Are cat microchips compulsory?

While microchipping your cat isn’t compulsory at the moment, the Government’s announcement on 13 March 2023 means that all pet cats over the age of 20 weeks in England must be microchipped by 10 June 2024 and you will be given 21 days to get your cat chipped or face a fine of up to £500 if you don’t comply. Vets across the country are reporting some backlash regarding the law but it is a timely reminder that vets do not make laws, nor can we uphold the law. If your cat goes missing and a council warden finds your cat, you could be fined. A vet will recommend a microchip, but cannot report the lack of a microchip. For more information on the impending law, head to the governments website.

Why should I get my cat microchipped?

Whether you’ve just bought a kitten or adopted an older cat, making sure they are microchipped should be top of your list. Microchipping your cat gives them the best chance of being identified and returned to you if they are lost or stolen. Microchips are safe, easy to implant and effective. Unlike collars and ID tags, microchips don’t come off and they don’t put your cat at risk of injury. At our Hexham Vets we once scanned a cat that had wandered over from Doncaster! Because of a microchip he was able to be reunited with his owners after months of searching! Our Stocksfield vets found a cat near Prudhoe that had wandered over from Sunderland!

Cat microchip Hexham Cat microchip prudhoe

How does microchipping work?

A small chip (around the size of a grain of rice) is inserted under your cat’s skin – this microchip gives your cat their own unique code.

If your cat were to go missing, the microchip would be scanned with a microchip scanner and matched to your contact details, which are kept on a cat microchip database.

How much does it cost to microchip a cat?

Microchips cost just £19.99* at Orchard House Vets and last the lifetime of your pet.

Are there ongoing costs associated with microchipping a cat?

Amending your contact details on a cat microchip database can mean paying a fee. Depending on the database, this might be a one-off fee for the lifetime of your cat, or a cost every time you update. Veterinary practices cannot do this for you.

Will microchipping harm my cat?

The procedure to microchip your cat is quick and painless – in fact, it is no more painful to your cat than getting an injection.

There is no need for ‘recovery’ from the procedure and it won’t cause your cat any discomfort or pain – in fact, they’re unlikely to know it is even there.

When should I have my cat microchipped?

In England from 10 June 2024 it will be compulsory to have your cat microchipped from 20 weeks of age, but there is no minimum age to have your cat microchipped. Many kittens are microchipped at the same time as being spayed or neutered, when they are already under local anaesthetic. It is recommended to have your cat microchipped before they go outside for the first time, however.

Is my cat microchipped already?

We note your cats microchip number during your first visit, or when registering your microchip. You can book an appointment with one of our veterinary nurses (free if you are a member of our Well Pet Club) and they will be able to scan your cat and check the registered details for you. If the details are not up to date, you will have to contact the database, but we can give you the number. Unfortunately we cannot change the details for you.

How can I book my cat in for a microchip?

Click here to book online, or give your local Orchard House Vets practice a call. Our friendly team will happily make an appointment for you.

*NOTE: Price correct at 29.03.2023. Price subject to change and all prices are displayed on our updated website and treatment or services can be quoted beforehand.