Please consider microchipping your animal
Microchipping is painless! I’m often hired by people who have a missing animal, and while I have had quite good success locating and reuniting them, I wish these incidents didn’t happen so often — unfortunately, they are incredibly common.
The first question I ask about their animal is “does he or she have a collar?” and the second is always “are they microchipped?” Unfortunately, most of the time, the answer is no. Often the reasoning is “she’s an indoor cat”, “the collar never seems to stay on anyway” or “he’s never supposed to be off-leash.” But the fact is, accidents do happen — animals can often “bolt” away from the house for a variety of reasons — and when they do, it doesn’t always have a happy ending.
And it’s so easy to avoid this heartache! Microchipping is affordable, really quick (only takes a few seconds!) and there is very little discomfort — less than a vaccination. You might be surprised to learn this costs an average of only $30, is small (like a grain of rice), lasts the lifetime of the animal, and is simply administered into the loose skin at the back of the neck from a pre-loaded syringe. (My cat didn’t even react to it — I honestly don’t think he even noticed it was being done.) It’s not like a GPS or tracking device — it merely carries a serial number that is then registered, with a description of your pet and your contact info into a database. And that’s it! When an animal is found and scanned, the unique i.d. number is simply called into the pet recovery service.
Cats in particular do not often wear collars, or they break away (by design) when caught on something. A recent study showed that if a cat is microchipped, the return-to-human rate is 20 times higher than if the cat was not microchipped. It’s also important for dogs because their tags can often become separated and lost from their collars. I recommend having this procedure done as soon as possible — perhaps when you are next at the vet for another matter — there’s really no good reason not to, and the peace of mind will definitely be worth it!