The microchipping of cats is to be made mandatory as part of the UK’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare, which covers all animal welfare in the UK.
Whilst dogs in the UK have had to be microchipped since 2016, no such laws have existed for pet cats. That’s set to change with owners facing a fine of up to £500 if they do not get their pet cats microchipped. They will first be given 21 days to have a microchip implanted, before potentially being fined.
Lord Goldsmith, who is the Animal Welfare Minister said: “Cats are much-loved parts of our families and making sure that they’re microchipped is the best possible way of making sure that you are reunited with them if they are ever lost or stolen.”
“These new rules will help protect millions of cats across the country and will be brought in alongside a range of other protections we are introducing under our Action Plan for Animal Welfare.”
It’s estimated that there could be around 2.8 million unchipped pets in the UK and it’s hoped that this new requirement will reunite thousands of lost/stray cats back to their homes. Owners will need to have their pets microchipped by the time the cat reaches 20 weeks of age.
Jacqui Cuff, who is Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations said: “Microchipping is by far the most effective and quickest way of identifying lost cats and can help ease the pressure on rescue charities like Cats Protection. Without a microchip, a lost cat will most likely end up being rehomed to a new home as there is often no trace of their original owner.”