Collars, Name Tags & Micro-Chipping
Ok, so you have got your cat, you love it, feed it, play with it and get it vaccinated. But what would happen if he/she went missing or was involved in an accident? Does anyone know who your cat belongs to?
If your cat is found injured or wandering around, looking lost, then you will have little chance of getting it back unless someone knows who owns it.
Even if the cat is taken to the police or a charity such as the RSPCA, you may never know that it has been found - be it alive or injured. You really must provide the means for someone to contact you if they find your cat.
If you are worried about putting your address on the name tag, then at least write the cat's name, or your name and a contact phone number (e.g. Mobile phone) so you can be easily contacted if need be.
There are, however, arguments for and against putting the cats name on the collar. Some people say that it encourages a would-be thief to call your cat and gain its trust before running of with it, whilst others say that you have more chance of calming a suspected lost cat by using its name. The choice is yours at the end of the day.
Ideally you should introduce your cat to its new collar at an early age! The older they get, the less happy they will be about you putting one around its neck.
You must ensure that the collar is neither too loose or too tight. If the collar is too loose then the cat may catch it on something or get its legs stuck through it whilst trying to take it off. If it is too tight, then you will, obviously restrict the cats breathing. You should be able to get two fingers under the collar and this is an indication of how tight/loose it should be.
DON'T FORGET to loosen the collar as the cat grows older and bigger!
If you do not like the idea of a collar and name tag then you should get your cat micro-chipped. This is a quick, simple and painless one-off injection whereby a tiny microchip is placed under the skin in the scruff of the neck. Each cat has a unique number that is linked to your personal details. All charity, welfare and animal organisations have access to a portable scanner that can be used to get this number and identify your cat.
Although I agree with micro- chipping a cat, I feel that a lost cat will be returned to me a lot sooner if someone just has to read the name tag on the collar. To read a micro-chip, you need a vet or animal charity that has the means to scan the cat for the chip and get the information about the owner. One other alternative is to provide a name tag with the micro-chip number on it and then the problem is solved!