Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Charity calls for mandatory cat microchipping in Wales

04 Jun 2024 5 minute read
A cat being scanned for its microchip details. Image: RSPCA

RSPCA Cymru is calling on the Welsh Government to make cat microchipping the law in Wales, in line with a new law that comes into effect in England this month.

From Monday 10 June, cat owners in England who fail to have their cat microchipped could be handed a hefty fine – including indoor cats.

Despite the incoming law change, on average, one in 10 cats coming into the RSPCA’s care are still not microchipped and February of this year saw the most unchipped cats in one month with 44% of the rescued moggies being unchipped.

Importance

RSPCA ambassador and CBBC vet Rory Cowlam, said: “The thought of a pet going missing and never being able to find them is a pet owner’s nightmare, which is why microchipping is so important.

“Having microchipped many animals myself, I can assure you it’s quick, easy and is the best way to ensure that if your pet does go missing, or becomes injured, they can be reunited with you.

“It’s also vitally important to keep the details up-to-date if you change your address, phone number or email address, this all needs to be updated so that whoever scans your cat for their chip has the correct details for you to let you know they’ve been found.

“As an RSPCA Ambassador and a vet myself, I’ve heard stories of cats being found by members of the public or RSPCA rescue officers who either weren’t microchipped or had out of date details and heartbreakingly couldn’t be reunited with their owners. Also, amazing stories of cats being reunited with loving owners years after they went missing all thanks to this tiny chip!

As well as reuniting lost cats with loving owners, the RSPCA also hopes this new law change in England will improve cat welfare and reduce abandonments. More than 7,500 abandoned cats were reported to the RSPCA last year and over 1,500 so far this year.

The charity hopes that compulsory microchipping will provide a deterrent to owners and reduce the number of cats being dumped.

Calls for Welsh law

The RSPCA is also campaigning for the compulsory microchipping of owned cats to be introduced by the Welsh Government in Wales too.

As one example of a recent case, an elderly indoor cat from Cardiff who had been lost from her home for over a month has now been reunited with her grateful owner.

In February, Lyra was spotted limping and struggling to walk and appeared very skinny so a kind member of the public decided to contact the RSPCA for help.

The RSPCA say Lyra’s amazing rescue in Cardiff highlights why the Welsh Government needs to emulate the UK Government and introduce the compulsory microchipping of owned cats – giving more felines a chance of finding their family, just like Lyra.

Animal Rescue Officer (ARO) Danielle Wilson took the cat to the RSPCA Merthyr Tydfil Clinic for a vet check where she was found to have an unusual gait on her back legs potentially caused by an injury sustained whilst she was lost. She also has an abnormal heart rhythm.

When the officer scanned Lyra for a microchip, it was flagged that the feline had been reported missing so the officer was able to contact the owner and reunite them just a few days later.

Fflur with Lyra. Image: RSPCA Cymru

Lyra’s owner, Fflur Arwell, who lives just 400ft (120m) from where her cat was found, said: “Lyra has always been an independent feline with a taste for adventure but when she escaped in early January we were distraught.

“She’s a small, older indoor cat. The weather was terrible. And she was lost in unfamiliar surroundings.”

Despite registering her missing with the microchip company, and searching the area with her neighbours, they still hadn’t found Lyra weeks later and were very worried about her.

Fflur added: “She had been gone for more than a month before the RSPCA found her.

“We still can’t believe she’s back. We are so grateful to our wonderful neighbours who helped search for her and to the RSPCA for rescuing her, caring for her and bringing her home safely.

“We are so lucky to have our little Lyra back but we never would have been reunited had she not been microchipped. We urge all cat-owners to get their cats microchipped. It’s a simple and quick procedure and by far the safest way to ensure you are reunited with your feline should they want to go on an adventure!”

RSPCA Inspector Danielle Wilson said: “Lyra is such a friendly cat – she walked straight up to me meowing and purring when I rescued her as though she was grateful for my help. I’m so pleased that we were able to reunite Lyra with Fflur. It really does show the importance of microchipping your cats!”

For more information on microchipping visit: https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/cats/health/microchipping


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
2 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Glen
Glen
10 days ago

Banning the keeping of domestic cats would be a better idea.
It’s estimated by the The Mammal Society that Britain’s 9 million cats kill between 85-100 million birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles every year.

I wonder how many owners of these furry killing machines claim to be nature lovers.

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.