According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), less than 5 percent of lost cats are reunited with their owners once they’re taken into a shelter, largely because there’s no way to determine who they belong to.
"No question, microchipping saves lives, ensuring far more lost cats are reunited with their families," says Dr. Susan Little, president of the Winn Feline Foundation. "Most cats don’t wear collars, and even for those who do, collars and ID tags may fall off or be removed. Microchipping and enrollment into a national database is the only permanent form of identification."
Last summer, through the tandem promotional efforts of the Winn Feline Foundation and HomeAgain, an astoundingly impressive 51,984 cats were microchipped. "I’m absolutely convinced many lives were saved as a result of being microchipped, not to mention the cats that benefited from HomeAgain’s generous donation to the Winn Feline Foundation," Little says.
"The statistics we are able to derive from the HomeAgain database confirm that cats are significantly underserved with regard to microchipping when compared with dogs," says Gary MacPhee, director and general manager of HomeAgain. "Indoor cats, in particular, are often not microchipped, which is unfortunate because they can get lost. Since most cats are also not well identified with collars and tags, they are at an extraordinarily high risk of not being reunited with their owners once lost. We are extremely pleased to partner with Winn to raise awareness of the importance of permanent identification for all cats while supporting important veterinary research to enhance the health and longevity of our feline family members."
Little and MacPhee agree that there is no better time than right now to visit your veterinarian and request a microchip and enrollment for your cat. Savvy cat owners who have already taken this important step are encouraged to ensure their microchip is registered with a national database like HomeAgain and that contact information is current.