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Compulsory microchipping countdown

02 March 2024
1 min read
Volume 15 · Issue 2

From 10 June, owners in England must ensure all pet cats over the age of 20 weeks are microchipped and registered on a compliant database or they may receive a fine of up to £500. Compulsory microchipping aims to help reunite lost or stray pet cats with their owners, with charities highlighting that no matter how far from home they are found or how long they have been missing, if a cat has a microchip there is a high chance they will be returned home.

One argument some cat owners make is ‘my cat is an indoor cat, so doesn't need a microchip’. The problem with this is that it is very easy for an indoor cat to escape from an open window or door. There is no exemption for indoor cats: all cats are expected to be microchipped except for feral cats.

Recent data from Cats Protection (2023) estimates that 2.2 million pet cats were unchipped and another 300 000 cats have owners who don't know if their cat is chipped. The PDSA Animal Wellbeing report (2023) showed that seven in 10 cat owners were unaware of this new requirement. This could lead to a lot of extra work for veterinary practices this spring, as awareness of the law increases! Are you seeing a surge in microchipping appointments for cats? We'd love to hear from you. Contact us at

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