Do cats need a microchip? Definitely worth it

Ferenczi Deborah

2022. February 15 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

These days, microchip implantation is an essential part of responsible animal husbandry. Actually, it is becoming more and more common not only in dogs but also in cats. So if you have a cat, definitely consider using a unique identifier.


In Hungary, since 2013, it has been mandatory to provide dogs with a unique identifier, a microchip. This does not yet apply to cats, although it would be very necessary in their case as well.

What exactly is a microchip?

The microchip is a 50-70 millimeter technical device that must be implanted on the left side of the animal’s neck. The chip’s job is to generate a barcode when approached with the appropriate scanner. It does not cause pain in any way, does not emit electronic signals, and, contrary to popular belief, does not cause cancer. With the help of veterinarian Dr. Dalma Kárpáti, we compiled the most important information.

What is the advantage and why is it mandatory?

The role of the microchip in the search for missing dogs is the most prominent since thousands of lost dogs have been found with this identifier. Also among its advantages, it can be mentioned that the animal’s current vaccination is registered in the system, as well as whether it has been neutered, so this can also be easily found out. Actually, thanks to modern technology, various comments can even be entered into the system. For example, if the animal is dangerous, it can be indicated here, which can be useful in approaching the animal. Moreover, if, for example, animal cruelty is suspected, it is possible to trace who the previous owners were.

Mandatory for dogs, not for cats

While it is mandatory for dogs to have a microchip implanted, it is only recommended for cats, even though it would be at least as important for them as it is for cats. After all, cats like to roam, so it often happens that they take in a kitten from the street who has an owner. If the chip solution were common among them, then such a problem would not occur. In the event of an accident, the cats could also be identified, so, for example, the veterinarian could immediately notify the owner by phone and treatment could begin. Furthermore, in the context of a possible neutering program or herd control, it would become visible whether the animal needs to be operated on or whether the intervention has already taken place. Hopefully, sooner or later, more emphasis will be placed on identifying cats, and this process will be made mandatory. After all, more cats could find homes if this little surgery were performed on them.

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