A VETERINARY veterinary practice is urging owners to have their cats microchipped to avoid losing their pet or attracting a hefty fine.

From June 10, it will be compulsory to have all cats over 20 weeks microchipped, to make it easier for lost or stray pets to be reunited with their owners.

Under the new Microchipping of Cats and Dogs (England) Regulations 2023, owners found not to have microchipped their cat will have 21 days to have one implanted or face a fine of up to £500.

With the deadline looming, Isle Valley Vets, in Stoke-sub-Hamdon, is running a special offer during April by reducing the cost of cat microchipping to £16.

Owners must also ensure their cat’s microchip number is registered on a Government-approved pet microchip database and their contact details are stored and kept up-to-date.

According to Cats Protection, there are more than 10 million pet cats in England, with as many as 2.3 million unchipped, making it difficult to reunite them with their owner if they get lost or stolen.

The simple procedure involves inserting a small chip with a unique serial number under your cat’s skin.

This number can be read by a scanner and checked against a microchip database to help reunite lost, injured or stolen pets with their registered keeper.

Emma Hugill, Isle Valley Vets’ practice manager, said: “Cats are much-loved members of our families and making sure that they’re microchipped is the best possible way to be reunited with them if they are ever lost, injured or stolen.

“Losing a cat can be so distressing but, if they are chipped, then there is a better chance their owner can be traced, as long as they have kept their contact details up to date on an approved database.

"Owners who bring cats and kittens to us for microchipping can be assured we will only use a Government-approved database when registering their pet.

“Microchips are safe, easy to implant and effective.

"Unlike collars and ID tags, they don’t come off and they don’t put your cat at risk of injury.

"The easiest time to do this is when cats come in for neutering at 20 weeks, at the same time as they are anaesthetised, so we would encourage owners to discuss both options with their vet.”