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Martin Lewis sends out urgent warning for cat-owners to avoid £500 fine | Personal Finance | Finance

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Martin Lewis has issued a warning to cat-owners to get their beloved pets microchipped to avoid a hefty fine.

Mr Lewis said: “From Monday June 10, by law, in England (doesn’t apply to rest of UK) all cats aged 20+ weeks must be microchipped and registered on a database (it became law for dogs in 2016). Yet over 20 percent aren’t yet.”

Those that fail to comply with this new rule face a weighty £500 fine.

Figures from the vet charity PSDA suggest that there are more than two million unchipped cats in the UK at the moment, meaning millions of owners are at risk of facing this penalty.

But what is chipping, where can it be done, are there any risks involved and how much does it cost? Pooch & Mutt’s resident vet Dr Linda has offered some advice and clarity to cat owners who need to complete the process before June 10.

Microchipping means inserting a small chip under the skin, usually between the shoulder blades. It’s about the size of a grain of rice.

It contains a unique number, and when scanned, the number shows up on a microchip reader. This number can be looked up in a database, so the cat’s owner can be found. Contrary to public belief this chip does not allow you to track your cat’s whereabouts.

Chipping is generally done in a vet clinic and only costs about £15-25, significantly less than the fine will cost cat owners that fail to get their feline friend chipped.

Dr Linda says that the operation itself is uncomfortable but won’t cause much pain and “usually equates it to getting an ear piercing”.

There’s a very small risk of infection, but the majority experience no side effects

Dr Linda said: “As well as microchipping to avoid getting fined, you should microchip to ensure your cat can be easily returned to you if they ever go missing or get stolen.

“Microchipping also means if your cat is injured and brought to a clinic, you can be called and given the green light for the vet to provide treatment right away.

 

“Sadly, many un-chipped cats go missing every year and are never reunited with their original owners due to a lack of microchip.”



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