Peterborough Cats Protection calls for compulsory pet microchipping - as owners face a £500 fine under new law

The Peterborough and District Cats Protection charity is campaigning for the compulsory microchipping of cats - and a recent Government consultation shows 99 per cent of people agree

By Adam Barker
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 5:55 pm

The branch coordinator of Peterborough and District Cats Protection has called for pet cats to be microchipped - as owners now face a £500 fine if they refuse to under new laws.Sheridan Gaunt, from Peterborough, is the branch coordinator for Peterborough & District Cats Protection. She joined the charity ten years ago and has been voluntarily running the branch for the last two years.

“Since 2016 it has been a requirement for dogs to be microchipped across the UK but not pet cats,” she said. “Addressing this inequity by bringing in compulsory microchipping of pet cats has been a priority campaign for Cats Protection for a number of years now.

“Nine out of ten cats coming into our branch are not microchipped. While we cross reference the cat in our care with lost pet sites, and use our social media pages to try to locate the owners, it is simply not possible to reunite every cat, resulting in the cat being rehomed to a new home.

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Owners of cats must have their pets microchipped or face a £500 fine (image: Getty)

On 22 March, the Government announced compulsory cat microchipping to help reunite lost and stray pets with their owners.

Owners are required to make sure their pet is microchipped before they reach the age of 20 weeks, with the law due to come into force in England in 2023.

An eight-week consultation will seek views on improvements to the pet microchipping database system.

She added: “The strain on rescue to help every cat reported is enormous in these busy months and we will end up with a growing waiting list of cats to come into our branch.

“The general public may feel that the £500 fine is unfair - then perhaps a suggestion would be to not have that cup of coffee and a cake, takeaway or small luxury and invest it in microchipping your feline friend.

“There is nothing nicer than a happy ending and seeing a lost cat reunited with it's owner.”

Results of a recent Government consultation showed 99 per cent of people supported a proposal to introduce compulsory cat microchipping.

Mrs Gaunt and Cats Protection champion both the microchipping and neutering of pet cats - and offer financial assistance to support people on low incomes with the expense of chipping and neutering their pets.

“It is so important to microchip your pet cat and it is a simple and quick procedure,” she said.

“The perfect time for a pet owner to get their cat microchipped is when they have their cat neutered.

She said it’s important to neuter your pet cat at around 16 weeks of age.

“This is when a cat becomes sexually active. Yes, vets do charge for implanting the microchip and prices can range from between £15-£30, but we do offer financial assistance and urge people to ask for help with this.

“If your pet cat is already neutered, then it really is a very quick and simple procedure for a vet to microchip your cat. It is by far the most effective way of identifying lost cats, identifying an injured cat or if in the sad event of a car being hit and killed by a car.

“Checking for a microchip takes seconds.”