All pet cats in England must be microchipped by June 10, 2024
New legislation in the United Kingdom was introduced this week to make microchipping all pet cats mandatory. This new legislation will begin on June 10, 2024, and those who do not comply will have to pay a fee of up to £500.
“Cats and kittens are treasured members of the family, and it can be devasting for owners when they are lost or stolen,” said Thérèse Coffey, environmental secretary, in a government release.1 “Legislating for compulsory microchipping of cats will give comfort to families by increasing the likelihood that lost or stray pets can be reunited with their owners.”
According to the release,1 the new rules state that any pet cat must be microchipped by the time the pet is 20 weeks old, and their owner’s contact details are stored and remain up to date in the microchipping database. Owners that do not have their cat chipped by June 10, 2023, will have 21 days to implant one or face paying a fee.
“I am pleased that we are progressing with our requirement for all cats to be microchipped. Microchipping is by far the most effective and quickest way of identifying lost pets. As we’ve seen with dog microchipping, those who are microchipped are more than twice as likely to be reunited with their owner. By getting their cat microchipped, owners can increase the likelihood that they will be reunited with their beloved pet in the event of it going missing,” expressed Christine Middlemiss, BVMS, MRCVS, chief veterinary officer for the UK, in the release.1
For already microchipped cats, owners are encouraged to ensure their contact information is up to date, and cats with little to no human contact, such as community, farm, and feral, are exempt from this legislation.
Treasured pets now safer as microchipping for cats becomes compulsory. News release. United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs. March 13, 2023. Accessed March 16, 2023. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/treasured-pets-now-safer-as-microchipping-for-cats-becomes-compulsory