Cat ID Tags Can Be Lifesavers

Cat identification tags are a necessity for all cats.

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More than one million pets are lost or stolen each year in the United States and one in three pets will get lost during their lifetimes, according to data from the California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA). Also, without pet identification, 90 percent don’t get home.

The California Veterinary Medical Association emphasizes cat identification (ID) tags as lifesavers for pets.

“Unfortunately, many stories of lost or stolen pets don't end happily unless there is a simple way of identifying a pet. The CVMA recommends that animals wear collars and tags and have microchips as a means of permanent identification,” CVMA President Ron Faoro, DVM, said.

Identification tags should include:

  • Cat’s name
  • Owner’s name and address
  • Telephone numbers (day and evening)
  • Medical history
  • Veterinarian's name and number
  • Current rabies vaccination and licensing information

Pet supply catalogs and stores, veterinary offices and animal shelters often have forms to order cat ID tags.

Owners can speak to their veterinarians about microchipping, which involves implanting a tiny electronic capsule under the cat or kitten’s skin. However, a microchip cannot be seen, so the average person may be unaware it is there. Also, not all scanners recognize all microchips.

The CVMA recommends both collar tags and microchips for pets. Tattooing is a third alternative, which is not considered as effective because it can fade and change as a young cat grows.

In addition to cat ID tags and microchips, the CVMA offers these tips to ensure your pet is kept safe:

When filling out lost reports or crafting a newspaper ad, flyer or poster, remember to include the following:

  • Photo of your cat
  • Cat’s name
  • Cat’s breed
  • Cat’s sex
  • Cat’s color(s)
  • Additional information: when and where it was last seen; any medications it needs

Also, when your lost cat is returned, have your local veterinarian examine it thoroughly for injuries or signs of illness.

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Reader Comments

Donna    Austin, TX

6/21/2008 9:43:11 AM

Very good information. Thank you.

E.J.    Jacksonville, FL

6/19/2008 5:27:23 PM

I believe micro chipping is the best form of ID for a pet. I admit it is expensive especially if you own as many as we do (10). We love our babies plus have investested money in purebreds.

jmuhj    Glendale, CA

6/19/2008 2:57:38 PM

A good ID tag with the vital information on a high-quality breakaway (safety catch) collar is a MUST for all cats, including indoors-only cats like mine. Everyone who truly loves cats knows this. Please, do this for your cats' sake and your peace of mind. The life you save may be the one you love.

Heather    Indian Trail, NC

6/5/2008 6:41:06 AM

Responding to Vicki Hi, I just wanted to comment to your question. I have two cats and one dog. I use Frontline Plus with my cats and it does great. My dog on the other hand pulls out his hair near his tail. I have put Advantix on him and I am going to change to Frontline Plus when I run out. The vet says he's allergic to flea bites. I have heard that the #1 thing cats and dogs are allergic to is flea bites. He is on meds for his itching. I have had my professional bug guys to spray the yard to help. Your cat is probably allergic to fleas too. I hope that your cat isn't allergic to Frontline. Maybe use a flea comb to see if you can pull off any fleas. If your cat is pulling out his hair it's pretty serious and you might want to visit your vet to see what they recommend. Good luck!

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