Microchip or GPS tracker: how can you find your cat?
Contrary to popular belief, the microchip does usually not suffice as a search tool if your cat suddenly disappears. Don't get us wrong: The registration of chipped cats is the proper and important thing to do - the registration of the unique identification number makes sure the owner data is registered and hence also contributes significantly to preventing abuse in terms of breeding, trading, and keeping cats. Our own cats are all chipped and registered.
The microchip as a pet identification can help find the cat owner. However, the implanted identification number is not visible to the eye and requires a special reader device. Animal shelters, police, and vets usually have such chip scanners and can use them to find the owner of a runaway (or abandoned) cat. However, this requires the cat to be brought there by a finder. This may take days or weeks, or it may not happen at all. And in the meantime, you go through excruciating days or weeks with sleepless nights full of worry.
Even if you think your cat only roams around close to your home, it can go missing in the immediate surroundings. Most cats come back home on their own after a certain amount of time, but not all can free themselves from an unfortunate situation, e.g. if they are unintentionally locked up in a basement or caught in a wildlife trap.
A GPS device, on the other hand, can locate the cat. The tracker not only locates the missing pet but also displays the cat's trail in the app. The activity data let you know whether the cat visits the neighbor on a regular basis or has other, more distant favorite spots. And as soon as the cat leaves or enters the defined home or danger zone, the cat owner receives a notification on his mobile phone.
So do you need a microchip or a GPS tracker?
The microchip can help identify the missing cat or its owner. However, if your cat is not dropped off at an animal shelter or some other pet facility, you will not be able to locate it yourself. The microchip offers a certain level of security, but you have no way of finding your cat quickly and easily on your own.
With the GPS collar, you can use the search mode to look for your cat immediately. The GPS function is used to locate the cat - and to monitor its territorial behavior based on its activity data.
The two systems, therefore, don't exclude but rather complement each other.
What to do if your cat goes missing?
- First of all: Don't panic and don't lose hope, because cats can sometimes disappear for a few days. Make sure to start searching immediately!
- Make sure your current contact information is saved in the microchip registry.
- Ask your neighbors to check out their basements, garages, and garden sheds. Cats sometimes slip unnoticed through open windows or doors and are accidentally locked in.
- Post a missing report on platforms for missing animals. Put up search posters with a cat photo and your contact details. Consider placing advertisements in local newspapers and on radio stations.
- Check with the police, veterinarians, animal shelters, and animal carcass collection points.
- Hopefully, your cat will soon return home safe and sound. And in case you haven't got one yet: now might be the right moment to get a GPS tracker so you can locate your cat next time it goes missing.