Identifying your Cat – Collar or Micro-Chip, Which is Best?

If your kitty stays inside they are protected by the safety of the indoors, but a cat’s natural curiosity makes them great escape artists.  An open door or window may prove too much of a temptation and before you know it kitty is outside.  Have you taken precautions that will help protect a cat who chooses to escape and visit the outdoors? Two forms of ID you may want to consider: Collar or Micro-Chip. But which is best?

Why wear a collar?

  • Identification is essential in the event that they are separated from their home.  Collars with an identification tag can help with their safe return.
  • The jingling of the tag and/or bell attached to the collar will prevent kitty from being able to sneak up on and catch birds and mice.  The sound from the collar can also help to locate a cat who likes to hide.
  • They can be a cute fashion accessory

When deciding on whether or not to get a collar for your cat consider the following:

  • Collars can be a choking hazard.  Make sure the collar is equipped with an easy trip latch or has an elastic insert that will allow the collar to stretch over cat’s head.
  • Many cats don’t like the feel of a collar and will attempt to remove it, not a difficult task for a cleaver kitty. Once the collar is off their identification is gone as well. Cat’s are more likely to accept wearing a collar if they begin wearing one at a young age.
  • Wearing a collar every day will cause matting of the fur of long-haired cats.

An alternative form of identification that is both safe and effective is the micro-chip.  Micro-chips are small devices (about the size of a grain of rice) that are surgically embedded in the shoulder area of your cat in a quick and painless procedure that is performed in a veterinarian’s office.  This tiny device holds identifying information including family name, address, and phone number that is revealed when scanned.

Why micro-chip?

  • Once inserted, your cat will always have their identification.
  • The device cannot be lost or removed by kitty.
  • Provides security for the lifetime of your cat.

Although highly effective for helping with the safe return of your lost kitty, some fear that inserting a foreign object into your cat’s body and may result in future health issues.

Only you can decide what is best for your cat.  Or, if kitty refuses to wear a collar, they may decide what is best for them!  Either way, proper identification can be the difference between a kitty either lost or found.


4 thoughts on “Identifying your Cat – Collar or Micro-Chip, Which is Best?

  1. I would use both if I had a cat. Collars tell anyone that the cat is a pet and not a stray, but at the same time they can be dangerous (I’ve heard of dogs who got their collars caught on things and get choked to death) and also collars can get lost. A microchip only works if people bother to bring the cat to be scanned to identify the owner. Then again, a cat without a collar in my country will only be another stray cat.

  2. Very nice post! I’ve seen collars rub the fur off of a cat’s neck before, but not so much that is was harmful or anything. I have microchipped many, many cats and have never seen one cause a problem. Only one time did we see a microchip come out of a cat on its own. The owner brought it in cause she could feel it under the skin. My boss, the vet squeezed it a little and it popped out. That’s an extremely rare thing though.

    • I have never seen or heard of a problem with a micro-chip and that is the first time I ever heard of one not staying in! However, I have seen cats who refuse to wear a collar and, when ever one is put on, paw at it until it is off…every time.

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