CFA Guidance Statement Microchipping as an Identification System for Cats

Unanimously endorsed by the CFA Board of Directors on February 4, 2007.

Even if a cat never goes outside there is need for individual identification in case of accidental escape, disaster, theft, pedigree match, absence of the owner or other occurrences. The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) considers microchipping to be the optimum identification method currently available for protecting pet cats when it is linked to a comprehensive system involving voluntary enrollment, safe and private data keeping, advanced scanning device technology and reliable recovery services.

Pet owners who chose microchipping are more likely to keep enrollment contact information up to date and provide a back-up collar and tag or other visual means indicating their cat has been microchipped. A national or global database is preferable to local government agencies keeping pet ownership data as long as this protects personal privacy and assures that a cat has the best chance for recovery anywhere even when traveling, transferred to a new owner or relocated with the family. CFA encourages the development and use of universal scanners capable of detecting all microchips regardless of manufacture along with conscientious scanning of all cats in every animal shelter. In addition, CFA supports broad distribution of scanners to shelters, veterinary clinics and rescue groups. Successful reuniting of cats with their owners greatly depends on a dedicated recovery service operating 24 hours 365 days a year, such as the American Kennel Club Companion Animal Recovery.

CFA considers laws mandating microchips as a means to track all animal owners for enforcement purposes to be a misuse of the technology. This is a deterrent to public acceptance and further advancement of microchip identification technology.

Joan Miller, January 4, 2007