When dog microchipping became a legal requirement in England and Wales in April 2016, calls to extend the law to other pets were rejected. However, compulsory microchipping is now back on the political agenda.
From October 2020 it will be mandatory for all owners to microchip their horses, ponies and donkeys and register their details on a centralised database . The government launched a consultation in October 2019 on whether every owned cat should be chipped with keeper details and added to approved databases.
The charity Cats Protection insists that making microchipping compulsory for all owned cats is an “essential part of responsible pet ownership”. In theory, this is a great way of bringing missing and stolen cats home – but what will it really mean for cats and their owners?