Unidentified cat: what is the risk?


You have a cat but it has neither a chip nor a tattoo. In other words, it is not identified. Should this be remedied? Is it compulsory to identify an animal? The answer is yes. All cats born after 1er January 2012 are concerned. What are the different ways to identify your cat? What are we risking? Here are all of our answers.

Identification of a cat: what does the law say?

France has around 15 million domestic cats, compared to 8 million dogs. Because there are too many abandonments in France, the regulations require that cats born after January 1, 2012 be identified. Whether by microchip or tattooing, the process makes it possible to empower teachers. Failure to identify a pet, and therefore a cat, is penalized. Cat owners risk a traffic ticket of 4e class. The amount of the fine is 750 €.

Why identify your cat?

Identifying a cat is required. For this reason, you must ensure that the identification is done on time. Know that in addition to not running the risk of paying a fine of 750 €, identifying a cat makes it possible to travel and more easily find his companion if he is lost.

Traveling with your cat

If you are traveling within the European Union, and want to take your cat, then he must have a microchip. This obligation also applies in certain countries outside the EU. In addition to identification, owners who travel with their cat must bring the papers certifying the identification and the health record of their animal. Remember that cats must be up to date with their vaccines.

Before leaving with your felon, find out about the conditions and regulations in force in the country you are going to.

Find a lost or stolen cat

If you lose your cat, identification can help you find it. Searches are facilitated and in 80% to 90% of cases, the animal is found. If you have a purebred cat, identification is essential because thefts are not uncommon.

If your cat is not identified and gets lost, he will be brought to the pound. According to the request of the municipal services of the city in which it was found:

  • the animal can be sterilized and offered for adoption,
  • the animal can be euthanized. This alternative is preferred when the headlands are full, that is to say during the summer.

Vigilance is therefore essential. It would be a shame if your pet was euthanized because it was not identified.

Cat identification: the solutions

Tattoo a cat

The cat tattoo can be done as early as 6 months. It is performed at the level of the right ear. More rarely, the tattoo is done on the inside of the thigh. This location is especially chosen for dogs. Because the animal must be anesthetized, it is not uncommon for veterinarians to suggest tattooing when the animal is sterilized. If your vet doesn’t suggest it, don’t hesitate to ask. The tattoo consists of a series of letters and numbers.

Opt for the electronic chip

The electronic chip is today the preferred method of identification. The advantage of this identification is that it is not erased. The chip is the size of a grain of rice, it is placed in the cat’s neck, most often on the left side. The code consists of 15 digits. To read it, you need a special reader. The veterinarians, the pounds and the SPA have this equipment.

Know that fleas have evolved. They are small and efficient. Some models even allow to know the body temperature of the cat.

Identification is tracing

Electronic chip, tattoo, whatever your choice, you must know that your cat is associated with a unique number but also with your contact details. This is why, in the event of a change, you must take the time to enter your new address or new telephone number. It is even possible to give your temporary address if necessary, especially if you are on vacation.

This tracing is also essential if you give your cat. For example, if the cat was owned by one of your children and they leave the nest, you can name the cat. To do this, simply go to the veterinarian or update your contact details on the site www.i-cad.fr.

At what age can you identify your animal?

The age of identification of a pet is also regulated. It is imperative to proceed with the tattoo or the installation of an electronic chip before the 7 months of a cat. For dogs, identification is done earlier, before 4 months.

If you have any questions about identifying your cat, please do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian. This professional will inform you about the preferred method but also the ideal period to carry it out.