Microchips have been a somewhat controversial device at times, and some people are still against the idea of microchipping their pets, but most owners now are keen to get their cats microchipped to increase the chances of them being returned if they get lost.
If you have been considering this procedure, you might be wondering, can you feel a microchip in a cat?
Microchips are a very useful piece of technology that helps to ensure a cat can be reunited with its owner if it is lost, and these are being increasingly adopted all over the world, as pet owners take all the options available to reduce the risk of losing their cat.
Getting a pet microchipped is a very simple procedure, and it is also a fairly cheap option that should last longer and be far more reliable than a collar. Cats often lose their collars, and this is a very good way to increase the chances of being reunited with a lost pet.
However, you might feel a little uncomfortable about the idea of putting something electronic into your cat’s body, and curious about whether you will be able to feel this once it is in place. It’s a good idea to talk to the vet if you have any concerns, but microchips are harmless and very small.
Can You Feel A Microchip In A Cat?
Often, you can feel a microchip in a cat if you know what to feel for and where to put your hand; microchips are like long grains of rice, so they are small, but still can be felt.
They are positioned just under the skin, usually between the cat’s shoulder blades, and they are hard because the chip is contained inside a solid capsule. If you put your hand in the right place, you should be able to feel a microchip in most cases.
You won’t always be able to feel a chip, however, because they are small and may move around a bit inside the cat’s body.
In some cases, chips can even slip down to the cat’s torso and legs, or may migrate backward from the shoulder blades a bit. If this happens, you probably won’t be able to feel it, unless you happen to locate it by chance with your hand.
You shouldn’t be worried if you can’t feel your cat’s microchip, as often these are simply too small to reliably find with your hands anyway.
They weren’t designed to be located using your fingers, and even if you can do so, you won’t learn much except that the cat’s chip is still in place. You may want to occasionally check this, but it’s really better to check using a scanner if you are concerned that the chip may have moved.
How Can You Check If Your Cat Has A Microchip?
The best way to check if your cat has a microchip is to ask a vet to scan for it when you take your cat for its checkup.
This is something that should be done annually, just in case the chip moves or develops a fault; you will then know that you need to do something to resolve the issue.
When you take your cat in for boosters, for checkups, or for anything else, always ask your vet to just check the chip is working correctly using their scanner.
This should take a matter of seconds, as the vet only needs to hold the scanner above the cat’s shoulders for a few moments, and the chip should register.
They can then check that the information is up to date and reading correctly, giving you peace of mind. Most vets will check microchips for free, so if you have found a stray cat, it is worth asking a vet to check it for a chip so the cat can be reunited with its owners if it has them.
Although you can check for a chip by physically feeling for one, this will not tell you if the chip has developed a fault, and it is not a reliable way to find a chip if it has moved. When in doubt, it’s much better to get a vet or a cat sanctuary to scan for a chip.
Can Cats Feel If They Have A Microchip In Them?
No, cats cannot feel if they have a microchip in them, because the chip is very small and is placed in an area with lots of loose skin to prevent any discomfort or friction from being caused.
The tissue in this area holds the chip in place (most of the time) and does not feel odd to the cat. Very few cats will even notice being microchipped, since the chip is so small and the insertion process so quick.
Some people worry that the microchip will bother their cat, but it should not do so, and thousands of cats have been successfully chipped without any issues arising.
The cat should be able to move around, jump, wash, and twist its body as normal without the chip causing any discomfort or irritation, and cats do not know that the chip is there.
The insertion process is also pretty pain free, because a beveled needle is used to slip the chip below the skin, and the cat should not feel much at all.
There is no need for stitches, gauze, or pain relief when a cat has been microchipped, and it is an extremely quick procedure that will keep your pet safe.
So, the answer to the question “can you feel a microchip in a cat?” is that you usually can if you run your hand along the cat’s back and between its shoulder blades. In some cases, however, a chip will migrate and may slip down the cat’s legs, onto its torso, or even to the sides of its body, and that’s why it’s a good idea to have a vet regularly scan your cat’s microchip and check that it is working and correctly positioned. A chip that has moved should still work fine, but make sure that it can be read with a scanner, or it is no longer serving any purpose.