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C2005-03

Dear Christopher Cat

Two of our cats try to run away whenever the door is open, so we are thinking about having them microchipped. Are microchips safe?

Christopher Responds

Yes. I am chipped, and I highly recommend the procedure.
Millions of cats – and millions more dogs and other animals – have been permanently identified with microchips over the past twenty years without ill effects.

Microchips are coated with a biologically inert material, so they pose no problem.

Moreover, no anesthesia is required, because the tiny, rice-sized chip is injected through a hypodermic needle, under the skin between the shoulder blades.

The chip has no internal power, but instead emits a signal when activated by a scanner. The scanner displays the chip’s unique number, which identifies the animal.

Escaping from the house without identification poses an enormous risk, however. Sometimes I sneak outside by darting between the dogs’ legs when Mom lets them out.

I feel secure knowing that if I ever need it, I’ve got permanent identification. That microchip is the cheapest insurance Mom ever bought.

An added benefit is that the microchip number can be used for a dog’s lifetime license in Pennsylvania.

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