Today was a big day for both Ripley and Mocha. It is the first time they got their annual booster shots. There was no way I was going to allow them outdoors without them first having their vaccinations. They also got microchipped.

Ripley and Mocha

Neither of my previous cats was microchipped, so I was curious about what was involved. The chips are bigger than I thought and cylindrical and they look to be between a 5 and 10 millimetres long. They’re actually injected into a cat using a large gauge needle. The injection point is between the shoulder blades. The chips are a couple of millimetres in diameter, so for a kitten, they’re pretty large. Both flinched during the injection process (not surprising). If people were injected with a scaled up version, I’m sure they’d baulk at the size of the hose needle required!

The chips can apparently migrate from the injection point. I heard this was possible from a friend of a friend whose dog was chipped. He developed a limp some time later and the cause was found to be his microchip which had migrated to his shoulder and was interfering with the shoulder joint. A spot of surgery fixed that issue.

The vet assured me that while the chips can move, they don’t pose a threat to an animal (for example they’re not going to migrate inwards and damage an internal organ and it’s very unusual for the chips to move into joints and cause movement problems.

When my previous cat, Fritz, was about a year old, he got lost. I only found him again because someone saw my “Lost Pet” notice in the local supermarket. And that was a week later. He’d traveled over a mile from home before someone took pity on a sodden, cold, bedraggled cat on a wet Winter’s night.

So I figure that having Ripley and Mocha chipped means that should they ever go missing, there’s a good chance that they’ll turn up somewhere they can be identified by their chips.


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