Cat owners have just under three months to make sure their pets are microchipped or face a fine of £500.

It was announced in March last year that under new government law, all pet cats would need to be microchipped by the summer of 2024.

The new rule follows microchipping for dogs which has been compulsory in England, Scotland and Wales since April 2016.

Mayhew Animal Home who campaigned for the change explained: “There are over 11 million pet cats in England, with at least 2.3 million without a microchip (GOV.UK) meaning that it would be very difficult to reunite them with their owner if they become lost or stolen.

“In 2021, we and other animal welfare charities collectively campaigned for a change in the law so that cats are required to be microchipped - this has been compulsory for dogs since 2016.”

Do cats legally have to be microchipped?

From June 10 in England, it will be a legal requirement for cats to be microchipped and registered on a database by the time they reach 20 weeks of age.

Owners found not to have microchipped their cat will have 21 days to have one implanted, or may face a fine of up to £500,

Mayhew Animal Home says the new legislation applies to indoor cats too.

The charity added: “Indoor cats can escape through open windows and doors that have been left open by mistake, especially in warm and hot weather.

News and Star: Is your cat microchipped?Is your cat microchipped? (Image: Getty)

“Unneutered males and female cats who are in season which are kept indoors can sometimes be very keen to escape to find a mate.

“When an indoor cat escapes, they are at higher risk of becoming lost as they would be in unfamiliar surroundings.”

How much should it cost to microchip a cat?

Microchipping is usually carried out by vets, vet nurses and people who have been specially trained.

Mayhew Animal Home commented: “Getting your pet microchipped is a fairly quick and simple procedure. Vets will usually charge between £10 and £30 to do this.”

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When the legislation was announced in 2023, chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss said: “I am pleased that we are progressing with our requirement for all cats to be microchipped.

“Microchipping is by far the most effective and quickest way of identifying lost pets. As we’ve seen with dog microchipping, those who are microchipped are more than twice as likely to be reunited with their owner.

“By getting their cat microchipped, owners can increase the likelihood that they will be reunited with their beloved pet in the event of it going missing.”