Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Microchip implantation

Synonym(s): Chipping, Microchipping

Contributor(s): Carol Jones


  • Microchipping involves the implantation of a tiny microchip under the animal's skin. Using special scanning equipment, the microchip's unique serial number can be read. Serial numbers are recorded on a central computer database, together with the name and address of the animal's owner.
  • Scanning equipment is used routinely by rescue kennels, dog wardens, and by cruelty and welfare organizations.
  • Should a microchipped animal become lost or stolen, there is a good chance that the animal will be scanned and the true owner identified from the central database.
  • Any animal traveling to and from the UK as part of the DEFRA Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) Pet travel scheme must have an implanted microchip prior to rabies vaccination.
  • In the UK, over 95% of microchipped companion animals are fitted with an Identichip from Animalcare. The data in this technique relate to this company and their products, which conform to FECAVA standards.
  • In the US, AVID and Home Again are major players in this market.
    Print off the Owner factsheet on microchipping  Permanent identification of your cat to give to your client.


  • Animal identification.
  • Temperature taking (Bio-Thermo" chips).
  • Access to housing and food (cat flaps and feeding stations using RFID technology).


  • Permanent technique.
  • Registration details can be changed if owner details change.


  • Possible migration of microchip: unlikely to be harmful but microchip may fail to be located.
  • Not all scanners read all brands of microchips (common in the United States where non-ISO standard microchips are more widespread).
  • Temperature measurement on Bio-Thermo" chips are not 100% reliable with suspected hypo/hyperthermia or pyrexia.
  • May create imaging artifact on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of cervical spine.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Hicks D, Bagley R (2008) Imaging diagnosis - spinal injury following aberrant microchip placement. Vet Radiol Ultra 49 (2), 152-153 PubMed.
  • Greer R J, Cohn L A, Dodam J R et al (2007) Comparison of three methods of temperature measurement in hypothermic, euthermic, and hyperthermic dogs. JAVMA 230 (12), 1841-1848 PubMed.
  • Platt S, Wieczorek L, Dennis R et al (2007) Spinal cord injury resulting from incorrect microchip placement in a cat. J Feline Med Surg (2), 157-160 PubMed.
  • Vascellari M, Melchiotti E & Mutinelli F (2006) Fibrosarcoma with typical features of postinjection sarcoma at site of microchip implant in a dog: histologic and immunohistochemical study. Vet Pathol 43 (4), 545-548 PubMed.
  • Jansen J A, van der Waerden J P, Gwalter R H et al (1999) Biological and migrational characteristics of transponders implanted into beagle dogs. Vet Rec 145 (12), 329-333 PubMed.
  • Butcher R (1997) The new ISO standard. Which microchip should I use? JSAP 38 (8), 369-370 PubMed.
  • Ingwersen W (1996) Everything you ever wanted to know about microchips. Can Vet J 37 (11), 667-671 PubMed.
  • Burk R L, Eich D W (1995) Migrating microchip. JAVMA 206 (12), 1838 PubMed.
  • Mrozek M, Fischer R, Trendelenburg M et al (1995) Microchip implant system used for animal identification in laboratory rabbits, guineapigs, woodchucks and amphibians. Lab Anim 29 (3), 339-344 PubMed.
  • Sorensen M A, Buss M S, Tyler J W (1995) Accuracy of microchip identification in dogs and cats. JAVMA 207 (6), 766-767 PubMed.
  • Ball D J, Argentieri G, Krause R et al (1991) Evaluation of a microchip implant system used for animal identification in rats. Lab Anim Sci 41 (2), 185-186 PubMed.

Other sources of information


  • Animalcare Limited, Common Road, Dunnington, York YO1 5RU, UK. Tel: 01904 488661.