Catster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How Do I Find a Lost Cat with a Microchip? Useful Tips & FAQ

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on April 4, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Beautiful well-groomed cat is lost_IRINA ORLOVA_Shutterstock

How Do I Find a Lost Cat with a Microchip? Useful Tips & FAQ

Losing your cat is a situation no one wants to go through. You might have lived with the cat for years, and losing them can affect you emotionally. Since cats are territorial, their disappearance could mean that they are trapped, injured, or even deceased in their territory.

There are also chances that your cat may have been moved out of your area. Regardless of the reason, the most important thing is to know how to track them and get them back.

Many pet owners have their cats or dogs microchipped. With a microchip, it’s easy for the person who finds the cat to contact the owner. Before looking at how you can find a cat with a microchip, let’s look at how a microchip in a cat works.

divider-catclaw1 How Microchipping Works In Your Cat

A cat microchip is a permanent ID tag implanted under your pet’s skin. Implanting the microchip is painless, and there is no need to fear for your lovely cat. A unique ID number is given to your cat to give it an official status. This also certifies that the cat you possess is indeed yours.

If there is a dispute or someone wants to adopt your cat without your consent, it cannot happen. The identification number also helps to find your details if your cat gets lost. When your cat is found, the animal wardens or vets identify the cat and read the details in the microchip. From there, they contact you that your cat has been found. So, if your cat is microchipped, it will be easy to find them.

Microchip implant for cat
Image Credit: Ivonne Wierink, Shutterstock

3 cat face divider

How to Locate Your Cat with a Microchip

It is easy to locate your cat if they have a microchip, regardless of location. You need to ascertain without a doubt that the cat is yours by having the unique ID number of your cat’s microchip. Also, ensure you have updated your contact details to match those in the cat’s microchip. This is necessary because the details are used to contact you when your cat is found.

There are two ways you can locate your cat with a microchip. One is finding the cat with the microchip, while the other is implanting a microchip and registering your cat. Let’s look at the two methods in detail.

Finding the Cat with Its Microchip

  • Enter Your Cat’s Chip Serial Number: Enter your cat’s microchip identification number into the chip registry, and ensure that your cat’s microchip is listed. The chip manufacturer can have a registry, or you can register in the universal registry. There are different universal tracking sites that you can use, but make sure you select the best. If you lose the number, you can call the cat clinic that implanted the chip to find out if they have the record.
  • Wait for a Call: After your cat’s microchip is scanned, you can wait for a call. It may be hard to wait when you have lost your lovely pet, but the scanning must be completed for your cat to be located. If your cat is found and taken to a shelter or a vet, they scan them to find out if they have a chip. They will check the contact details and contact you. It is essential to find out whether the cat had a microchip before you bought them. This is necessary because most shelters install microchips on all pets. If your cat gets lost, contact the shelter because if they have a chip, they will be contacted when the cat gets found. Let them understand that you want the cat back and keep checking with them to find out if they have been found.
cat microchip getting scanned at vet
Image Credit: Lucky Business, Shutterstock

Installing Microchip and Registering Your Cat

  • Insert Cat’s Microchip: Consult your vet to install a microchip during the routine office visit. It’s easy to insert using a needle, and no anesthesia is required. Depending on your cat’s health and other factors, your vet can decide whether it is right to insert the chip into your cat or not. The chip is inserted between your cat’s shoulder blades. It should also be implanted where a scanner can detect it.
  • Get an Activation ID: After insertion, your vet gives you an ID to allow you to register the chip. The vet should provide you with the activation code. You also get a phone number to call to complete the registration. You can always ask your vet if you forget any of the information provided. Never leave your vet’s office before getting the ID since it is the most crucial information needed when your cat gets lost.
  • Register the Microchip: Your chip will never help until you register it. If you don’t complete the registration, no details will appear when the microchip is scanned. Some of the information needed during the registration includes contact information, the microchip number, and pet details, such as color, age, breed, and gender. Note that you should register your cat’s chip with the microchip manufacturer. You can do the registration online. Some registries also require you to give your cat’s health details, such as surgeries and vaccinations.
  • Update Your Contact Details: The microchip will only work if your contact details are updated. Otherwise, shelters or vets will have no way to locate you when your cat is found. To modify the details, you should contact the chip manufacturer and give them the new details. Provide them with your chip ID and details that need to be changed. You should only update the details if your contact details change or the cat changes ownership. You can do the update online.

yarn ball divider

Things to Remember

You cannot track a cat with its microchip because it doesn’t work as a GPS tracker. The purpose of microchips is to give immediate identification of your cat. Although the chips cannot be used to track your cat, they can help someone identify the pet.

Even if the cat is an indoor pet, a microchip is still a good idea if the cat decides to escape.

How to Prevent Your Cat from Getting Lost

Losing a cat can be such an awful experience. Even if you can locate the cat with a microchip, applying the best practices to prevent them from getting lost is also advisable. Here are a few tips to help.

  • Always keep the cat on a leash when taking a walk. Ensure they have identification tags.
  • Supervise the cat when outside.
  • Neuter or spay your cat to minimize the urge to escape.
  • Microchip your cat to increase the chances of finding them.


Locating a lost cat with a microchip is easy, but you only get them back when someone who can read the microchip finds them. However, it is necessary to ensure that your cat has a chip since it makes the process of finding them easy for you. As mentioned, the most crucial aspect is to ensure you provide the correct contact information to get notified when your lost cat is found.

Featured Image Credit: IRINA ORLOVA, Shutterstock

Get Catster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Catster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.