Sadly many cats go missing each year because they escape from open doors, wiggle out of leashes, or get out of a carrier. A cat needs to wear a proper ID tag on the collar or have other methods of identification if the pet owner is to see the cat again. Cat identification is the best way to know that if lost, you can be returned to you. The sad statistic is that of the many cats that end up lost or in cat shelters each year, only 2% ever find their way back to their owners.
The first line of defense a lost cat can have is to have two forms of identification on him. An ID tag on the collar is one form of cat identification The ID tag should have the owner's current phone number and address. A collar and ID identifies the cat as a domestic cat and not a stray or feral cat. Breakaway collars are best for cats because they jump and climb and can be caught on a branch or other structure. You will want the collar to be able to break apart rather than have the cat be choked - though this occurring is very rare. It is better to have any kind of collar than no collar at all. A properly fitting collar will allow two fingers to be slipped under it. The collar on a kitten will need to be checked and adjusted as the kitten grows or puts on weight.
You can place your phone number directly on the collar by embroidering it there or by writing it on with permanent black marker. You can also purchase a tag from a vet's office or a pet store that will allow you to engrave your pet's name, your phone number and address on the tag. You then fasten the ID tag to your cat's collar.
An alternative to the collar is a harness. Collars and harness come in all styles and types of materials. The negatives of a collar besides the cat slipping out of it is that some cats do not tolerate them well and even some can be allergic to the material that the collar is made from. Collars can also cause matting of hair if the cat is longhaired.
A permanent form of identification can be used such as a microchip. A microchip is injected under the skin of your cat by your vet. The shelter or a vet can wand your cat if it gets lost and if you have placed a microchip in the cat, it will be detected by the wand and your contact information will be seen. Cats are known for slipping out of the collar so this type of permanent identification is a better way of getting your lost cat back.
Some cat owners are turning to tattooing especially if they belong to a pet registry. Tattooing is when the inner leg of the cat is shaved and a tattoo placed there (usually a number). If the cat is lost and has a tattoo, the person finding the cat will have to see the tattoo and know what it is and what registry number to call in order to be told the contact information. A trained specialist or a vet must do the tattooing. Tattooing only takes a few moments to do is fairly permanent, and tattoo registries don't usually move. Tattoos can fade over time and become illegible. Getting a tattoo requires the use of anesthesia, which some cats do not tolerate well.
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Jason Burton is an expert on cat care and has had a lifelong love for all animals. To learn more about proper cat care and tips on how to best care for your cat visit [http://www.bestcatbook.com/].