6-9 March 2025, The NEC Birmingham

Compulsory microchipping of cats

Back in 2016, the UK government introduced legislation making it compulsory for all dogs to be microchipped. That rule will soon apply to all cats in the UK too.  


Under the new legislation, which comes into effect on 10 June 2024, all cats over the age of 12 weeks of age need to be microchipped, and their details must be kept up to date on a relevant database. Those who are found not to have their cat microchipped and with correct details registered will have 21 days to comply, or they may be given a fine of up to £500.

Why is compulsory microchipping being introduced?

Compulsory microchipping for cats has been introduced to help tackle the problem of stray and feral cats. The new legislation will help to identify lost or abandoned cats, and it will also help to prevent the illegal cat trade. By making it easier to identify the cats’ owners, it’s hoped that more cats will be returned to their owners, and fewer will end up in animal shelters. 


The new rule is great news for pet owners and animal welfare advocates alike. To get an idea of the size of the problem, consider that England has over 9 million pet cats, and yet over 2 million of them are currently without microchips. That’s a lot of broken hearts if those cats ever go missing.

What is microchipping? 

Microchipping is a quick and painless procedure. It’s carried out by veterinarians or trained professionals and involves inserting a small chip under the cat's skin, which contains a unique code that can be read by a scanner. The owner of the cat then keeps their contact details up to date in a database, which means that if the cat is lost and later found, it can be easily identified and returned home.  

For more information about microchipping your pet, visit the Petlog website.