In the UK there is no legal obligation to include an ID tag on your cat’s collar, like there is for a dog, which we have written about here. However, we recommend cat ID tags for both indoor and outdoor cats so we are going to outline some of the benefits and what details you should and can include. If you are wondering why we recommend cat ID tags for indoor cats, please read our previous blog about whether indoor cats should wear collars and ID tags here.
If we were to choose one thing to include on a cat ID tag it would be a phone number as this will be the most useful bit of information to help reunite you with your furry friend if they were to get lost or go missing. Even better would be two numbers and make sure that whatever numbers you do include are easily reached, so a mobile number would be better than a landline in most cases. We included two mobile numbers on Noggins & Binkles’ ID tags, one for each human!
Your address is important too as it can also help to reunite you with your furry friend. If you let your cat outdoors (or an indoor cat manages to get outside) and they have an accident nearby, including your address could be the fastest way to get them back to you. It will also help neighbours to identify your cat so they know they have a home nearby. A cat collar and ID tag is also a good way of letting people know your cat isn’t a stray. You could either include just the street address and postcode or your full address, an example would be:
1 High Street
1 High Street
We love seeing cats names on our engraved ID tags, just because we love finding out their names, but if your cat responds to their name, you may choose not to include their name, especially if they go outdoors. This is because of cat theft and the thief may use their name to get their trust or to help sell them. The insurance company, Direct Line, revealed that 261 cats were reported stolen to the police in 2016, however, additional research in 2017 suggested that 361,000 cats had been stolen in a 12 month period, which is obviously much higher than the police figure. Whatever the actual figure is, including an ID tag on your cat’s collar should hopefully be a deterrent and there is additional information you can include to help discourage cat thieves.
If you choose not to include your cat’s name, you could include your family surname or even the full name of the owner, as this could be useful information if they are found and need to be reunited. For dog ID tags it is a legal requirement to include the name of the owner on the tag, however, there are currently no laws regarding cat ID tags in the UK.
Our luxury Engraved Cat ID Tag in Polished Brass
Including ‘I’m Microchipped’ or 'Chipped' if you are running out of space, could also be a good deterrent for cat thieves. If your cat is still wearing their ID tag with your correct and up to date phone number on, it’s probably not going to help much to reunite you with your furry friend, as the person will just call the number, but if for any reason the contact details on the ID tag aren’t correct or if the collar or tag has fallen off, the microchip could then be scanned if your cat is taken to a vet or animal rescue centre. The vet or animal rescue centre can then contact your microchip database, who should then be able to contact you. Most microchip databases will require you to submit the contact details of the owner plus an emergency and holiday contact, so even if your details aren’t right, there is still a good chance of them contacting you through your emergency or holiday contact. Both Noggins and Binkles have a microchip, which was a requirement for when we moved back to the UK with them, you can read about our long journey here, but we updated the contact details for their microchips as soon as we got back to the UK. As important as an ID tag is, your cat’s microchip is their backup ticket home if they get lost, provided they are taken to a vet or animal rescue centre for it to be scanned. It’s not currently a legal requirement for cats to be microchipped in the UK, although it is for dogs, but at the time of writing Cats Protection currently have a petition calling for compulsory microchipping of owned cats, which we think it a great idea.
If you own a breed cat, including ‘I’m neutered’ could be a good deterrent for cat thieves who are looking to breed cats to sell on.
Don’t Feed Me
If you have a friendly outdoor cat who likes to visit neighbours, including ‘don’t feed me’ could be a good thing to make sure they aren’t having extra dinner! Noggins and Binkles are both indoor London cats now, but we are pretty sure if they went outside, Binkles would definitely be making friends with the local neighbourhood ‘chefs’. Also if your cat has any allergies you could also include this to make sure they aren’t fed anything that could cause them problems.
If your cat requires regular medication you could also include this just in case they go missing and are found by someone else, this could encourage them to contact you immediately or take them to a vet. Also if your cat has any health issues that aren’t immediately obvious, such as being deaf, this could also be useful to include.
Indoor Cat, If I’m Out I’m Lost
If your cat is an indoor cat it might be worth including either just ‘Indoor Cat’ so people can come to the conclusion they shouldn’t be out, or if you have space on the tag you could also include ‘if I’m out I’m lost’ or ‘should not be outside, please contact my owner’ just to make it clear.
As we’ve already said, the phone number, or two is even better, is the most important information you can include on your cat’s ID tag. Noggins and Binkles are both indoor cats so we opted to have their names on the front of their tags and two mobile numbers on the back, but it’s really up to you to decide what information is best to include on your cat’s ID tag. We have our small luxury cat ID tags that can have up to two lines on each side, but if you want to include more of the information we mentioned, it might be worth looking at a larger tag, such as our luxury dog ID tags that can have up to three lines on each side and of course don’t forget to get your cat microchipped, as it’s such an important backup if your cat loses their ID tag!