Millie’s family had given up hope of ever seeing the missing moggie again and were overjoyed to find out that their much-loved 11-year-old family cat had been found safe and well not far from her former home.
Carers at the charity scanned Millie for a microchip after she was reported as a stray. Their initial relief at finding a chip with contact details took a dip when they realised that the address was out of date and Millie’s owners no longer lived there. All that could be done now was to send a letter to the listed address and hope the new occupant had forwarding details.
Anna Green, Deputy Manager at Cats Protection’s Haslemere Adoption Centre, said: “Amazingly, the letter found its way to Millie’s owners and we were contacted a month later. We had to keep her in care all that time, just in case, but it meant that eventually we were able to set up a successful reunion.”
Kelli Young and her children Maisy, Lee and Jamie, were overwhelmed to have their family cat back home after so long. Kelli said: “I want to say a massive thanks to you all for what you have done for Millie.
“We are so happy as a family to have Millie back home after six years. Millie and my son were really close and, even though he is 20 now, he cried when he saw Millie for the first time. She knew who he was straight away. From the bottom of all our hearts, thank you."
Anna added: “As a charity that reunites thousands of cats with their owners every year across the UK, we were delighted that we were able to help reunite Millie with her owner. Their story shows the benefits of microchipping.
“It wouldn’t have been such a happy ending if the letter hadn’t been passed on by the new home owners. This really highlights the importance of keeping your contact details up to date, no matter how long your cat has been missing.”
Microchips contain a unique identification number and are inserted under the cat’s skin between his shoulder blades. The number is linked to a database containing details of the pet, as well as the owner’s contact details. When a scanner detects the microchip, a simple phone call can ascertain the owner’s details and the pet can then be quickly returned home.
A microchip ensures cats can be reunited with their owner should they go missing and that lost cats are not mistaken as strays and taken in by rehoming charities. It also means owners can be notified if their cat has been injured or killed in a road accident. Cats Protection encourages local councils to collect, scan and notify owners in such cases.
However, it is very important pet owners keep their details up to date so owners should check their certificate, which will tell them how to do this.
Madison Rogers, Acting Head of Advocacy & Government Relations at Cats Protection, said: “It is vital that details are kept up to date on microchips, so owners can be contacted if their cat goes missing. Moving house is a busy time but it is really important owners update their details, ensuring that phone numbers and emails are still valid.”
Cats Protection supports Government proposals that would make microchipping a legal requirement for pet cats, as it is for dogs. The national charity recommends microchipping as a safe, permanent and cost-effective method of identification to ensure more cats could be reunited with their owners if they went missing.