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Should I still neuter, vaccinate and microchip my indoor cat?

Should I still neuter, vaccinate and microchip my indoor cat?
Photo Credit: Paul L Dineen via cc

The importance of microchipping, neutering and regularly vaccinating your indoor cat.

Many owners of indoor cats may feel that neutering and micro-chipping their cat is pointless, especially if they have a cat that never goes outdoors. It is true that indoor cats need less visits to the vet to receive treatment because they don’t come into contact with outside dangers like trees, traffic, disease and infection, feral cats and other animals.
Many owners do not have their cats vaccinated, or give them flea and worm treatments for the very same reason. But is essential that whether you have an indoor or outdoor cat, all cats should be neutered, vaccinated, micro chipped and given regular treatments against fleas and worms.

Why microchip and neuter an indoor cat?

The reason for this is pretty obvious. Although you may have an indoor cat, the chances of them getting out of an open window or door are pretty high.
Neutering your female cat will stop them from becoming pregnant (or your male cat making an unneutered female cat pregnant) should they escape from the home and go wandering. The last thing you want is your indoor female cat coming home with a belly full of kittens!
Micro-chipping your indoor cat is also essential. If your indoor cat should escape the home, the outdoors and local environment will most probably be completely alien to them. They may easily become lost or disorientated and end up venturing miles away from home. The microchip will provide a fast and easy way for you to be hopefully reunited with your cat. It doesn’t cost very much, it’s quick to administer and it’s so easy for a cat to be scanned at a local vet or animal shelter and be reunited with it’s owners, should they escape.

What is a cat/dog microchip?

A pet microchip identification tag is a small computer chip which contains information linking you to your cat. The chip is inserted subcutaneously (under the skin) with a needle. This quick and easy procedure takes only a few minutes to carry out. The microchip, which is non-toxic and about the size of a grain of rice, is usually inserted between your cat’s shoulder blades. It will not cause your cat any discomfort or allergic reactions. They will be totally unaware that it’s there!

Regular vaccinations, flea treatment and worming are also vital for an indoor cat

Vaccinations, flea and worm treatments are also vital for your indoor cat. It’s essential that your indoor cat stays healthy and is protected from any contagious illnesses and fleas that can be brought into the home. These germs and contagious illnesses can be brought in from peoples shoes and from other cats who may enter your home uninvited. Many cat owners will tell tales of how they found strange or other neighbourhood cats in their homes who managed to pop in through an open window or cat flap!
Some cats can also catch germs and fleas from other animals when visiting the vet for their regular check up, so make sure your cat gets all the vital vaccinations on a regular basis.
If you are unsure about what your indoor cat should be given as a way of protecting them from illnesses, then speak to your vet. They will advise you on what your cat should be vaccinated with and your vet will be able to microchip your cat quickly, if they haven’t already been done! They can also check to see if your cat is already micro-chipped, especially if you are rehoming a cat.

Fit your indoor cat with a collar and tag too

It’s also wise to fit your indoor cat with a collar and tag which includes your phone number and address details. If your indoor cat should get out and become hurt or distresssed, chances are a kind local may pick them up and look for contact details on their collar and contact you immediately. But don’t rely on just the collar and tag if your cat is not microchipped. If your cat escapes and loses their collar and tag it may be impossible for you to get reunited with your cat. So microchip your indoor cat for this reason alone.

An indoor cat can escape from the home

Most cat owners don’t like to think of the worst case scenario until it actually happens. You should never expect that your indoor cat will always stay indoors and that they would never think of escaping from the house. There are plenty of reasons why it occurs. Your cat may run away from the cat sitter, a visitor may leave a door or window open, your cat could escape during a family party or they may even bolt after hearing a constant stream of fireworks. Having your cat microchipped, neutered and vaccinated can be a lifesaver.