MILLIONS of cats are not microchipped despite being the pet more likely to go missing or get lost.

Vets are hoping June’s National Microchipping Month will encourage cat owners to help reduce the number of felines who are lost every year.

Currently 3.7 million cats (36%) are not microchipped, the PDSA Paw Report 2017 has found, compared to just 5 per cent of dogs.

Although mandatory microchipping of cats was not included in new UK legislation last year, cats are more likely to go missing, according to Dr Huw Stacey, vet and director of clinical services at Vets4Pets.

“Cats are generally more independent pets, and many love to spend hours, or even days at a time, exploring, roaming or hunting outdoors, away from human eyes,” he said.

“Whilst they are out and about, other animals or cars can spook them into hiding or running away, sometimes resulting in them ending up lost miles away from home. Sometimes they venture into a shed or garage for shelter or to sleep and end up getting locked inside.

“If a lost cat is found, or a cat is mistaken for being a stray, and taken into a local veterinary practice or animal shelter, they will be routinely scanned for a microchip.

“As long as the cat is microchipped, and the contact details registered against the chip are up-to-date, then their owner can be contacted and they will be happily reunited.”

Since the UK dog microchipping law was introduced in April last year, 710,000 dogs were microchipped in the following twelve months.

Vets are hoping that raising awareness of the importance of microchipping cats will result in a similar boost in the number of felines being microchipped.

Dr Stacey added: “Even if a cat lives permanently indoors, owners should still have them microchipped in case they ever climb out of a window or escape through an open door.

“And whilst many cats wear collars with tags showing their owner’s details, they can easily break off, leaving a microchip as the only permanent means of identification.”

He added: “A microchip, such as Bayer’s Tracer Advance, is only the size of a grain of rice and is injected under the cat’s skin between their shoulder blades in a simple procedure, which causes minimal discomfort.”

Each microchip has a unique number, which is registered against the owner’s contact details on a secure database.

If these contact details are not kept up-to-date, then the task of returning a pet to its owner becomes almost impossible.

If your cat goes missing, Vets4Pets recommends telling the microchip database where the chip is registered immediately and contacting vets and rescue centres in your local area and leaving your cat’s details.

They also recommend owners ask their neighbours to check sheds, outbuildings, garages, and cars.

Finally, put up posters in your local area and use social media to post about your missing cat.