The Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 defines a cat to be identified if:
(a) the cat has a collar around its neck and the collar, or a tag securely attached to the collar, is marked with the current address or telephone number of the owner or other person entitled to possession of the cat; or
(b) the cat has a microchip implanted in its body containing information that may be used to obtain the current address or telephone number of the owner or other person entitled to possession of the cat and has the letter M tattooed on the inside of either of its ears.
Any cat found without identification as defined by the Act is considered as a stray when presented to a vet, shelter or animal management officer and may be put up for adoption or euthanased depending on its state of health and temperament.
Depending on where you live, by-laws enforced by your local council may require your cat to be microchipped and/or registered (as a form of identification).
If you live in one of the South Australian council areas listed below your cat is required to be micrcochipped:
It’s important to keep your microchip information up to date should you move or change your contact details.
A microchip is a tiny electronic chip approximately the size of a rice grain which has a unique identification number. The microchip will last for the life of the cat and it is inserted under the skin at the back of the cat’s neck by a trained practitioner. The microchip number is the link to the owner’s contact details which are held on a registry database.
The microchip functions by emitting a radiofrequency signal when energised by a scanner passing over the cat. The identification number on the microchip is displayed on the scanner and can be cross-referenced with contact details held on a registry database. This database can be accessed by councils, vets, animal welfare groups and shelters. It is important that the details held on the registry database are kept up to date.
Microchipping your cat will make it easier for your council, animal shelter or vet to quickly reunite you in the event your cat is lost or missing. Microchipping also helps to reduce the burden on shelters, vets and animal management officers to re-home or euthanize animals which cannot be reunited with their owner.
Your local vet can arrange for your cat to be microchipped. Many vets offer discounted microchipping when the procedure is accompanied by a desexing operation. Also some councils and shelters organise discounted microchipping on special days.
For further information on microchipping please refer to the Cats and Microchips Factsheet.