CAT owners and being offered free microchips so they’ll be covered when a new animal welfare law comes into force next year.

According to data from insurer Petplan, around 100,000 cats go missing in the UK each year, and a microchip is the most effective way to make sure they’re reunited with their owners if lost or stolen.

Until March this year, it was up to owner to decide whether a microchip is right for their cat, but as of June 10, 2024, new legislation means all cats over 20 weeks old must have one by law, with owners facing a £500 fine if they don’t comply.

To help owners meet their new obligations, Northwich-based pet microchip database company, Track Your Paws, is offering a microchip and fitting for free, for any cat who needs one.

Track Your Paws founder, Oliver Gibney, said: “Our unique selling point is that we supplying all our implanters with free microchips, so anyone who signs up can get a chip fitted free of charge.

“The new legislation means all cat from the age of 20 weeks need chipping. But it doesn’t just apply to kittens. Even cats who are 10 years old without chips will need to be done by law.

"There are an awful lot of unchipped cats out there. Over lockdown, people were breeding them because it was so lucrative, but when it turned out to be harder than they though, a lot of cats went by the wayside. 

"People might have picked up a cat from a friend or online, and don't know whether it's chipped or not. It's now their responsibility to find out, and to keep the database updated. 

“If you go to a vet, it will cost you £20 for a chip, and then you’d have to pay for the subscription anyway.

“To make it easier for people, we’re doing a mobile service, where a qualified implanter can come out and chip single cat and litters of kittens free of charge.”

If you'd like to have your cat microchipped for free by Oliver and his team, email