New research causes paws for thought

07 August 2017

• 61% of pet owners want micro-chipping to be the law for cats
• 38% believe that collars are not an effective form of identification
• 58% believe cats are just as important as dogs, who are almost all micro-chipped

Co-op Insurance calls on pet owners to microchip their cats as it’s revealed that almost a third (28%) of cats do not have a microchip. The study, found that three fifths (61%) of pet owners want micro-chipping, a simple procedure which involves placing a small microchip under the skin for means of identification, to become the law.

Three quarters (74%) believe that the procedure will help more owners be reunited with their furry friend, should they go missing and over half (58%) think that cats are just as important as dogs, who, by law now have to be micro-chipped. Furthermore, a third (38%) believe that collars are not an effective form of identification.

Top reasons why pet owners say cats should be micro-chipped:
• 74% - It will help more owners be reunited with their cat
• 58% - Cats deserve the same treatment as dogs
• 38% - Collars are not as effective as a form of identification

Of those who haven’t had their cat micro-chipped, (44%) said their cat never left the house or garden and therefore wasn’t necessary and almost a quarter (23%) simply haven’t got round to doing it.

Just under a fifth (17%) said they didn’t realise that cats could be micro-chipped, under a fifth (15%) thought it was cruel and more than a tenth (12%) said they couldn’t afford it.

Top reasons pet owners haven’t had their cat micro-chipped:
• 44% - The cat doesn’t leave the house or garden
• 23% - Just haven’t got round to it
• 17% - Said they didn’t realise their cat needed to be micro-chipped
• 15% - Owners think micro-chipping is cruel
• 12% - Say they can’t afford it

Co-op Insurance’s resident vet, Dr Matt Brash commented:

“The only way to safely and securely identify your cat is to have it micro-chipped. Sadly, cats often wander off, which can result in them going missing or being run over. Whilst collars do help with identification, many worry that their cat may get it caught on a tree or similar.

“Owners can keep track of their cats in the event that they go missing. There’s nothing worse than having to worry about the whereabouts of a pet for weeks or months on end.

“There are many misconceptions around micro-chipping such as people thinking it is cruel. However, the process is very quick, completely safe and owners are free to take their pet home the same day.”

David Hampson, Head of Pet Insurance at Co-op added:

“The number of missing dogs is at an all-time low since the micro-chipping law was introduced in 2016, so it’s encouraging that more than half of people would want the same law introduced for cats.

“We are a growing nation of cat lovers and knowing where your pet is and what they are up to is all part of being a responsible owner. We would encourage all cat owners to get their cat micro-chipped regardless of the law, as cats do unfortunately go missing. Having this simple means of identification in place can save a lot of heart ache in the future.”

For further tips and advice on responsible pet ownership please visit

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Notes to Editors

*Survey of 1,000 UK pet owners was conducted on behalf of Co-op Insurance by Atomik Research

About Co-op Insurance

Co-op Insurance is a UK-based general insurer that operates principally within the personal lines segments of the motor and home insurance markets. The Co op Insurance underwrites the majority of business written, supplemented with some small lines of business where The Co op Insurance acts as a distributor or has a 100% reinsurance arrangement in place.

With more than 1.18m customers, The Co op Insurance is committed to ‘Doing the Right Thing’ and always strives to treat customers and members fairly. The Co op Insurance pioneered the way in lowering the insurance premiums of young drivers as the first major insurer to launch a pay how you drive telematics insurance product for young drivers in 2011. Since launching the scheme, The Co op Insurance has saved its young drivers more than £7.2 million in their first year of driving.