Cat owners could be fined £500 under new ‘compulsory’ microchipping law

There's only a couple of months left to comply with new Government legislation.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 13th March 2024

Cat owners could be handed a whopping £500 fine for failing to comply with a new compulsory microchipping law.

It comes as new Government legislation to introduce the law is being laid in Parliament today (13 March), and it’s setting out to make it easier for lost or stray pet cats to be reunited with their owners and returned home safely.

According to the latest data, there are currently more than nine million pet cats in England, and as many as 2.3 million of those are unchipped.

This means it would be very difficult to reunite them with their owners if they get lost or stolen.

But, under the new microchipping legislation being introduced today, cats must be implanted with a microchip before they reach the age of 20 weeks, so that their owners’ contact details can be stored and kept up-to-date in a pet microchipping database.


All owners must have their cat microchipped by the cut-off date of 10 June 2024, and then those found to have not complied before then have a total of 21 days to have one implanted.

Failure to do this may mean they face a hefty fine of up to £500.


The new rules follow a call for evidence and consultation on the issue by the Government back in 2020 and 2021, and from this, 99% of respondents expressed support for the measure – leading to the introduction of compulsory cat microchipping becoming a manifesto commitment, and an ‘Action Plan for Animal Welfare’ pledge too.

New Government legislation to introduce the law is being laid in Parliament today / Credit: Gustavo Fring (via Pexels)

Chief Veterinary Officer, Christine Middlemiss, said she is “pleased” the Government is progressing with the requirement for all cats to be microchipped.

“Microchipping is by far the most effective and quickest way of identifying lost pets,” she added. “As we’ve seen with dog microchipping, those who are microchipped are more than twice as likely to be reunited with their owner.


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“By getting their cat microchipped, owners can increase the likelihood that they will be reunited with their beloved pet in the event of it going missing.”

Featured Image – Nathalie Jolie (via Unsplash)