The Importance of ID

9 May, 2007 at 3:52 pm 2 comments

I’m a stickler for identification. I never knew I was until Oliver was big enough to wear a collar. In my quest to find a nice collar for him I was surprised by my choices: reflective, buckled, jeweled, bells, break away, etc. I had previously read that a break away collar is very important for cats. Should a cat get entangled in a tree, he can break away if his collar does.

I remember thinking reflective was crucial. The headlights of a car could pick up the reflective paw prints or even the lights of a flashlight. So I bought Oliver a reflective, break away collar. When Annie came into our lives, I got her one too. Then one for Penny and finally Stella.

All 4 of my cats are strictly indoor only, yet they wear collars. On these collars are 2 tags: their license with the county and another tag I had made which reads “PLEASE CALL” and my cell phone number.

Annie in her collar with tag and license.

I opted to for it to read “PLEASE CALL” instead of their names because I didn’t want to risk someone seeing how beautiful and friendly my cats are and decided to keep one for himself. It would be easier to bond with an animal by knowing his name. Paranoid? Maybe.

On top of wearing collars, my 4 are also microchipped. You can never be too careful. Should one of my cats get out (God forbid) and have their collar come off, I would hope that some caring stranger would take my dear lost cat to a shelter or vet where he or she would be scanned and I could be contacted.

The statistics are frightening. So few cats are returned to their owners. I think I know why.

Whenever I’m out driving or walking I always keep an eye out for cats. When I see one, I simply don’t know what to do. Questions keep swimming in my mind: Is this cat lost? Is that a stray? Does that cat have indoor and outdoor access? Was she dumped here when her family moved? Should I try to catch him? Should I borrow a humane trap from a shelter? What do I do?!

So many cats are allowed outside but so many cats are also lost. I’ve heard of cats escaping homes without meaning to, of cats falling from high rise apartment, of cats being allowed to explore outside without any identification.
What am I supposed to think when I see cats around the neighborhood?

I am in favor of indoor only cats. The only way I would ever allow mine outside is if I owned a house and installed the Purrfect Fence. And even then, they would only go outside if me or Mike was out there with them. But alas, we live in a townhouse and aren’t allowed such luxuries. Instead I keep the sliding glass door and windows open when the weather is nice, we have tall cat tress with good views, and a cat window seat in installed behind me in the office.

If there was a law to keep all cats indoors, I would be all for it. An outdoor cat’s life expectancy is less than 5 years while indoor cats can live up to twenty. Besides, it’s a scary world out there full of cruel people (including kids), mean dogs, territorial raccoons, antifreeze, poisonous flowers, and cars.


Entry filed under: cats, collars, found, id, indoor, lost, outdoor, shelter, tags, vet.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Karen Stiefel  |  10 May, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    Could not agree with you more! I’m always worrying about the safety of my “best friends” (yes cats can also be BFs…not just dogs). Anyway, as you are I am constantly concerned about losing my cats, even though they stay mostly in the house or yard. BUT you learn “never say never” because last year one of them got out chasing a chipmonk! Got her back but gosh did it scare me.

    Anyway, in my search for more protection, I found something that you might be interested in looking at. Its called petFinder and its amazing. Its basically an ID tag that is far superior than anything else I’ve ever seen. Microchips are important but only as a backup in case your cat loses its tag. It was developed by a company who worked with American Humane to develop it, so you can trust it.

    The company making this product says it like giving your pet a toll-free calling card….in case they ever need to reach you. Cute statement but its true!

    You basically put this special tag on your pets collar. It has a toll-free number and ID numer. You then take out the owner card and dial a toll-free system number to set up the tag. You first record a message (I have name, offer of reward and added some health info about what not to feed them).

    NOTE….this is not like those ID tags that make you register information and use a call center. I had one of those (from the AKC I think) and they are not nearly as good as this.

    Next (and this is the best part) you enter 3 contact numbers into the system (can be home, cell, office, huband, wife, friend, relative, etc…..basically whatever number you or someone you designate can be reached at….if not at the first, then the second or third number.
    Real easy set up and only took a few minutes.

    The way it works is that if I lost my cat the person finding her simply dials the toll-free number on her tag and enters the ID number. They immediatly hear my message and then are automatically connected directly to my first contact number. If I was not available at that number, the system rolls over and with hanging up connects that person to my second and then third numbers until they reach me!

    Also….the person calling never knows the identity of my numbers as they are connected automatically. Its GREAT….but the really neat part is that you can change the numbers and message unlimited times…forever. YES you read that right. If you move or any numbers change, you’ll never need to go out and get another tag. PLUS, I don’t know about you, but we’ve taken our cats with us when we travel. We call the pet-Finder number, enter the numbers where we are staying…..and when we get home change them back.

    I know I’ve gone on and on about this product but I can’t rave about it enough because I got to see it actually work! I sent a set to my sister and it worked to get her dog back when they were staying at our house a few months later. They had changed some of their numbers to the ones at our house. About an hour after clover got out a call came to the house from the person who had found her.

    If she had only had a regular tag we don’t know what would have happened because they used to put their home and cell phone on it. Well their cell phones don’t work very well where we live and having their home number would not have done any good becasue they were not there!

    I’ll stop now but you should really check it out. I think you can find it some stores but the company that sells it is called Secure Connections and their web site (where I purchased it) is . It costs $14.99 but if you use the American Humane code (I think its Tag Day) it is only $10…..and that’s a one-time cost. I thought there would be addtional fees and calling charges….but there are NONE!

    Hope you like it!
    Karen Stiefel

  • 2. curiositykilledthe  |  10 May, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    This is great tip! I can’t wait to check out the site, thank you.


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