IT is now a legal requirement in England for pet cats over 20 weeks old, with the exemption of ferals and farm cats, to be microchipped with their owner's up to date details kept on a compliant database.

A spokesperson for Cats Protection said: “Make sure this is done by your vet practice or someone who has been specifically trained to do so.

“It is the quickest and most effective way of identifying lost cats and returning them to their owner. Cats Protection estimate there are 2.2-million unchipped cats in England and 300,000 owners unsure if their cat is chipped.

“Keeping details up to date is really important. Every effort is made to try and find the owner of a microchipped cat but with inaccurate details it is often impossible. A house move is probably the most important time to update in case your cat gets lost in its new area. It has been known for cats to be returned to their original owners many years later!

“If you find a cat or think you have a stray in your area it is always important to get it checked for a microchip. Any vet practice or animal charity will do this for you.

“Don’t delay – do it today!”