Pet Identification Tags - Cat Info Detective

Pet Identification Tags

Skye Blake-updated, white background

Greetings feline friends! Skye Blake here with fun facts about pet identification tags…

What are those? Why should you bother with them?

Let’s take a closer look…

paw prints coming in from a distance

The information here is for general knowledge… always see your vet with questions about your cat’s individual needs.

Who Is Skye Blake?

Skye Blake-updated, white background

Skye Blake, Cat Info Detective, is a curious cat researcher (not a vet) who sniffs out expert, reliable sources about cats, studies their information, then passes it on to you! 

Sometimes there’s not enough evidence for easy answers, so Skye gives you all sides, explains the situation as thoroughly and clearly as possible, and links you to experts on each page. 

All sources are at the bottom of each page so you can do more snooping. 

ID Tags – Are They Important?

graphic drawing of ID badge

When preparing for a trip, making your cat easy to identify is one of the most important things you can do.

Even if you don’t travel, cats are escape artists, especially when frightened during emergencies.

So many cats and dogs never get back to their families because nobody bothered to prepare for the possibility of losing them.

It’s sad because the options for pet identification tags are inexpensive and easy to use.

Microchip

green and black circuit board - microchip - preparing for a trip

Be sure your cat is microchipped! It’s the fastest way to reunite you… how great is that?!

A microchip is basically a tiny computer circuit about the size of a grain of rice implanted by your vet in between your cat’s shoulder blades (where he can’t get it out).

Each microchip has a unique number registered with a company, along with your name and phone number.

cat being scanned for microchip by vet, pet identification tags

It can be read by a scanner used by vets, animal control officers, shelters, and others to identify your cat should she become lost or stolen.

If there’s an accident, fire, tornado, or earthquake, anyone who finds him can go to a vet or shelter, where they’ll check for a microchip and keep him safe until you arrive.

iphone held in hand; preparing for a trip

You must update your contact information with the company whenever you change your address or phone number or the chip is useless!

Be sure your information is correct before traveling.

Your mobile phone number is of primary importance since you’ll be away from home.

Collar ID

White with black cat wearing pink collar; pet ID tag to get ready for a trip

If you’re using a collar, be sure it has a breakaway feature in case your cat gets into trouble and needs to get out of it quickly.

It should be made of something soft and comfortable like cloth or leather, not metal.

Be sure the collar will fit your cat since many are made for dogs.

ragdoll cat wearing a collar; preparing for a trip
Don’t use a dog collar or harness on a cat!

You should be able to fit one or two fingers in between your cat’s neck and the collar.

Too big and she’ll slip out of it easily… too small and she could choke.

If you have a collar on a kitten, be sure to check the fit frequently since kittens grow very quickly.

Black cat wearing a flea collar

It’s important it fit snugly but not too tightly. A cat’s neck is different from a dog’s and can be damaged from ill-fitting collars.

If you have a collar on your cat, never attach a leash to it!

Pulling on it can crush your cat’s throat and make him unable to breathe!

calico cat wearing collar; preparing for a trip

When traveling, you’ll have a harness on your cat, so if she also has a collar, make sure both fit well together.

Your cat will make it clear if either are bothering her.

Adding a GPS or other tracker is good for camping, hiking and other outdoor activities.

Read the features carefully, since there are different kinds of trackers, and some require subscriptions.

Collar ID Tags & Bells

Tuxedo cat on a sidewalk wearing a collar; preparing for a trip, ID tags

Collars can have either a ring for clipping on pet identification tags or a flat engraved ID plate.

The latter can be built into the collar or slipped over it.

Dangling tags make noise, while plate tags are flush to the collar and make no noise.

calico cat wearing collar

Attach an ID tag to your cat’s collar so someone without a microchip scanner can quickly identify you as the owner.

The collar should also have a rabies vaccine tag, otherwise your cat could end up in quarantine (especially when crossing borders) or even euthanized.

Rabies is a horrible disease that kills both animals and people, so border agencies take it very seriously.

siamese wearing collar; preparing for a trip, pet ID tags

Cat experts don’t recommend bells because they can attract predators (not a good scene when you’re hiking or camping!).

Bells are also not necessary for alerting birds to your cat’s presence. You can remove a bell if the collar you want comes with one.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not easy for a cat to catch a healthy bird, so they don’t need any special warning.

cat watching a sparrow

The information going around about cats killing billions of birds is wildly out of proportion.

It relates only to certain areas of the world, such as islands, where the feral cat population has gotten out of control.

Discover more at “Cats Killing Birds by the Billions… Really?

What Info Do You Put on ID Tags?

writing a list

Here’s what you should include on an ID tag.

If you don’t want to put your address, your name and phone number are enough for someone to contact you.

Offering a reward can help motivate people to call you.

pet ID tags; preparing for a trip
  • your name
  • your cat’s name
  • address
  • phone number(s)
  • “Reward”
graphic of dog tags, pet ID

If you want to use your destination address and/or phone number as your contact information, get a tag ahead of time or tape over the one you have.

Tape can come off the tag, so you’ll need to decide if the risk is worth it.

When a cat scratches, plays or does anything outdoors, the tape might quickly deteriorate or fall off the tag.

generic person looking through magnifying glass

If you’re going to be camping, canoeing, and hiking, it’s better to have an imprinted tag.

You can find them at pet stores and online at manufacturer websites and suppliers like Chewy, PetSmart, and Amazon.

(I make no money from brands or products given on this page.)

What If Something Happens to You?

graphic of mobile vet van, ambulance

Here’s an interesting thought…

What if something happens to you but nobody knows you have pets at home?

What happens to them?

man sharing cantaloupe with kittens

If you have a heart attack, are in a car accident, or otherwise unable to tell anyone about your pets at home, it can be days or weeks before anyone finds them.

Well, somebody’s thought about that and come up with an idea… “Save My Pet ID Tag”.

These tags are for you to wear! They identify your cat’s name, total number of pets, and your address.

Save My Pet ID Tag
by Zinzie Pie
ID Jewelry by Zinzie Pie

They’re available at Zinzie Pie as a pendant, keychain or bracelet.

These pet identification tags are great for people who live alone, giving peace of mind, especially to the elderly.

You can find them at Zinzie Pie, Amazon, Chewy, Etsy or other pet retailers and engravers.

cartoon, graphic - kid fireman

There are also emergency stickers for your windows so first responders know to rescue your pets in case of fire or weather emergency.

Brands and products mentioned on this page are for your information only. I make no money from them.

Conclusion

Now that you have some ideas about pet identification tags you can choose the options that work best for you and your buddy.

Discover more about going on trips with your cat at “Traveling With a Cat“.


Sources

Sources used on this website are either primary or secondary.

Primary sources are always preferable and have the most reliable information because they’re original and directly referenced.

Scientific abstracts and data are good examples of primary sources.

Secondary sources are weaker because they usually consist of opinions or articles that give no sources of their own.

However, sometimes they refer to primary sources.

When I use secondary sources, most are those with some authority, such as veterinarian or cat behaviorist books and articles.

List of Sources

“CatWise”, by Pam Johnson-Bennett, Certified Animal Behavior Consultant, Penguin Books, Penguin Random House, LLC, New York, NY, 2016, pp. 49-50, 55-56, 59

“Decoding Your Cat”, American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, edited by Meghan E. Herron, DVM, DACVB, Debra F. Horwitz DVM, DACVB, Carlo Siracusa DVM, PhD, DACVB, DECAWBM, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co., New York, NY, 2020, www.hmhbooks.com, pp. 9, 97-98, 176-77

“Total Cat Mojo”, by Jackson Galaxy with Mikel Delgado, PhD, Tarcher Perigree, Penguin Random House, LLC, New York, NY, 2017, p.47

“What Your Cat Wants”, by Francesca Riccomini, Thunder Bay Press, Octopus Publishing Group, San Diego, CA, 2012, pp. 32-33

Zinzie Pie

Updated April 24, 2024

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