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Tattooing Your Cat

More than 2 million dogs and cats are stolen each year and sold to labs. Half of tattooed cats and nearly all tattooed dogs are recovered when lost.

How to Get It Done

  1. Tattoo-A-Pet is a well-known pet tattoo registry. Call Tattoo-A-Pet at 1-800-TATTOOS (828-8667) and ask for the phone number of the tattoo agent closest to you.
  2. Make an appointment with the tattoo agent.
  3. Get a tranquilizer pill from the vet. Ask when and how you should administer it to your cat. You may not need to sedate your cat, but it’s good to be prepared.
  4. Take a large beach towel and pillow case to restrain the cat while he’s being tattooed. You probably will need to assist the tattoo agent during the procedure; two people usually are needed to steady a cat that is not heavily sedated.
  5. Have a cat tattooed in his ear unless he’s a show cat. To be extra cautious you can also tattoo him on his inner thigh; some cats have shown up for sale to laboratories with an ear cut off. (Dogs usually are tattooed on the inner thigh, where there is little hair.) The tattoo agent will use a registration code that will be traced back to you should your animal be picked up as a lost pet.
  6. The tattoo agent will register your cat’s code with Tattoo-A-Pet. You can now use 1-800-TATTOOS as the phone number on your cat collar instead of your home phone number if you want to. Tattoo-A-Pet also will provide identification tags for a small fee.

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