The essentials -
YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER
If you only put your telephone number on your cat’s ID tag it will probably do the trick. It will allow members of the public to contact you quickly and easily if they find your cat, and also to notify you if it has been injured and is in need of urgent help.
Make sure that this is a number that is up-to-date and that you’re likely to answer (e.g. don’t put your home landline if you’re out at work all day).
If your cat escapes or gets lost it will likely stay in the local area. An address will enable people in the neighbourhood to identify your cat as local and possibly even bring them home.
YOUR CAT’S NAME
The upside of including a name is that if your cat goes missing and your put posters up, you can include their name prominently and then it’s really easy for members of the public to cross-reference that with the tag.
The downside is that it carries a very small risk of exposing your cat to theft. If your cat is particularly desirable or expensive, a thief who knows your cat’s name is much more likely to be able to convince the microchip company that they are the new owners than if the name remains a mystery to them.
In the end, it's up to you. But if you feel nervous about including your cat’s name, there is a good alternative…
Including your surname on the tag ticks the box for an easy thing to cross reference with a missing poster, but it doesn’t carry any risk of helping cat thieves. Win-win!
Other information you may want to include -
PLEASE DO NOT FEED ME
Especially useful for outdoor cats, dissuade neighbours from giving them ‘double-dinners’ with a note asking them not to give your cat food.
A handy extra, but hopefully if your tag includes your phone number the person who finds your cat won’t need to take them to a vet to get their microchip scanned. It can, however, dissuade cat thieves.
If your cat is a pedigree cat, it may worth be pointing out to would-be cat thieves that they are neutered and of no value as a breeding cat.
IF I’M OUTSIDE
If your cat is an indoor cat, it can be useful to include a note on the tag alerting anybody who finds them outside to ring you straight away.
ANY MEDICAL ISSUES (E.G. ALLERGIES)
If your cat has medical issues that a vet should be aware of (e.g. life threatening allergies) it is worth including those on the tag.
ADDITIONAL CONTACT NUMBERS
If you’ve read all of the above and you’ve still got space left on your tag, is there anything else you should include? We recommend using any additional lines of text to include back-up telephone numbers – either for your vet’s or a friend or family member – to increase the chances of someone who has found your cat getting through.