To highlight the importance of microchipping your pet, RSPCA Furness and Barrow Branch have shared the story of a cat who was missing for a decade.

After ten long years, a family has finally been reunited with their missing cat.

At 16 years old, Whiskas, has made it home at last. She was spotted a short distance from where she went missing.

After a local resident managed to gain the cat’s trust, she was taken to the vets. Whiskas was found in a poor condition, underweight and requiring medical attention. Her microchip was also out of date.

Felledge Animal Centre in Chester cared for Whiskas and made an appeal online in December 2023, hoping to find her owner.

Amazingly, Whiskas’s owner spotted the post and recognised the cat she had last seen in 2013.

Linda Ellerton said she couldn’t believe it when she saw the RSPCA post on Facebook, but it mentioned her old post code and the photos reminded her of Whiskas.

Linda said: “I thought it can’t possibly be Whiskas after all these years. I thought the photos looked just like her, but it had been so long, and we’d thought we’d never see her again.”

Whiskas is now living with Linda’s brother, David. She has put on some healthy weight and is making a good recovery after many years living as a stray.

Michelle Round from RSPCA Furness and Barrow Branch said: “I decided to share this story because microchipping is really important and from 10 June 2024, it will be law. Getting your pet chipped can help you get them back if they’re ever lost, collars can come off, but a microchip is 99% reliable.”

This summer, a new law will require cats in England to be microchipped and registered on a database by the time they're 20 weeks old. You can be fined up to £500 if your dog or cat is not microchipped when they need to be.

Michelle said the biggest mistake owners make is not updating their microchip details, as people often move houses and will forget to update their pet’s address information.