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Would you tattoo your pets for ID purposes?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I know microchips are the most current form of permanant ID.

I have seen people who had concerns with the chips tho.. some have religious reasons thinking its the "mark of the beast".. and then there are people who are concerned about the chips causing problems like cancer.

Also chips are not visable to the naked eye, so if someone finds your lost pet, they may not even think to scan your pet.


What are your thoughts on tattoos for ID purposes?

Someone once suggested the idea of investing in a tatoo gun and offering pet tattoos to make some extra income.. would this really be worth the investment? I dont see many people tattooing anymore.

Also I know many shows do allow vendors.. so would something like this be allowed at shows?

http://www.tattoo-a-pet.com/
post #2 of 27
Cammy is tattooed. They did it at the humane society, when she was a stray. I hate it. I didn't know they did that either, but when her fur grows in you won't be able to see it. I don't really know what the point is. Maybe because I said no to the ear tipping for her?
post #3 of 27
I would have it done if it was readily available. All my pets are microchipped but I would do a tattoo in addition to it, as another form of permanent ID. They also wear collars and tags...

My dog is tattooed. Many German Shepherd breeders do ear tattoos and her parents I believe were from Canada where a tattoo is required for CKC registration so her breeder tattooed her when she was a puppy.
When I got her in December I had her microchipped as well and I also registered the tattoo under my name since it wasn't registered, or at least not in the US. I registered both the tattoo and microchip with AKC CAR and the microchip is also registered with the microchip company. She's 4 years old.

Here is a photo of (part of) her tattoo:

post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
I know some shelters and s/n clinics do tattoos to indicate that the animal is altered... Im talking about an ID number that's tattoo'd inside the ear, or the leg.

Although if I did invest in it, I could offer the service of a tattoo inside altered animal's ears at local s/n clinics too.
post #5 of 27
Can't tattoo a bird so I'll continue with microchips there (if I ever get another parrot).
Can't tattoo a spider or fish, but I seriously doubt they'll slip out the door anytime soon

I would, in the future tattoo my dogs and cats, but not my current lot.

Baby Cat has a tattoo, but it's on her thigh and is only to keep her from mistakenly being sliced open for a spay, she's also ear tipped (we thought she'd be rejoining the feral colony, AC out here won't bother to catch tipped cats).
post #6 of 27
I would use tattooing for ID purposes.

I don't have any of my cats microchipped but our dog is.
post #7 of 27
I would consider it, especially if my cats went out

The number of times we hear at a shelter that they didn't bring a cat in to help find its owner because it didn't have a collar and then the vet later found a chip is rediculous.

Anything to get them home safe

Also chips can migrate around the body, Bumper's chip is not where it is supposed to be and anyone who did a quick scan of just his neck wouldn't have found it (I had him rechipped in case)
post #8 of 27
I adopted a greyhound with a tattoo (common practice with any dogs bred for racing). His tattoo faded pretty bad and by the time he was 4 years old, you couldn't read it anymore.

I wouldn't do it because in order for it to last, you would need to do it big enough so that it did not fade. And IMHO, that would hurt the cat.
post #9 of 27
Both of my girls have ear tattoos with unique numbers. They are both spayed and female, so the tattoo is in their right ear. The number is registered with the Winnipeg Humane Society and shows my name, address and phone number. If I move I have to call them and give them updated information.

If I get another cat I will request an ear tattoo as a form of ID. I do not want a microchip because they are not readily visible.

If my cats are found, anyone can see the tattoo, call the humane society, give them the tattoo number and be given my phone number to call me. They don't have to traumatize the cat and go out of their way taking the animal to a vet's office to be scanned.
post #10 of 27
I found out when my Golden Retriever was 12 years old that she had two microchips. I was very shocked because I know she's been scanned for chips. They scanned her when I found her as a stray (when she was 1 1/2 years old) and did not find a chip, and they scanned her before I got her microchipped too. She was getting an x-ray and my vet pointed out this second microchip which had migrated down her side near her front leg. She's had x-rays before but never of that part of her body so no one ever noticed it before. I asked if they could scan it but my vet had just opened a new clinic and did not have a scanner yet. I was going to get it scanned once she got a scanner but Ginger was very sick and she passed away about 2 weeks later so we never did. I still wonder what it would have said about her past, but I also think that possibly that second chip was broken or inactive because I know they scanned around her back and sides when I first found her because they knew chips could move, and they didn't find one...
post #11 of 27
Nope I wouldn't tattoo.

I have a 17 year old TB mare with a lip tattoo that is hardly readable. My cats are indoor only and the likelyhood of them getting out without someone noticing is super slim. All of my pets are chipped. I've never lost a dog or cat in my life, knock on wood. I think tattooing can be a good idea, but there are so many better alternatives IMO.
post #12 of 27
I would tattoo, but probably on the thigh, simply because a leg is not so easy to amputate as an ear is; no joke. Some people will go to the extreme of cutting a tattoo off if they really want a particular animal; sick!

My poodle boy still needs a chip, but he does have a tag. My kitties all have tags, but haven't gotten chipped yet; they are pretty much strictly indoors (unless on a leash).
post #13 of 27
Wickett has a "NS" tattoo in his ear but honestly, it's so unobvious that I can't remember which ear unless I look. He got it done when he was at the Neuter Scooter. They tattoo all the cats they desex incase they get out and trapped. This way if they come back in they are easily identified as already spayed/neutered. The bad thig is that it's so faded/blurred that you can't even read the letters... it's just a green scribble now. I would consider another tattoo for ID purposes though.
post #14 of 27
This came up on my dog forum.....basically, a tattoo is worthless as general identification. What are you going to tattoo on your pet? Your address---what if you move? Your phone number---what if you have to change it? Your SSN---do you really want that on your pet, and how is your average pet finder going to look up your SSN anyway? There is no tattoo number registry or a central phone number someone can call if they find a tattooed pet. It's just not useful. Large tattoos are quite painful, and, if on the ear, can be easily removed. If on the thigh, fur will cover the tattoo eventually. Tattoos are useful to identify a spayed cat, and many spay/neuter clinics use them for this. But as general ID, tattoos just aren't good enough.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willowy View Post
This came up on my dog forum.....basically, a tattoo is worthless as general identification. What are you going to tattoo on your pet? Your address---what if you move? Your phone number---what if you have to change it? Your SSN---do you really want that on your pet, and how is your average pet finder going to look up your SSN anyway? There is no tattoo number registry or a central phone number someone can call if they find a tattooed pet. It's just not useful. Large tattoos are quite painful, and, if on the ear, can be easily removed. If on the thigh, fur will cover the tattoo eventually. Tattoos are useful to identify a spayed cat, and many spay/neuter clinics use them for this. But as general ID, tattoos just aren't good enough.

You should have checked the link the OP has up.
This is a tattoo and registration service with a database, really no different than a microchip, just visible.


Faith's Mom: How many people do you think are going to shave an animal's leg offhand to discover a tattoo?
My skull is tattooed, full color, both sides, I even have bleach blond hair, but you can't see the tats unless I shave my head.
post #16 of 27
When I had rabbits, in order to show them they had to have a brand put into thier ear.
I didn't like it when they did that! One of my rabbits broke her ear and had to have surgery, then she could only be used for breeding because judges would mark off that she had to have surgery.
post #17 of 27
Over here cats are tattooed with an O and a line for desexed, and an M in the other ear for microchipped. You can opt out of the tattooing.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willowy View Post
This came up on my dog forum.....basically, a tattoo is worthless as general identification. What are you going to tattoo on your pet? Your address---what if you move? Your phone number---what if you have to change it? Your SSN---do you really want that on your pet, and how is your average pet finder going to look up your SSN anyway? There is no tattoo number registry or a central phone number someone can call if they find a tattooed pet. It's just not useful. Large tattoos are quite painful, and, if on the ear, can be easily removed. If on the thigh, fur will cover the tattoo eventually. Tattoos are useful to identify a spayed cat, and many spay/neuter clinics use them for this. But as general ID, tattoos just aren't good enough.
My dog's tattoo is registered with AKC CAR. She does have a microchip too, also registered with AKC.

There are several national tattoo registries: AKC CAR, Tattoo-a-pet and NDR. NDR at least will go to lengths to try to find a pet's registration info even if the tattoo is not registered with them:

Quote:
"How does NDR help recover my lost or stolen pet?"

At great expense to NDR, we receive thousands of calls each year from animal control officers, veterinarians, and others who find an ID on an animal. We make numerous phone calls attempting to help find the owner, but are unable to help return a pet to its home because the number was not registered. Our standard procedure is to contact all other registries to try to trace numbers that are not registered in our system.

Dogs bred in Canada were previously required to be tattooed if they are registered with the Canadian Kennel Club, meaning they are a national registry. Now they are required to be either tattooed or microchipped.
The tattoos follow a special code. The first 3 letters/numbers are the breeder's code and by those letters you can identify the breeder of the dog. Then there are the numbers in the tattoo which are the dog's serial number and mean the dog is the ___ puppy to be born to that breeder that year (for example if it is the 12th puppy the number will be 12.) This is followed by a letter which is the CKC's code for the year the dog was born. This tells you the dog's age. So if the code for 2000 was "F" and the tattoo is WLK 26 F it means the dog was the 26th puppy that breeder had in 2000, and WLK is that breeder's unique CKC code so you know who the breeder is.
post #19 of 27
I do both. Chip and tatt.
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
sometimes tats may not go noticed.. however, as oppossed to a microchip, there is always a chance that the tat may be noticed during grooming, medical care, etc. A microship will only be noticed if the animal is scanned for it.

Dogs are ussually tattoo'd inside the ear or inside the back leg.. most dog breeds have thinner hair on the insides of the legs, so a tattoo would be noticed during grooming. Perhaps not so much with cats (unless you have a sphynx)

On the other hand.. I have heard of animals having ears cut off, or the area with the tattoo being skinned off, to try to remove the Identification marker.. I'd be upset if someone stole my pet, but I'd also hate to think that he had to suffer pain because I tried to give him permanant ID... thats the only bad side to tattoos that I can think of.
post #21 of 27
I will be tattooing and microchipping the next dog I get. We have a lot of dogs at work that have tattoos.
Kahlua has a S tattooed on her belly. That way if she were ever to get out and someone caught her and tried to spay her when they shaved to do the surgery they would see it.
Google has a N on his belly too.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by missymotus View Post
Over here cats are tattooed with an O and a line for desexed, and an M in the other ear for microchipped. You can opt out of the tattooing.
The circle of dots with a line in the right ear is what my vet uses also. They did it free with the last three females I had spayed. I thought it was a great idea. No, there is no way to trace them from it, but it does show a shelter or veterinarian that they have been spayed and are likely owned by someone. They use the ear because that's one place they always check when examining an animal. Two of them show up pretty good, but the third is very faint. I suppose if you're trained and know to look you'd spot it though.

With the dots there would be no need for anyone to disfigure a cat because it only shows they've been altered and isn't proof of ownership.
post #23 of 27
My two cats and my two dogs have microchips.
The older dog came with a Tatoo. If the dog has long hair, you need to clip it frequently so that the tatoo can be read.
post #24 of 27
Hi,

here in Germany its common to do both- tattoo and chip a cat. The tattoo is done when the cat is being neutered.

The point being that many people don't know about chipping animals and will assume a cat is a stray if it hasn't been tattooed. This goes especially for little old ladies who can be clueless about the chip.

Some vets will just tattoo the word CHIP into one ear while most still tattoo their initials + running number in one ear and the year and area code in the other, for example:

WL08- would be our area (Winsen Luhe) and 08 for 2008
MS342- Vets initials (Dr. Monica Schultz), the cat was the 342 cat of the year to be spayed.

This kind of tattoo is especially helpfull if the owner hasn't registered the tattoo at the central registration site. You can then go by the area code and telephone the vets of that area to find out who's initials were used, thus locating the vet.

Tattoo colours can fade, yes- if you want to be on the safe side go to a tattoo parlour and ask for a their advice on a long lasting colour that fits to the cat's ear colour. Buy some off the tattoo artist and bring it to your vet.

Christine
post #25 of 27
Both my cats are microchipped and tattoed. The tattoo came standard with fixing. One cat was already fixed and tattooed when we bought her. We were going to opt out of the tattoo when we were getting the other one fixed because we were getting him microchipped anyways and then moving out of province, but the staff convinced us to get it anyways for reasons that have already been pointed out in this thread: it let's finders know the pet's not a stray, has been fixed, and is possibly microchipped even if it's not wearing a collar. The tattoo is also registered with the local database here and you can update your info. We were told that there was some inter-provincial information crossover too, so the tattoo was traceable in a larger area than we first thought.

The only drawback in my opinion is that it doesn't look that pretty. Especially if you have a white cat. And it can fade. I wouldn't use it as the only method of ID, but if it's a free service with the alteration....
post #26 of 27
I'd never have my animals tattoed. Microchip is all

I know they do that with some horses But I'd prefer to freezemark
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauracatlover View Post
I'd never have my animals tattoed. Microchip is all

I know they do that with some horses But I'd prefer to freezemark
Freezemark? Is that the dry ice branding they do on livestock now?
I'd heard the hair grows back white, is that true?
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