Great hol­i­day gift for pet owner: a new tag

Miami Herald (Sunday) - - Tropical Sunday -

Q: It drives me crazy that so many pets don’t have tags. I’m a re­cep­tion­ist at a vet­eri­nary hos­pi­tal and I swear only half the dogs and a small mi­nor­ity of cats wear tags. Could you let your read­ers know that the best hol­i­day present for any pet is easy iden­ti­fi­ca­tion — es­pe­cially for out­door cats!

A: Your stats sound about right for my pa­tients, too. What’s re­ally sad is that all of my pa­tients are well-loved. But should the un­tagged ones go miss­ing, who would know? If they didn’t get hit by a car, they’d end up hun­gry and cold on the street or at An­i­mal Ser­vices, wait­ing for fam­ily to call.

Only one in 10 of my fe­line pa­tients even wears a col­lar. Maybe half that num­ber sport a tag, and one of ev­ery cou­ple dozen bears a mi­crochip.

Con­sider that we live in South Florida, where 75 per­cent of owned cats live a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of their lives out of doors, and you’ve got to won­der why.

What is it about keep­ing pets close and safe that ap­peals less to cat own­ers than to dog own­ers? These are some of the rea­sons clients have give me:

The lack of le­gal reg­u­la­tion that gov­ern dogs.

Cats’ no­to­ri­ous, col­lar­los­ing ways.

The no­tion that cats will al­ways find their way home.

Yet out­door cats are the most ID-needy of my pa­tients. That’s why I tend to rec­om­mend Beastie Bands (beast­, the stick­i­est col­lars out there. They’re stretchy, you can cut them to fit any fe­line, and your cat is un­likely to lose one.

Add one of those cheap tags you can self-en­grave at a big-box store, and you have a great hol­i­day gift for any cat — or cat owner.

Dr. Patty Khuly has a vet­eri­nary prac­tice at Sun­set An­i­mal Clinic in South Mi­ami. Her web­site is dr­pat­ Send ques­tions to khu­[email protected]­

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