Cat owners face a £500 if their pets are not micro chipped, under new Government rules.
The decision will take in 2.8 million unchipped moggies in Britain.
It is estimated there are 11 million cats in the UK.
The cats need to be chipped before they reach 20 weeks old.
It is hoped the measure will reunite owners with cats lost, stolen and resold.
Cats Protection, Britain’s cat charity, said that 80 per cent of strays arriving at its centres are not microchipped.
Cat ownership – along with dogs – has increased during the pandemic and lockdown.
However, cat napping has increased as some varieties – in particular Bengal, Siamese, British shorthair and Maine Coon – can cost £500 plus for kittens.
Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park, the animal welfare minister, said:
“Cats are much-loved parts of our families and making sure that they’re microchipped is the best possible way of making sure that you are reunited with them if they are ever lost or stolen.”
Jacqui Cuff, the head of advocacy at Cats Protection, said:
“Every day, we see how important microchipping is for cats and for the people who love them – whether it’s reuniting a lost cat with their owner, identifying an injured cat, or helping to ensure an owner can be informed in the sad event that their cat has been hit and killed by a car.
Ms Cuff added: “Microchipping is by far the most effective and quickest way of identifying lost cats and can help ease the pressure on rescue charities like Cats Protection.
“Without a microchip, a lost cat will most likely end up being rehomed to a new home as there is often no trace of their original owner.”