A FAMILY cat which went missing from Basingstoke almost two years ago has been reunited with her owners.

Winnie was lost from her home in the town in August 2019, but was emotionally reunited with her owners after being found 15 miles away in Fleet.

The owners had given up hope of ever seeing her again.

She was found in Fleet, 15 miles away from the family home, and was reported to Cats Protection as a stray after a member of the public found her living under a bush.

Basingstoke Gazette:

The charity's Farnham, Camberley and District branch scanned Winnie for a microchip, which included her owner's address and enabled them to set up a reunion.

Cats Protection is now calling for a change in the law so that all cats, like dogs, are microchipped.

“As a charity that reunites around 3,000 cats with their owners every year across the UK, we were delighted that we were able to help reunite Winnie with her owners. Winnie’s story really goes to show the benefits of microchipping,” said Sue Millward, branch coordinator.

Thousands of cats go missing every year and research conducted by Cats Protection found that almost half never return, so the charity recommends microchipping as a permanent method of identification.

Basingstoke Gazette:

Microchips contain a unique identification number and are inserted under the cat’s skin between its shoulder blades.

The number is linked to a database containing details of the pet, as well as the owner’s contact details.

When a scanner detects the microchip, a simple phone call can ascertain the owner’s details and the pet can then be quickly returned home.

A microchip ensures cats can be reunited with their owner should they go missing and that lost cats are not mistaken as strays and taken in by rehoming charities.

It also means owners can be notified if their cat has been injured or killed in a road accident. Cats Protection encourages local councils to collect, scan and notify owners in such cases.

“However, it is very important pet owners keep their details up to date so owners should check their certificate, which will tell them how to do this,” said Sue.