With animal charities around the country experiencing unprecedented numbers of abandoned and homeless pets coming through their doors, the last thing they need is for owners to lose track of their animals, only for them to end up back at the re-homing centre.
Glenn Mayoll, manager of the Coventry RSPCA animal shelter in Allesley, told the Coventry Telegraph: "We are really concerned that 2013 will push us to the brink with the numbers of cats needing our help."
The centre currently has 300 cats on its waiting list, which raises serious concerns over how it will cope when feline numbers hit their peak in the summer.
As a result, a number of animal shelters around the UK are offering free microchipping so that any pets who do go missing can be returned home quickly and safely, without putting further unnecessary strain on kennels and catteries.
The Sheffield RSPCA is one such charity, which will offer free microchips to dog owners on Saturday 26th January.