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Cat and owner reunited after six years thanks to up-to-date microchip details


A Canberra woman and her 12-year-old cat have been reunited, more than six years after ‘Zeffa’ was presumed dead. 

Zeffa’s family had only recently moved to Canberra around 2017 when he escaped, on the same evening as a large storm hit the region.

The cat’s owner, a former vet nurse, assumed the worst after nobody contacted her to say he’d been found. 

“He’s microchipped so after we couldn’t find him, we hoped that eventually he’d wind up at a vet and they’d scan his microchip and give me a call,” she said.

“But the call never came and unfortunately we thought he must be dead.”

The RSPCA ACT’s CEO Michelle Robertson said the remarkable reunion highlights the importance of having your pets microchip details up to date.

“It makes us so happy when we scan an animal’s details, call the registered phone number and the owner answers, glad to hear their pet is safe and sound,” she said.

“Except in most cases the owner’s pet has usually been missing for a day or two, not six years.”

Zeffa arrived at the RSPCA ACT shelter on Tuesday, 9th of January as a stray but seemed friendly and comfortable around people, indicating to our staff that he’s been living in a home and not on the streets.

Zeffa’s owner said she doesn’t hold a grudge against whoever had been caring for him but wanted to remind people to always take a lost animal to a vet and not to feed (and unofficially adopt) someone’s missing pet.

“If whoever found him would have taken him to the RSPCA ACT or a vet immediately, I would have got him back sooner.”

“I don’t think he was stolen,” she said.

In recent weeks there’s been a steady stream of people looking for their lost pets on Facebook Community Groups following thunderstorms.

Unfortunately, pets get startled by thunder, lightning and heavy rain and it’s quite common that they’d panic and get lost.

Ms Robertson said many lost animals are reunited with their owners when their microchip details are correct, but the system only works if people take animals they find to a vet or the RSPCA.

“Pets are like family members to most owners, and taking an animal you’ve found to a vet or the RSPCA for microchip scanning won’t cost you anything and could mean a much-loved pet could be reunited quickly with their worried owners,” she said.

“If you find a domesticated animal, please do the right thing and bring it to the RSPCA ACT or to your closest vet, you’ll be helping a family find their pet and that’s a wonderful feeling,” said Ms Robertson.

For more information and interviews with CEO Michelle Robertson please contact: Phil Staley, Communications Officer: (02) 6287 8131.