Obligation to identify and register domestic cats in Wallonia

The obligation of identification and registration of domestic cats has come into effect on 1 November in Wallonia, said the cabinet of the Walloon Minister of Animal Welfare, Carlo Di Antonio. It is also compulsory to identify and register cats in Brussels and Flanders.

Cats born on November 1, 2017 must be identified and registered before the age of 12 weeks, and before being donated or sold. A database common for the three regions of the country (CAT ID) has been set up to collect data from identified cats and their owners.

For cats coming from abroad but already identified, they must be registered within eight days upon their arrival, unless they accompany their owner for a stay of less than six months.

Concretely, the identification is carried out via the implantation of a microchip. After identification, the veterinarian must encode the cat and owner informations in the database within eight days. The cost of this identification and registration is on average 50 euros (2.90 euros for the database + price of the visit to the veterinarian).

Regarding sterilization, cats born from November 1st will have to be neutered before the age of 6 months. A transitional period has been provided for the cats born before October 31, 2017. They must be sterilized no later than January 1, 2019. In addition to this deadline, the cat must be neutered before  they are sold or donated. Cats introduced into Wallonia after November 1st, must be sterilized within 30 days of their introduction, provided they are older than five months.

In 2015, nearly 26,700 animals were collected in the Walloon shelters compared to 24,300 in 2014. Dogs and cats are the animals most often abandoned in Wallonia. (french)