Reader question: Is there a ‘lost and found’ pet register in France and, if so, how does it work? We would like to make sure our cat is registered.
There is actually no specific ‘lost and found’ register for pets in France but the nearest equivalent is the I-CAD.
This is a national identification system for carnivorous pets (mostly cats and dogs but also ferrets), set up by the Agriculture Ministry in France.
Read more: How do I register my pet with I-CAD in France?
This database is shared between a wide range of national French services including breeders, the gendarmes and police, animal shelters and vets among others who use it to keep track of animals and their health.
In this way, it works as a sort of ‘lost and found’ service for pets in France as once animals are registered, their information will be available on the database for vets and shelters to see, including if an animal is brought to them presumed lost.
Pets that are on the I-CAD will have their owner’s contact details (including address and telephone number) stored and in the case of a pet being found and presumed lost its owners can be easily contacted.
If you change address or telephone number, you should let I-CAD or your new veterinary clinic know so they can update contact details.
How to add your pet to the register
I-CAD identification is given either with a tattoo (done by a licensed tattooist or vet when the animal is under anaesthetic) or with an electronic chip. Electronic chipping is now more common and has become the main method for registering animals.
You can find more information about the identification code and where it may be found on a cat or dog on the I-CAD website here.
When a pet is ‘chipped’, it requires a special reader to identify this, unlike a tattoo which everyone can see..
Vets will check the chip of a pet that is brought into their clinic free of charge (meaning, if you find a lost animal, you will not have to pay for the owner to be contacted).
Registering your pet with I-CAD is free, however vets may charge a consultation fee for the process (which, if you are bringing your pet for the first time, will probably include a general health check-up.)
If you bring a dog from abroad, it costs €9.23 to register the animal on the I-CAD.
In order to get an EU pet passport in France, the animal must be first registered on the I-CAD database.
What to do if I lose my pet?
If your pet is lost, you can log into your I-CAD space on the website (using their identification number) and declare the animal lost.
You should also put up lost posters around your neighbourhood, post on local social media spaces and regularly check forums for ‘found’ pets.
If and when your pet is returned, you should declare this on the I-CAD website.
Second-home owners in France to register travelling pets with I-CAD