59% of felines taken to the charity’s centres were not microchipped at all.

A new law will require all cat owners in England to have their cats microchipped from June next year.

Cat owners found not to have microchipped their cat by this date will have 21 days to have one implanted or may face a fine of up to £500.

Rachel Saunders, Cattery Manager at Battersea, said: “When a microchipped cat is brought to us as a stray, we can usually orchestrate a joyful reunion, sparing heartache for owners, but for most stray cats we take in, there is no chip at all, leaving us unable to trace where they may have come from.”

Battersea further warns cat and dog owners that failure to keep their contact details updated on microchipping databases leaves staff unable to notify the owners when a pet is brought into their care.

Rachel added: “With greater responsibility from cat and dog owners to update microchip information, we can reunite many more pets and spare countless families from needless suffering.”

While cat microchipping rates are troublingly low, dogs are also being failed by inaccurate data and absentcrochips.