Cat Found at Nashville Airport Mysteriously Microchipped to Italy, Internet on the Case

Facebook users are putting their sleuthing skills to the test on a Facebook post published by the Metro Nashville Animal Care and Control that announced a cat that was found has a microchip from Italy.

"This orange kitty was found near the airport this week," the Facebook post read. "Our team scanned it for a microchip, and while it was not registered, it was implanted in Italy."

Commenters were eager to share ideas on how the organization can reunite the feline with its owner.

Caitlin Callaghan urged Metro Nashville Animal Care and Control to contact the airport and see if there is a way for the airline carriers to check if a passenger's cat went missing, which the Metro Nashville Animal Care and Control confirmed they've already done. The organization also said it filed a report with the airport with a description of the cat.

"The poor owner and kitty must be distraught," Callaghan wrote.

Some Facebook users, based both in the United States and in Italy, asked the organization for the microchip number. One suggested that microchip registration is different in Italy.

Lucia Soliman, who lives in Italy, asked for the registration number and said she can see if a veterinarian can check it.

Others suggested that the information be cross-posted with other Facebook groups in an attempt to reach a wider audience.

One even said the organization should post a TikTok about the incident.

"They can find anything!" Facebook user Danielle Nicole wrote.

Cat Animal Shelter
An animal control shelter is trying to track down the owner of a cat found near an airport in Nashville, Tennessee, though the microchip was implanted in Italy. Here, an abandoned cat waits in a cage at the Chamarande animal shelter of the French SPA (society for animal protection). BERTRAND GUAY/Getty Images

According to the Humane Society of the United States, microchips are about the size of a grain of rice and can be implanted into a pet's skin. The organization noted that some shelters implant a microchip into all the pets they place.

However, it pointed out that getting a microchip for a pet isn't enough—owners must also register their pet with the microchip company. That can involve completing paperwork that came with the chip and sending it to the registry, but there may be a way for a pet owner to register the chip online.

It is unclear how long the cat lived near the airport and if the owner does, in fact, live in Italy.

Pet Travel reported that there may be a different set of guidelines with each airline when traveling with a pet, and an owner should notify the airline that they are traveling with a pet.

If an animal is traveling internationally, it should have a microchip number that appears on all health and vaccination certificates. In addition to noting that a pet should be in an appropriately sized crate, Pet Travel also outlined how owners can transport their pets while flying.

Some pets may travel in the cabin of the plane if they can fit in a pet carrier under a seat, while others may be transported with the luggage and is picked up at the airport's baggage claim area.

Newsweek reached out to the Metro Nashville Animal Care and Control for comment.