A TABBY cat has been reunited with his owner after being missing for six years.

The reunion was made possible after vets discovered a microchip on long-haired cat George, which led to him and his owner Ms Johnstone finding their way back to each other again.

Despite his owner giving up hope, he was found by residents as he roamed their garden, and they took him to Southampton's easipetcare after concerns of his thin and unwell appearance.

The veterinary practice scanned the cat for an identity microchip - which include the animal’s name, age and contact details for the owner - and discovered that he was owned.

They contacted the pet's owner immediately, and they were reunited two days later.

His owner, Ms Johnstone, said: “George is such a loving cat and I was devastated when he went missing. I looked far and wide, but after weeks had passed, I gave up hope. I couldn’t believe it when I heard he’d been found.”

"I am so thankful to the team at easipetcare, who took such good care of George. It is wonderful to see the progress he is making back to his handsome former self. I’m so glad I had him microchipped and kept my contact details up to date, otherwise we could not have been reunited. I would encourage all cat owners to have their cats microchipped.”

Head of Practice, Kirby Davis, said: “When George arrived he was very underweight, with matted fur and diarrhoea. His stomach had shrunk after living on the streets for so long, so we were feeding him little and often to allow his tummy to recover. We also groomed him to get rid of the matts.

“Thousands of cats go missing every year and almost half are never reunited with their owners. Microchipping is the safe and permanent way to identify cats."

According to the practice, George has been gaining weight and is looking healthier as his fur regrows.

He, along with the owner's other cats, have been signed on to the easipetcare 365 pet health plan to make sure they receive regular preventative health care.

If you would like your cat to be microchipped, contact easipetcare Southampton on 023 8073 3000 or visit www.easipetcare.com/Southampton.