Attaching a GPS tracking device to your pet can keep it out of trouble and help you find it if it manages to wander too far. Typically, these devices are attached to dogs, but since the technology is so versatile, you can attach it to almost anything in the world and gather some useful data, and that’s exactly what a new research project spearheaded by David Brooks hopes to accomplish. What will he be gathering data on? Cats.
Domestic cats, to be more specific, and while it may not be immediately obvious why a researcher would attach a simple GPS unit to a cat, his reasoning is very interesting. Mankind knows quite a bit about feral cats, but we know surprisingly little about what our domesticated cats do when we’re away. Cat owners know that domesticated cats have an affinity for knocking things over, climbing, and taking naps, but many cat owners allow their pets to wander the neighborhood while they’re away. This is where GPS technology comes in.
GPS technology is amazing, and can be used to…
- Increase a business’s profitability.
- Help parents monitor their children’s whereabouts.
- Monitor fuel and fluids on a vehicle.
- Prevent temperature-sensitive cargo from going bad.
- Find the quickest and safest route between two points.
With the help of a small GPS activity tracker, Brooks hopes to clarify the impact of domestic cats on local ecosystems. It’s been estimated that domestic cats alone are responsible for the deaths of between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds every year, and cats have also been known to target small mammals, lizards, insects, and amphibians. Hopefully, Brooks’ study will provide some insight into how domesticated outdoor cats are impacting the ecosystem of their neighborhoods.
Does any of this sound interesting to you? Well, you’re in luck, because with just a few minutes of preparation, you can join in on this experiment and learn more about your own furry friend while contributing to the research project as a whole. You just purchase a small GPS pet tracker, attach it to your pet, and let it perform its daily routine as usual. After a certain period of time (typically a period slightly shorter than the GPS device’s battery life), you can view and upload the data. While video data isn’t being gathered to ascertain exactly when kills occur, the movement data is being gathered for more than one reason.
Surprisingly, part of this initiative hopes to convince pet owners to keep their cats inside. While this may seem a little bit harsh to the cats who most enjoy their time outside, there are dangers outside that a cat is not equipped to handle. Roads and highways are just as big of a danger to cats as cats are to the billions of birds they kill annually, and to a domesticated cat, outside is simply not a safe place to be. Coyotes are more prevalent in many areas, as well as many other predators that could turn your favorite furry friend into a meal.
Curious about what your pets do while you’re away? Have any funny stories about your pets doing unexpected things while you’re away? Let us know in the comments section below, and if you’re interested in GPS technologies, contact us today!