Friday, August 15, 2014

Track a Cat

Cats are mysterious. They slink out the door, leave, and we have no idea what they do. Best case scenario, they come back. Quite asocial behavior from something that's sort of domesticated and likes to sleep on our laps!

Cat Tracker is a new project that intends to figure out what cats really do, and the best part is that anyone with a cat can participate. To be eligible, the cat needs to spend time both indoors and outdoors, and it needs to carry a small GPS device.

Hopes are that the project will teach us about cats. Where do they like to go? What do they do? Do different types of cats behave differently? How big are their areas? Do all pet cats sneak around and kill birds and small mammals, or is this just a small part of the cat population?

The latter might sound silly, but cats in the USA are estimated to kill around 4 billion birds and 22 billion mammals each year. If only a small portion of cats engage in outdoors killing, those numbers might be much smaller.

This is also relevant since the cat's diet might impact its health, and in the long run the health of its humans. Are wandering cats healthier or sicker than the stay-at-home kitties?

Some cats have been known to share their time between two households, leaving home one in the morning to go to home two, and then back to home one. Others hang out in the neighbor's yard all day, and others yet wander over large areas. The project strives to find out which behaviors are typical, and if there are any patterns.

If you want to know more, or want to participate, visit!

~ Maria Sadowski ~

1 comment: