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Cheetah Researchers Use The Same GPS Tracking Devices To Track Cats

Posted in GPS Tracking Benefits, News on June 25th, 2013

gps tracking devices

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We reported not too long ago on a couple who fitted their cat with a GPS collar to track her suburban adventures, which showed the cat covering a staggering amount of ground. Now, Professor Alan Wilson shared his own experience of tracking multiple cats’ movements with GPS tracking.

Professor Wilson, who you might remember from his work tracking acceleration of cheetahs, is using his same GPS technology to monitor the big cats’ smaller siblings. In that experiment he found that the big cats relied on dynamic use of acceleration for hunting, rather than running at full speed.

Cat GPS Trackign

Photo Courtesy of BBC

While the internet’s favorite house pet may not have the same speed as the cheetahs, the house elusive housecat often goes on its own adventures, much to the annoyance of pet owners.

He decided to apply the same experiment to the housecat because, according to his post on the BBC, we don’t know too much about our pet’s activity. He modified the collars so that they could fit comfortably around the cat while addressing the challenge of keeping the battery small but large enough to maintain the power.

He also implemented an activity sensor, so that the GPS tracking collars would only pick up on the cats’ activities instead of their downtime. He also fitted the collars with a radio transmitter should a collar fall off a cat.

Professor Wilson then gathered the data from the GPS tracking collars and projected it onto a map. He claimed to be surprised at the small range of the cats’ travels. According to Professor Wilson, “They tended to remain within the confines of the village and roamed in those areas.”

The team compiled some theories based on the GPS tracking data with help from behaviorist Dr. Sarah Ellis. One of the most interesting theories the team came up with was the kitty timeshare. Apparently the cats will occupy the same areas at different times of day so to avoid conflict with the other felines.

We think it’s interesting how Professor Wilson had a simple of a transition between experiments using the same technology. His experiments continue to prove the accuracy of GPS tracking devices.

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