Study following the secret lives of cats hits the East Coast

Residents of the East Coast region with feline friends had the opportunity to be involved with a project aiming to understand more about cats and their behaviours.

Break O’Day and Glamorgan Spring Bay councils teamed up with Cat Tracker Australia to track pet cats in the region.

The project was conducted by the University of South Australia’s Discovery Circle initiative, and was lead by research leader Phillip Roetman.

“Domestic cats are one of the most popular pets worldwide and they play an important and much-cherished role in the lives of many Australians,” Dr Roetman said.

“But where do our cats go when they’re not with us? Are they out-and-about exploring the neighbourhood, or just lazing away nearby?

“Cat Tracker will tell us where they’ve been,” he said. “Some missing information that will help cat owners make decisions about their cat’s care.”

Cat owners completed a survey to volunteer their pet.

A small GPS unit was then used to track cats in their day-to-day life over a week.

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“Cat Tracker relies on community involvement and right now, we’re looking for people who are keen to register their cats to participate in our national study.

“We’ll be aiming for a good balance of gender, breeds, ages and locations, as this will provide the most robust data for the study, and extend the work we completed in South Australia.”

“We’re really excited about taking this project nationally.

“Cats provide great enjoyment, companionship and a connection to the natural world.

“With nearly a third of Australian households owning a pet cat, Cat Tracker gives us a fantastic opportunity to engage the community in a novel and intriguing study about one of our most beloved pets.”

The project began tracking cats throughout Australia on February 1.

Within the Break O’Day region, 11 surveys were completed and 10 cats were nominated for tracking.

Break O’Day Council said more surveys and cats were needed, with the project continuing through until July.

To get your cat involved, head online to www.discoverycircle.org.au/projects/cat-tracker/ to fill out the survey.