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City takes part in Cat Tracker Australia project

Posted on January 25, 2018
The City of Bayswater is the only WA Council taking part in an innovative Australia wide Cat Tracker project which aims to share the secret life of cats in the suburbs.

Up to 1,400 cats nationwide will take part in the study, which is being led by the University of South Australia's Dr Philip Roetman.

Dr Roetman has been conducting research in the field in Adelaide for the past two years.

Cat Tracker will follow the day and night-time movements of cats to deliver valuable information for cat owners to care for and manage their pets.

"We want to be at the forefront of educating residents on responsible pet ownership," Mayor Dan Bull said.

"Cat Tracker will provide cat owners with information to help them care for their pets -from establishing how far they travel from home, to monitoring whether they’re crossing any main roads, or venturing into parklands.

“The findings will not only help cat owners make more informed decisions about their cats, but will also provide us with insights that will help reduce the risk of cat predation on native animals.”

The City is looking for 40 cats to track as part of the project.

Pet owners who are keen to participate will need to fill out an online survey, which includes a cat personality test. Selected participants (not all cats will be tracked) will then be sent a GPS tracker to track their cats. Once tracking is complete, they will receive a report on their cat’s personality and a map indicating where their cat has travelled to.
"The GPS will tell us and residents how far their cats are travelling, if they're crossing busy roads and if they're spending time in local wetland and bushland areas. The data collected so far indicates that cats travel much further around their home than their owner's think they do," Mayor Bull added.

"The information collected helps owners understand their cat's movements and keep animals safe from harm. This is a really positive example of Citizen Science in Local Government and working together with local residents."

Funded and supported by state, territory and local governments plus other stakeholders from around Australia, Cat Tracker will commence official cat-tracking on 1 February.

At the end of the program the City will receive a full report that aims to help to build the science around how cats move in an urban area.

To register your cat visit: www.discoverycircle.org.au/projects/cat-tracker

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