What do you think about this new device, which is yet to hit shop shelves; the CatNav? It is for indoor/outdoor cats or perhaps cats living in a very large house! I suggest below how it may help to protect cats from abuse.
It is a variation on the CatCam, the video camera attached to a cat’s collar. The CatNav, as you have probably guessed, tracks your cat’s movements using GPS (Global Positioning System), just like the device in your car, that tells how to get to a preset destination.
The ultra-light weight device he invented is worn as a cat collar. The device tracks the cat’s movements. On returning home the CatNav is removed from the cat and plugged into the USB socket of a computer. The information gathered can then be mapped using Google Maps. It will cost about £50.
The information that the CatNav collects on your cat’s travels would probably look somewhat like this when downloaded to Google Maps (this is illustrative and not an actual example).
View CatNav Example Route in a larger map
The product was invented by a Brit, David Evans. Brits are very inventive. His cat “Yollo” routinely goes a-wandering and returns well fed. This reminds me of some cats I know.
David wanted to know what his Yollo was up to and, perhaps, find out who was feeding him – maybe he wants to reimburse the person for the cost of cat food!
This is a clever idea but…I am not sure that it will tell you much more than you can already guess at. If your cat goes out and roams, you’ll be able to guess that it will be for up to about 2 miles and he’ll probably have to cross a road or roads, depending on where you are, and he’ll probably jump over or through garden fences and walls to wander around someone else’s garden because cats don’t recognise the concept of boundaries and property rights etc.
You may be able to discover who is feeding your cat other than you. However, do you really want to meet that person? Perhaps he or she is fed up with you and you don’t even know it ;).
Protecting the Cat
The information may help to protect your cat. If a neighbour wanted to harm your cat, let’s say by poisoning him using antifreeze, it may be possible to discover where the person lives. If, for example, five cats in one area wore the device and the owners kept records of their movement you could the compare the maps. If one was poisoned there may be a convergence where the poisoned food was put down and that poison might be on or near the property of the poisoner.
I would place a little note on the collar saying:
“This cat’s movements have been tracked”.
That is likely to be a barrier to a person who wishes to harm the cat. It is also useful to put a phone number on the collar for common sense reasons.
Of course, if a nasty person gets close enough to the cat he could remove the device. However, the notice is written in the past tense so the person would then know that he has already been identified.