Giles Coren enjoys watching his cats’ comings and goings on his CCTV

Giles Coren is probably my favourite journalist. He is happily married with two domestic cat companions named Mo Tenzing after the first man to climb Mount Everest and Iris. I make the point that he is happily married because he recently installed CCTV at his home; not to spy on his wife, but to reduces insurance premiums. Or perhaps more precisely his home insurer recommended it. In-home security cameras can reduce your insurance premiums. My research indicates that some insurance providers reduce premiums if you have a working burglar alarm in place. You can DIY security camera installation nowadays very cheaply via Amazon.

Esther Walker, Giles Coren and Mo Tenzing

Esther Walker, Giles Coren and Mo Tenzing. Photo: Tom Jackson. Problem publishing it here? Please leave a comment.

But there is an added benefit to a personal CCTV system if you have cats as Mr Coren has found out. His installation sends him and his wife still photos by text message whenever it detects human movement at night. As you can imagine it is not human movement which triggers the software but his cats meandering around the place in the small hours.

They are indoor/outdoor cats as I understand it. And we all know by now that domestic cats are crepuscular, which means they tend to prefer going outside in the early hours and at dusk. Although it should be said that domestic cats pretty well like to be active at any time either day or night. If there is one time when they are perhaps least active it would be in the early afternoon, in my experience.

Giles Coren says that it is far more interesting to see “the return of a prodigal cat” than spying on your partner. He hints that he has been through that process and life is much brighter when you can use your security cameras to spy on your cats rather than your spouse.

An interesting and I think positive aspect of security camera records of domestic cat movements is that it brings it home to people what they do when they aren’t looking. It’s a bit of a mystery what they do at night. How far do they go? Where do they go? Do they have great escapes, missing a vehicle on the road by a fraction of an inch? Do they encounter foxes and badgers and barely escape? My cat always comes home but sometimes I think that he might not.

You can put cameras on cats if you want to, so you could monitor what they see and where they go although the image quality is quite poor. And you can also provide cats with GPS collars. You could track their every movement by satellite if you wanted to. Perhaps we should. We should know where they go. Some neighbours don’t like cats wandering onto the garden. We need to know if this is happening to keep the peace.

A camera on a cat collar would be added security against burglars. Your cat already patrols his home range which is your home. Turn him into a security guard.

Here is Iris (believed) in a Coren tweet. He has gazillions of followers:

Please remember that embedded tweets sometimes disappear e.g. if Coren deleted his Twitter account because he was being pestered intolerably.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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