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Tracker trial puts Ipswich felines on GPS

ROAMING FELINE: Jamie the cat wears a Discovery Circle cat-tracking GPS on his collar. The GPS allows owners to track the movements of their roaming cats.
ROAMING FELINE: Jamie the cat wears a Discovery Circle cat-tracking GPS on his collar. The GPS allows owners to track the movements of their roaming cats. Discovery Circle

OWNERS of Ipswich felines are encouraged to join a national cat-tracking program to learn more about the movements of the animals.

Discovery Circle's Cat Tracking project will recruit 1400 cats from across Australia for the initiative.

The project, first trialled in the US, aims to better understand the movement of domestic cats and their personalities and relationships with owners.

By attaching a GPS to the cat's collar, researchers can track their inclinations.

The US trial discovered the significant distance cats often covered at night.

Ipswich City Council Health and Community Safety Committee chair Sheila Ireland said cat enforcement was not a significant problem for the council, but acknowledged some caused problems for wildlife.

"It's always a concern when cats go feral," Cr Ireland said.

"People move away and can't catch the cat or don't take the cat with them and they just keep breeding."

Cr Ireland said people should do the right thing and have their cats desexed and controlled.

"If they are responsible pet owners, I would hope they have cat runs.

"They're not supposed to stray - they're supposed to be locked up of a night time," she said.

The council abolished registration fees for cats because the matter was too difficult to be enforced.

"There's no way for our officers to find out how many cats are in a yard because they don't bark," she said.

"It was very expensive to follow up on that one."

Cr Ireland said that kittens were dropped at the pound during breeding season.

"That's why the council has been working closely with the RSPCA and AWL, to do cheaper desexing," she said.

People keen to take part in the trial should visit www.discoverycircle. org.au.

Topics:  cats feral cats gps pets and animals rspca sheila ireland


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