CAT owners across the Tweed being invited to take part in a national study which is set to reveal just how far our feline friends actually wander when they’re let out of the home.
Tweed Shire Council has partnered with the University of South Australia for the nationwide study.
During the study, GPS units will be attached to a special collar and track a cat’s movements over a week.
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Council Project Officer Jude Mason, who is coordinating the Love Cats Love Wildlife project, said the Cat Tracker study will provide valuable information and probably surprise people.
“Cat owners want to know more about their cats,” Ms Mason said.
“They don’t know where their cats go and it’s a missing bit of information when owners are making decisions about the care of their cats.
“Similar studies have shown that even otherwise docile house cats can range over a very wide area and some owners might be in for quite a shock.”
Tweed residents are encouraged to nominate their cats for the study with the information gathered in Tweed Shire to be shared with Council staff.
The study comes after more than 600 Tweed residents took the time to complete the recent Love Cats Love Wildlife survey, providing insight into the interaction with cats in our community.
The survey is part of a project being undertaken collaboratively by Tweed Shire Council and the NSW Environmental Trust and the results will help shape this project and future animal welfare education programs for the community.
“Key findings of the survey show that there is a general awareness across the community that cats do have a negative impact on wildlife and that by keeping cats at home – either indoors in a safe cat enclosure or in a cat escape proof yard – wildlife is protected,” Ms Mason said.
“Cat safety was high on the list of benefits of cats kept at home and many residents have made their own ‘catios’ or cat patios to keep them safe.”
One of those is Tweed resident Jan Lobban who has enclosed her veranda as a cat run for her much loved companions Bruno and Madeleine.
“We made the decision after one cat was attacked by a feral cat and bitten by a snake,” Ms Lobban said.
For more information about the Cat Tracker project and to nominate your cat to take part, click here.