Research project to track up to 100 Canberra cats

Research project to track up to 100 Canberra cats

The ACT is supporting a national research project to track the movement of up to 1400 cats across Australia.

The Cat Tracker Australia – which is being undertaken by the University of South Australia with the support of local, state and territory government agencies – will provide valuable information on the roaming patterns of pet cats.

Cats provide great companionship and different cats have different personalities. Roaming cats are at greater risk of harm including from motor vehicles and disease, as well as impacting on the natural environment by hunting native birds, mammals and lizards.

Cat owners can complete the national cat survey and, as part of the survey, they can nominate if they would like to have their cat tracked as part of the research project. Participants will be selected by University of South Australia next year and sent GPS collars for tracking. Researchers aim to get a suitable mix of cats such as gender, age, and breed.

Up to 100 cats will be tracked for a week each in the ACT, which will help inform cat owners about where their cat goes. The project will also provide information to the public and inform research on cat behaviour.

Our city is known as the bush capital which brings many benefits, but it also brings a responsibility to protect our native species who live on our doorstep. Previous research done in South Australia indicated the average cat roams about one hectare – which is the size of about eight Olympic-sized swimming pools – but some went as far as 31 hectares.

This project is jointly funded through the ACT Government and the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Read more about the cat tracking project.