Where Do Outdoor Cats Go? A GPS Tracking Study Can Tell You

How to Participate

Previous studies have tracked cats' movements, but they've been very small. With around 60 participants thus far, Cat Tracker is already the largest. But the researchers are hoping to get many more; their ambition is to sign up 1,000 cats. It's important to have large numbers because, although the average cat sticks close to home, there are those individuals who roam much farther.

"If you have many millions of cats, even if only 10 percent are moving far, that could be a lot of cats out there in protected areas," Kays says. "That's why we want a large sample size, to be able to look at the variability."

If you live in the Raleigh-Durham area, you can borrow GPS units from the research team. If you don't, the website gives do-it-yourself instructions. For more information on how to join the study and see where your cat is roaming, check out the project description.

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