A few years ago the ASPCA undertook a telephone survey of more than 1,000 pet-owning households across the country to get a sense of how many pets have been lost, how many ultimately made it home, and how their guardians found them.
The study involved a random survey of pet guardians to find out if they lost a cat or dog in the past five years – and if they did, did they find that pet – and where did they look? Here’s what they found:
- 15% had lost a cat or a dog in the past five years – a lower number than had been anecdotally reported
- 85% of those lost cats and dogs were recovered
- The percentage of lost cats compared to lost dogs was quite similar – 15% percent for cats and 14% for dogs
- Cat guardians were less likely to find their cat – only 74% of lost cats were recovered, while 93% of lost dogs were recovered
59% of cat guardians found their cat because it returned home on its own; 30 percent found their cat by searching the neighborhood and only 2% of cat guardians found their lost pets at a shelter.
“This research tells us that there is a possibility that a significant percentage of the stray dogs and cats in the shelters around the country do not have someone looking for them,” said Dr. Emily Weiss, vice president of shelter research and development for the ASPCA. It also highlights the importance of ID tags and other forms of identification to ensure the quick return of lost pets.
The IAABC (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants) shared some interesting statistics on lost cat behaviors and found that 84% of 128 lost outdoor-access cats were found within a five-house radius of their home, and that 92% of 158 cases of displaced, indoor-only cats who’d escaped outside were also found within a five-house radius of their home.
A Better Solution to this Problem
Introducing Tail it technologies – a company based in Norway that have developed the world smallest GPS tracker for cats. Their Cat Tracker is small and lightweight so cats won’t mind wearing it. If a cat goes missing, the owner can track it down using their smartphone, even if it has been a while since it was home.
One of the key attributes of Cat Tracker is its exceptionally long battery life – 3 weeks on a single charge. This means you don’t need to worry about not being able to locate your cat if it’s been gone for a few days, unlike many other commercial GPS devices that require a daily charge.
Most GPS collars for cats come with a default refresh rate that is typically between 1-3 minutes, and the device automatically updates on your mobile phone. The problem with updating your cat’s location in this manner is that the device rapidly drains the battery.
However, in the Tail it cat GPS tracker, the device will only update the location when you press “update location” in the app. In addition, they have a WIFI home feature that detects when the tracker is home so does not use battery life.
Their tracking technology gives an accuracy of 1.2 miles and WIFI location will provide accuracy of 220 yards. During the design and development phase they asked a number of cat enthusiasts to test their trackers and received rave reviews.
One clever request was to add the option of sound and light as cats often hide if they get scared or injured, if it’s dark, it can be difficult if not impossible to find a cat, even if it is only 15 feet away from you. In the Tail it mobile tracker app you can easily turn on a light on the tracker or play a sound, making it a lot easier to track down your missing cat even if it’s trapped or hiding somewhere.
It also has a “live tracking” feature that lets you see the current position of the device “live in the map”. The tracker updates every second so you get a real-time image of where your cat is. This function can be activated from the Tail it app, you can easily turn on and off the live tracking at anytime.
It will however use more battery, as long as “live” is activated in the app., so they programmed the GPS for Cats to go “live” for 5 minutes, before you have to give your approval to exceed this time limit. This is as an additional security for you as a user, and super useful in emergency situations.
Oh and did we mention it’s super easy to install? Just download the Tail it app and take a picture of the unit. Then you’ll see its location on the map. How’s that for user friendly! >^..^<
Learn more about the Tail it cat tracker.