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GPS helps BBC researchers dig into lives of cats

by GPS4US 2013-06-13 18:09
Ever wonder what kind of shenanigans your cat gets into when you’re not around?

The new BBC show “The Secret Life of the Cat” may open your eyes a bit.

The producers outfitted 50 domestic cats in an England village with sensitive GPS collars and spent a week documenting their every move. The findings were compelling. Producers caught one cat sneaking over to a neighbor’s house for a late-night food heist.

And the science behind the show is just as intriguing as the findings.

Professor Alan Wilson of the Royal Veterinary College performed the research. Each specially-designed collar collected GPS information on the cat’s location and level of activity.

The biggest challenge for the team,” Wilson says in a blog post on, “ was to make the tracking equipment – the GPS and activity censor tags – small and light enough for domestic cats to wear around their necks on safety-release collars.”

Wilson added: “GPS uses a lot of power, but we could only use a small battery. So in order to save energy, we used an activity censor to trigger the GPS only when the cat was moving. That also saved us from collecting a lot of uninteresting data on sleeping cats.”

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