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Cat mapping: How to keep tabs on your tabby

Dave Evans has been able to track his pet Yollo with the GPS device.

Story highlights

  • Pet owner Dave Evans wanted to work out why his cat Yollo was putting on weight
  • Evans has developed the "G-Paws" device to track his pet
  • "G-Paws" doesn't give live data -- so no real-time stalking

Ever wondered where your cat goes after it leaves the house at night? Curious what your dog gets up to when it is off the leash? One man was and he has now designed a GPS tracking collar to get a glimpse into the private life of his pet.

Dave Evans, from Marlborough in the UK, wanted to work out why his cat Yollo was putting on weight, so he designed a "cat nav" to track where he went at night. With his new GPS collar, Yollo's secrets have been revealed, including his penchant for chasing chickens in the early hours of the morning.

"He was actually traveling a couple of miles pretty much every night, visiting other houses and we suspect those other houses were feeding him," says Evans.

Now that the mystery of Yollo's expanding waistline has been solved, Evans has developed the "G-Paws" device he says will be available soon for purchase by other curious pet owners.

Animal tracking devices have been available for years using various technologies and at a wide range of costs so make sure to compare the various brands before purchasing one.

G-Paws is based on existing GPS technology and the data can be plotted directly onto Google Earth. The light weight, waterproof device takes a recording every five seconds and Evans says it is accurate to two or three meters so you can see the precise route of your furry friend.

    But G-Paws doesn't give live data -- so no real-time stalking -- which Evans says has helped him keep the cost and weight of the unit down.

    It's not just cats who are going to have their secrets blown -- the G-Paws device can also be fitted to a dog's collar. If you want to catch your lazy dog-walker, this could tell you exactly how many miles your pet is getting exercised each day. And Evans says he's even been approached by pigeon racers and hawk owners to see if the G-Paws might work for their birds.

    "Everyone who owns a pet -- whether it's a cat, a dog, a pigeon -- has got a curiosity that when they're not around, what's that animal up to?" he said.

    For all those greedy cats doing the nightly neighborhood rounds, the multiple dinner days may soon be over.