We know a bit about what urban cats do in the day-time and very little about what they get up to at night.
Do they cheat on their owners and visit the neighbours for snuggles and food? Do they wander to faraway places? Do they hunt? Do they fraternise with the local ferals?
This cat study took place in November 2013. It was a collaboration between vets from the Valentine Charlton Cat Centre at the University of Sydney, artists Imogen Semmler & Matt Woodham and a pet technology developer (Pet Vision). It involved tracking 18 cats in the Sydney suburb of Erskineville using night vision motion activated cat cameras and GPS tracking devices: comparing day-time and night-time behaviour to find out where cats really go and what they get up to when the sun goes down....
Imogen and filmmaker Matt brought some of these stories to life at Tiny Stadiums Festival in Erskineville during November 2013. Matt's designs and short films about these cats' adventures were on display around the village. And Imogen took the public on free 'performance' Cat Tours as part of the Festival's Live Art Weekend.
The vets are now analysing the data towards their ongoing research into urban outdoor cat behaviour and to assist with owner education. A study will be published this year (2014) examining the risks to cats and wildlife when cats roam in an urban environment.
Cats, artists, cameras and satellites. With cutting edge technology at our fingertips the unknown lives of cats have become a platform for scientific exploration, education, story telling and live art.
A HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL THE CATS AND THEIR OWNERS WHO TOOK PART IN THE STUDY
Devised and produced by Imogen Semmler
Design and video by Matt Woodham
Tech Consultancy and product by PetVision
Cat Study author and project collaboration by Associate Professor Vanessa Barrs
GPS data crunching by Andy Tice
Behind the scenes video by Alex Parkinson
Poster designed for Tiny Stadiums Festival by Matt Woodham
Showing the movements of the cats over 24 hours
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