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How to best protect cats from getting lost

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.

  
Alabama

1307142
 
 
Purred: Sun Sep 8, '13 5:17pm PST 
Hi, I'd really love your feedback to improve a product that I'm considering with the core goal being reducing the number of lost cats, getting lost cats back to their owners faster, and ensuring that all cats get returned to their owners.

The first part of the product is a blue-tooth wireless tag that would work with any smart phone, allowing an owner to find their pet within a 100' range. I think this would be useful for cats in and around houses, or in their own yards.

When cats are wandering, it would seamlessly use the smart phones of other people with the app installed to help find your companion. There are currently over 100,000 users across North America, and more joining every day.

The last line of defence would be animal control and vet offices being encourage to install the app for free. Finally when collars are torn off, or lost, a database with your cat's details and photo that is automatically sent to all the area's shelters and vets when you report the your companion lost.

We've all had moments when we've had a close call or actually lost an animal. Do you think this product would be beneficial, and what would you pay for this kind of peace of mind?

Thanks for any feedback you may have.
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Little Boy- Blue PAWS

The Blue Dude
 
 
Purred: Mon Sep 9, '13 2:44pm PST 
That might be enough to make me get a smartphone. I'm not familiar in the least with smartphones, as my little flip phone does the job, but this sounds interesting, and possibly do-able. Anything that helps parents find their kids is worthwhile. Good luck with your project!
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Midas

'cause his touch- is too much!
 
 
Purred: Tue Sep 10, '13 10:02am PST 
I think it would be a great idea, and here are my thoughts on it:

The device would need to be fairly tiny. Since I doubt that it would be something that could be implanted, the cat would have to wear it on a collar. Obviously, something that would need to be fairly tiny to avoid irritation, or just looking really stupid. I'm thinking about how huge the tracking devices scientists use on wild animals are. I don't want that. I want it to be out of sight, out of mind until I have to use it.

The second thing it would need to be was fairly cheap. Cat are notorious for losing or getting out of their collars. While it could be larger and more expensive for a large breed dog that is less likely to lose it, if I have a cat, I don't want to spend a lot of money on something he might lose, especially if he is an indoor/outdoor cat. Think of it this way, I can spend $30-$40 for a microchip, and it will stay in the animal forever. It might not be as effective as this other technology, but it's cheap and will last me for the life of the pet. Alternatively, I can spend $10 on a collar and ID tag. It might get lost, but I'm not out much if it is. In theory you would be able to track it to the location it was lost, but what if it ended up in a puddle or that grumpy neighbor's yard?

How is this going to affect the battery life on my smartphone? Not to be selfish, but if my battery is going to die halfway through the day because it is constantly searching for a blue-tooth signal, I'm going to disable the app until I need it. It would need to only be activated for people within "x" mile radius after the owner sent out an alert for a missing pet. Also, perhaps there could be two apps, a free one for people without pets registered with the system, just to get more phones on the system for people who want to help detect pets, and then the paid version, where you can send out an alert for a missing pet, register your collars, etc.

Kind of building off the previous point is privacy. Because I see this also being used for dogs, I don't want my pet on the system at all times. What if someone sees that I have Fido out of the walk, meaning I'm not home and they can rob the place? What if they can see that I boarded Fluffy at a pet hotel for the week? What if I wanted one for all of my pets, but I technically had one too many, or I'm babysitting someone's pet, I don't want animal control to be able to drive by and count how many animals I have! The system would need to be very secure in order for me to feel comfortable using it.

My last comment will be on cost. Obviously, what people would be able to spend on something like this would vary a lot. Right now, I'm young, just graduated, don't have a job, and broke. We aren't struggling to put food on the table, but we also don't have any extra to spend on things we don't absolutely need. So right now, I probably wouldn't fall into your target demographic because even if it was only $10, I'm not going to be able to justify the cost when I'm saving pennies. On the other hand, I know people who spend a few hundred to a few thousand a month on their pets without batting an eye. Those people would be your early adopters. So there is definitely a demographic, but it is probably going to be from a smaller group of people until people use it and (if it works!) tell everyone else how wonderful it is and how it helped get Spot home.

Sorry for writing a book. I really do think this is great!
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Baby

i am a cutie- kitty
 
 
Purred: Tue Sep 10, '13 2:55pm PST 
Here is a really simple way to keep your cats from getting lost, DO NOT LET THEM OUTSIDE ON THERE OWN, case closed. less kittens, less ferals & strays, less getting hit by cars, less getting sick and hurt, and most of all, less getting put to sleep, the list goes on. hope this helps.

purring for the sick and homeless animals.
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BooBoo Jr.

goofus ball
 
 
Purred: Tue Sep 10, '13 6:00pm PST 
Midas, I think the chip could just be a number in a database, you would call a central number that would contact the owner so they need not know that catnumber 354 lives at 1945 puursimmon st, etc, just to look for a white cat with oneblack ear for instance. You call the number on the app, they call the owner and hook you up, sort of like the home again microchip system.
I DON"T let my cats out and DO microchip (this might be even better in an improved implantable chip!) butam still missing a cat--big Ben got out when we had a near tornado --the door to his quarters blew open as well as the second door, to where he was. if he had a tracking device, I would have had him back in short order frown
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Midas

'cause his touch- is too much!
 
 
Purred: Tue Sep 10, '13 8:59pm PST 
In a perfect world indoor only cats don't get out, but we don't live in a perfect world. Midas has managed to escape once since we moved. He pushed out a window screen that wasn't secured properly. I am lucky that he simply walked around the house and back in the open front door (we were having maintenance done on the house and he was locked in a room) before I even knew he was missing, but if not, it would be great to have something like the OP suggested. I am also a strong advocate that cats should be kept solely indoors, but I also know that there is no way in heck that is ever going to happen. There are feral colonies, working barn cats, and cats that people got tired of fighting to keep inside or cleaning a litterbox for. If the OP is offering a technology that would help reunite even one lost pet with its owner, it is a mission I can support.

As for how it works, yes, an implant would be completely amazing and the best option in my mind, but I can only imagine getting approval for that would be very difficult. People would be crying that us people are going to be tracked next (heck, look at the problems people still have with microchips!), or the radiation the chips emit cause cancer. I just figured I would lay out all the questions or concerns I would have if I was looking into using some technology like this. Security would definitely be a big one. As for your lost kitty, Ben, I sincerely hope that he comes home, and I am very sorry he is missing. hug
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Tia

Tia the- Terrific!
 
 
Purred: Wed Sep 11, '13 2:33am PST 
I do not let Tia wear collars, so the idea of having it be an implant interests me. It would be like an upgraded version of micro-chip, right?
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Pandora

go getter kitter
 
 
Purred: Thu Sep 12, '13 2:20pm PST 
That's the thought I'm having--something that's coded to keep bad people from using the cat to find your house, but making it where we could find the kitty! I would happily spend 100+ each for thissmile for the whole crew here. I suspect someone let sweetheart Benson into their home (the neighbor's kids said a renter down the st had a NEW big black cat right before she moved, 3 weeks after he got out)--with this kind of device I would have known if it was true!
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Merlin - An Angel- Forever

*Poof*
 
 
Purred: Sat Sep 14, '13 5:07pm PST 
Here's something that can send you a text message with the GPS location if your pet is found : http://www.blanketid.com/how-it-works/ smile

Edited by author Sat Sep 14, '13 5:08pm PST

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