A pet owner has developed a new tracking device for animals dubbed ‘Cat Nav’ – which tracks their every move and maps it on Google.
Dad-of-two Dave Evans came up with the idea because his own silver tabby Yollo was mysteriously disappearing and putting on weight each day.
He developed an ultra-light GPS which fixes to the pet’s collar and records where it has been.
When the animal returns home the information is downloaded via a USB cable direct to a website which reveals its secret life on Google Earth satellite images.
Dave, 41, says the weatherproof tracker, weighing just 15g, will cost £50 and can be used for cats and dogs.
He said: “My cat was getting fat even thought I was feeding him less and I needed to know what was going on.
“Now I know he travels a couple of miles each day, exactly where he goes every night and who’s feeding him.
“I know he also enjoys chasing chickens at 6am every morning and can see his favourite hangouts.
“The tracker will provide answers for other cat users if Tiddles is playing away or simply show where they go when they’re out on the tiles.”
Dave, of Marlborough, Wits., added: “It can equally be used for dogs, for example to show how much exercise they are getting.
“For dog owners who pay for ‘professional walkers’ it will record exactly how far and fast their dog is travelling and show if they are getting value for money.”
Dave is also developing a social networking site for pets to accompany his ‘G-Paws’ device which will be available in the summer.
He said: “It will enables users to see where their pets have been wandering on Google Earth as well as share photos, videos and other information on their pets.
“Owners will be able to see which other pets their animals have been interacting with.
“For too long we have been kept in the dark about the secret lives of our pets.
“At last we will know what they get up to, what ‘second homes’ they have, how far they travel and where their favourite hang-outs are.”
Dave, who has a background in sat nav marketing, is using a Chinese developer to manufacture his own device.
Other GPS devices for animals provide real-time information via SIM cards but are a lot more expensive at around #200 and too heavy for smaller pets.