CATaLOG: RFID cat tracking


Like many pet owners, [Pete] was curious about his little furry friend’s habits while he was gone. He decided to build an RFID tracking system to monitor their positions. This data would then be available on the web.  An Arduino handles the communication of the data, both to twitter and his personal cat tracking site. We were a bit surprised to see that the only data transmitted on the final project was whether the cat was inside or out. We’d like to see a heat map of the cat’s activity in the house.

19 thoughts on “CATaLOG: RFID cat tracking

  1. I can’t seem to find any description of how the cats “wear” their rfid tags.

    I’ve been considering a project such as this for years (for access control as well as tracking) — only utilizing the sub-dermal rfid chips that vets use for lost-pet identification.

  2. I doubt RFID could be used to track positions of the wearer. It’s extremely short-ranged. Apparently the RFID reader was positioned on the flap of the cat door.

  3. Bobbin? Tuffin? With those names, I’d want to make sure I knew where my cats were, too. Just in case the other ‘hood cats were into beating them up.

  4. I know Pete a little bit – been to the pub with him a couple of times – so I know how this works… the RFID tags are completely standard ones that are hooked up on their collars. There are readers on the cat flap and at their food area. And I think the cats’ names come courtesy of his girlfriend =)

    He’s currently making an absurdly complete home-brew system. I look forward to tasting the results!

  5. clint, those sub-dermal tags would probably work fine. you just need to make sure that the reader gets very close to the area where the tag is implanted – so it’ll only really work in a cat flap or similar situation, and you might get some failure-to-reads if the cat comes in at an unusual angle.

  6. We used to use subdermal PIT tags to track fish passage that were practically indistinguishable from the pet tags of today, and they are very reliable provided that the fish are able to go through the loop of the reader. Wanding them was much less dependable.

  7. If I know my dog’s RFID number, how would I set up being able to read it/ track her from my laptop? If I understand above, I need some sort of reader? I’m not very techy, but keen to learn…

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