Lost Pet Research Projects

Start here for an overview of existing and future lost pet research projects.  

This year I'm planning to focus on lost pet research projects and blog articles.  At this point I have way too many ideas and I want to see what YOU are most interested in learning about.  I'm also hoping to gauge interest in research participation, which would be necessary for some projects.  If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave a Comment at the end of this article or Contact me here

Right now I am working on organizing my existing research and gauging interest in future projects.  Those updates will be posted in this Lost Pet Research Project Blog.

Lost Pet Research Blog Articles 

The Lost Pet Research Blog is home to my current research articles.  Most of these articles are based on research studies published in the scientific literature.  A few articles are summaries of my own research such as the Cat Homing Behavior Survey.  These articles go back as early as 2011 and some could probably be updated with new research.  But there are so many new topics to explore as well.

Lost Pet Statistics Research

At this time there are very few published studies related directly to lost pet recovery. The existing studies also have a number of shortcomings.  Perhaps most important, few people surveyed in the published research received any professional help in the search for their lost pets.  

One of my priorities this year is to design some systematic data collection for lost pet recovery cases.  

Connect with other businesses for research on lost and found pet data

I am exploring the possibility of connecting with other pet-related groups or businesses to learn more about lost pet behavior and recovery.  

Some possible businesses/groups to connect with:

  • Pet tracking device companies.  Look at GPS data on where lost cats/dogs travel and are found.  
  • Amber alert services.  How often do these services directly lead to recoveries?  I suspect this info may be difficult to get since these companies want people to think that their services are very effective even if they are not.
  • Microchip companies.  What percentage of microchipped dogs/cats are reported lost?  Do they collect any information on found statistics?
  • Shelters.  Some shelter data is publicly available.

Collaborating with other researchers

Ultimately, I would like to connect with Universities or other research groups for collaboration on projects.  This is probably the only way to get our research published in the scientific literature since I do not have a master's degree or affiliation with a university.  

Past and current project collaboration:

  • The Missing Cat Project.
  • Guelph research study on cat personalities and their territories.  This is a current thesis that is almost completed.

Citizen Science Research Experiments

A lot of the research outlined here is technically citizen science.  But the particular projects listed here would involve creating hands-on research experiments for people involved in lost pet search and recovery work to carry out.  These types of research projects would be much more complex to set up and carry out compared to survey based research studies.  

Alternatively, these studies could be done as project collaboration with other research groups if we could find someone interested. 

Possible Citizen Science Experiments 

  • Cat litter experiment - Does dirty cat litter attract lost cats, predators or other animals?
  • Scent lure experiment - Do certain scent lures really work for attracting lost dogs or cats?
  • Movement patterns of displaced cats - Perhaps collect GPS data on newly moved or adopted outdoor-access cats.

How to learn more and/or participate

If you are really interested and don't want to miss out on anything, I would suggest signing up for the Lost Pet Research Newsletter and/or the Lost Pet Research Facebook group.  However, I will also post updates to MAR Facebook groups and my Lost Pet Research Facebook page.

Watch for updates:

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