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Le Moyne professor invents app to track stray cats in Syracuse

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - Using his CatTracker app, a Le Moyne professor is asking you to track the next stray cat you see.

Plenty of stray and abandoned cats go through the doors of the CNY Humane Association. 

"They're very overcrowded right now," said executive director of CNYHumane, Christine McNeely, "There's very limited resources and limited volunteers, so it does become nearly impossible sometimes for us to even find placement for one of these stray feral cats."

Often times, though, they're not even given the chance. 

"People will come and dump their cats in city parks when they don't want them anymore, and there's really no regulation for that, or very little monitored regulation for that," explained Jason Luscier.

He invented an app, trying to fix that. "I think that knowing more about the cat population throughout the city, and how large it likely is, may help to inform future city legislation or management programs," he added.

It's called CatTracker and it's easy to use. The concept is that when you see a cat, you mark it on the app. It will ask you a few questions, including a location, than you're done. 

"I think community engagement in the world of science is hugely valuable," Luscier emphasized. 
"It allows us the chance to educate, but also to just simply include people in the community in this endeavor."

The goal is to keep an eye on the population of strays, and on the ecosystem as a whole. 

You can download the app on your smartphone by searching "CatTracker." Look for the option sub-titled "Citizen Science Research."

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