Philanthropist: David (25) and Tom (25) search for lost cats around the world | general

Cat Tracking Through Online Ads: How To Get There?

It was David who came up with this idea. “For my work, I learned to buy advertising space on social media. You can choose specifically the region in which the advertisement is shown, for example in an entire city, a municipality or a specific region.” He biked home after a day at work. He saw a poster of a missing cat and sympathized with the researchers. He made the connection with his acquired knowledge and knew such research could be even more effective in 2022.

David researched from his loft. Find out that thousands of cats are reported missing each year, contact the owners of the missing animals and put up a simple website. When he told Tom his idea over a beer, he was instantly excited. David knows a lot about marketing, Tom can code. They joined forces and moved forward together.

How does this online search work in your area?

Anyone who has lost their cat goes through a number of standard questions, uploads a photo and writes text. The search will be online in fifteen minutes. The disappearance becomes visible on the timelines of Facebook and Instagram users who live nearby. This is often thousands of people. “Sometimes cats are found very quickly in a neighbor’s garden, but we also found a cat that had been missing for two months,” David explains.

People who get to know a cat can offer advice or “just” show support. Friends say the extensive searches give owners the feeling they’re not alone. “Locals often don’t know them, they encourage them. Messages like ‘I’ll help you’ make searching less lonely.”

Why does such internet research cost money?

Starting a search costs money, because ad space is purchased. Young entrepreneurs sometimes feel angry reactions like, “I thought you were an animal lover,” or “Why does that cost money?” Sometimes they call people to explain how it works.

On the contrary, there are often people they both call on the phone. These phone calls certainly don’t bother them. “People sometimes call us crying because they lost their cat. If we can find such an animal afterward, that’s great. The owners are very grateful.”

The cat that grabbed them the most was the first thing they found. “Sunday evening we got a tip about a cat who had been missing for a month. We still doubted we could have contacted the boss that late, because it was already after 10. We did anyway. It was a strange conversation. The man replied curtly, like ‘Oh, okay , thanks.” Half an hour later he sent a photo of himself with the cat on his lap. This was followed by a Facebook post thanking us, he was so happy.”

Their service under the name CatRadar is now also active in England, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. The first cats across the border have already been brought home. They dream of being active in every country. They also want to expand their services with ready-to-print labels and collaborations with shelters and animal ambulance. “We want to bring home as many cats as possible.”

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