Lifestyle

Split4Cats Application: Clever Solution for City's Street Cats Coming to Life

Split4Cats Application: Clever Solution for City's Street Cats Coming to Life
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May 3, 2021 - The Split4Cats team won at the recently held two-day Hack4Split competition, thanks to their application focused on locating and caring for city cats. 

The main protagonists of this story, Nikola Tandara, Dalia Jurišić, and Ante Đonlić, explained to Slobodna Dalmacija exactly what the app is about. Together with Tomislav Mamić and Mahina Hathaway, they developed a way to help deal with the uncontrolled growth of the street cat population in Split. This team at Hack4Split was randomly paired, and, as they say, they got along perfectly.

"Our default topic was neglected animals, and together we decided to focus on cats and try to propose to solve this problem.

We had 24 hours to develop our idea, which we ultimately presented. The main goal was to "sell the idea," which should not have been made to the end, but it was important that it was good and feasible," explains 29-year-old Nikola Tandara, who finished computer science at FESB.

The application is just at the beginning of its development, and the 30-year-old designer Dalia Jurišić, who graduated from the Art Academy in Split, is leading its design. The topic of her dissertation was the neglected cats in Split. 

"The topic of my diploma was neglected Split cats, problems, and opportunities of the City of Split. I dissected and analyzed the overall situation in the city, and as the biggest problem, I would point out their invisibility.

People no longer notice them and do not care, and their number is growing from year to year precisely because they are not castrated. From time to time, a good initiative appears, like the houses behind the HNK. Still, all this is small concerning their number because it all comes down to volunteers and associations that operate, which are few," says Dalia. She also works as an illustrator and creates logos. She points out that by choosing the topic, she wanted to encourage citizens to think and act.

The application is designed to connect donors and citizens with street cat associations.

"For example, you walk along Marmontova and come across a neglected cat. You take a picture of it and put it in the application, which would have some register of cats from associations that career for them. If the system does not recognize the cat as already registered, a list of pictures of all cats opens, and you find the one that suits you.

When you find her, if she’s already in the system, you'll get an “ID” with all her information, like whether she was vaccinated, castrated, or fed. If she is not castrated by some chance, you can invite everyone else to help with donations to make it happen, or if, for example, you feed her, mark in the app that she is fed. In this way, we would gradually get a register of cats for which we would know exactly what condition they are in, and in that way, we would prevent their uncontrolled reproduction," explains the working principle of Ante (28), a third-year computer science student at FESB.

The trio points out that no one knows the exact number of street cats in the Split area.

"We want to castrate and sterilize them all so that there are as few of them as possible every year. It is better that there are fewer of them and that they are well taken care of than that there are thousands of them and that they are neglected," Nikola said, adding that in this way, everyone could help. It is envisioned that the person who acts will get discounts and coupons so everyone would benefit.

Their goal, they note, is to create the first version of the application.

"After that, we plan to publish the application on the Internet in open-source form so that other people can help in its development or gradual upgrade. With the prize we won at Hack4Split, we will do the part we succeed in, but since nothing in life is free, some fundraising will certainly be needed because we are scattered everywhere. It is feasible, and for the application to shine properly, a lot of work is needed, but it is also necessary to rely on the community and donations," Ante points out.

If you want to know more about pets in Croatia, be sure to check Total Croatia's guide HERE.

For more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

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