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28 July 2017

Cats trained to be spies in short-lived experiment

The Central Intelligence Agency once tried to use cats to spy on people as part of a short-lived experiment. Picture: Carolyn Kaste

IT sounds like the purr-fact way to obtain secret information.

But it wasn’t long before the CIA figured using cats to spy on foreign figures wasn’t exactly a great idea.

The intelligence agency wanted to see whether felines could be used to listen in on private meetings as part of a short-lived experiment called Acoustic Kitty.

The idea, which was mooted in the 1960s, came about after an attempt was made to listen in on an unidentified head of state who was around some feral cats, Time reported.

It was noted that cats could move around an area without really being noticed.

The idea saw a small transmitter implanted in the back of the cat’s neck while a microphone attached by a thin cord was in the ear.

Good at purring and lying in the sun. Spying, not so much. Picture: AAP IMAGE/Melvyn Knipe.

Good at purring and lying in the sun. Spying, not so much. Picture: AAP IMAGE/Melvyn Knipe.Source:News Corp Australia

However not all ideas go to plan and it soon turned out it was a better idea to let sleeping cats lie.

Not only did they walk off the job when they got hungry but they couldn’t be let loose untrained, often wandering off.

It also turns out they weren’t the best listeners either and had a bit of cattitude.

But it wasn’t the only bizarre experiment the agency has dealt with in its 70 year history.

It also conducted paranormal experiments among other things.

In the 1970s, the agency tested the abilities of self-proclaimed psychic Uri Geller as part of its Stargate program which investigated psychic powers and how this could be weaponised by the CIA, Sky News reported.

Shhhh: Don’t tell these guys a thing. Picture: Melvyn Knipe/AAP

Shhhh: Don’t tell these guys a thing. Picture: Melvyn Knipe/AAPSource:News Corp Australia

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