Secret lives of cats

A study which used for the first time a combination of micro GPS trackers (‘cat navs’) and lightweight (‘cat-cams’) has allowed the secret lives of cats to be seen from their cat’s eye view point.

Two male house cats living near farmland had surprisingly large areas over which they ranged, of approximately 14 acres.

Although they spent much time investigating and hunting along hedgerows of nearly a mile in length, the cat cams showed that even for hunting cats, snoozing on straw bales was still a high priority!

These cats were able to have such large ranges because the density of cats was low.

On the other hand, a male and female cat who lived in 19th century terraced city houses with tiny gardens not surprisingly, had much smaller hunting areas and neither of these caught much prey.

From these findings, rural hunting cats are clearly more at risk of picking up tapeworms and therefore should be wormed more frequently – perhaps as frequently as monthly. Urban cats may only need to be treated every 3 months.

However, feral (semi wild) cats travel much further distances and may have a home range of several hundred acres. This is largely explained by feral cats having to ‘work’ much harder to find their food and so are active for a greater part of the day – in some cases up to 20% of the day.

This compares with a much lower figure for our own feline friends who know where their next meal is coming from!