For those of us that have cats of our own, we often wonder what is going on through their mind. Additionally, you may wonder what they do when we’re not at home. Do they take time to nap in the sun, play with some toys or do they just try to do some damage to the furniture?
These questions have plagued cat owners for years, but recently, a program was established to use GPS to see how far cats would roam when they leave the house. The results are quite amazing, and they may not only be wandering a few blocks away from home, they could even be impacting the environment!
This particular study involved 14 cats in New South Wales, Australia. They found out that the cats were actually going far beyond their own neighborhood and some were going as far as 2 miles away from home. It is interesting that the GPS tracker allows us to see the exact path that they followed. Scroll down to learn more about the project and to see the adventures in action.
It may look like a map scribbled in yellow crayon, but it is something much more amazing.
The yellow line is the path taken by house cats living in New South Wales
The house cats in the area were outfitted with GPS to monitor their movement over the course of 1 to 10 days
This project was conducted by the Central Tablelands Local Land Services to let their owners see how far the cats were wondering in a single night. One of the senior officers, Peter Evans, was in charge with the project and even he was surprised.
Cats are typically given a bad rap because of damage they do to biodiversity and to the native flora and fauna. This project shows how much a cat is capable of doing.
Mr. Evans had the following to say “You always get the comment from owners that their cat doesn’t roam … but we thought it was a great visual to show owners where cats go when they don’t know where they are, because, generally, a lot of cats are unrestrained.”
25 cats were originally outfitted with GPS trackers but only 14 continued to keep them on for the entire experiment. Some owners said that their cat would not move after being fitted with the tracker. If that was the case, they were quickly removed.
They realized that the cats wouldn’t stay in the backyard but they were surprised with how far some of them went. Some did stay in the vicinity of the neighborhood but others wandered for miles away from home.
As a cat owner, you may want to rethink leaving the cat outside to roam free. They can travel far away from home on their own but that doesn’t mean that they should.
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