Study: Domestic Cats Rarely Stray From Home

domestic cats rarely stray from home

Scientists from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences have shown that most cats allowed outside rarely stray more than 50 meters from their home, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The cat is one of the most popular pets. In USA, the number of domestic cats is 58 million individuals, and in Norway, where the study was conducted, it is 770,000. Owners who let their pets out are often interested in what they are doing and where they are going.

Scientists placed GPS sensors on 100 cats in a small town in eastern Norway. This made it possible to follow the movements of the animals. All cat owners lived within 1 km2 of each other, thanks to which it was possible to assess the activity of a large “population” of animals. It turned out that cats spend 80% of their time on the streets within 50 m of their homes. The average maximum distance the cats walked from their home was 352 m. However, there were also individuals who wandered several kilometers from their homes, but this was quite rare. The scientists also noted that all of the cats in the experiment were neutered and neutered, which is important because there would have been more behavioral differences otherwise. The results of the study are consistent with other similar studies that have been conducted in European countries.

The researchers used this work as a way to introduce students to science activities. In their opinion, this helped the students to apply certain applied skills. In the future, this study can be expanded, and scientists have proposed to assess the impact of free-ranging domestic cats on the local nature.

Simple inhabitants, owners of domestic cats, were also interested in the works. Although the study was conducted in eastern Norway, the scientists received requests to participate from all over the country. The fact is that the owners were interested in what their cats do when they are released into the street. After collecting data and analyzing it, scientists provided owners with digital maps that captured the movements of their animals.

The study was published in Scientific Reports.



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