Studies Show That Cats Don’t Go Far From Home When Outside
The Norwegian University of Life Sciences conducted research about the behavior of domesticated cats — primarily their outdoor activities. Where do they go once you set them free for a while? The university research team answered this mystery by using GPS to track cat movements.
Cat owners tend to think that their pets roam far away from home — to look for something to eat or find a mate. Felines can take care of themselves, and they can stay outside for a few days or even weeks. They are more than capable of finding their own food because of their natural hunting instincts. That is one of the reasons why cats are considered low-maintenance pets.
Due to the duration of their outdoor escapades, owners have a misconception that felines stray far away from home during those days. However, 79% of the cats under observation stayed within 164 feet away from home, and the farthest distance recorded was 1,154 feet. Results from the journal Scientific Reports were similar to other studies from across the world. Cats stay close to home when they go out.
Felines spend most of their time under cars, sheds, neighboring homes, or even on the roof. Another journal published in Animal Conservation also proved the findings — they compiled data using a Cat Tracker team, and the collected data are from cats across different continents.
“I was surprised at how little these cats moved,” says lead author Roland Kays of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. “Most of them spent all their time within 100 meters [330 feet] of their yard.”
Study author Bjarne Braastad, a professor of ethology from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, also shared that these cats are only probably resting near their owner’s house. In addition, the professor said that most of the cats they used for the study are neutered, meaning they don’t like to roam around and go farther in search of a mate.
Through this study, cat owners are assured that their cats won’t leave them behind — even if they go out and come back after days or weeks. You can find them in your backyard or even on your neighbor’s patio, and they’ll suddenly appear like they were not gone for a couple of days or more.