A study done at the University of Illinois tracked 42 owned outdoor and free-living cats for two years. The report, published in the Journal of Wildlife Management, found that stray/feral cats had larger territories than pet cats; in one case, the cat’s home range covered more than 1,300 acres!
Unowned cats were much more active than outdoor pet cats, because they had to spend more time hunting for food. Interestingly, all cats stayed fairly close to buildings, whether or not they had contact with humans.
Earlier work by one of the authors found that the most common causes of death of outdoor cats were other cats and disease.
Along similar lines, Animal Planet’s show, Must Love Cats, recently featured the filmmaking prowess of Cooper the cat, who wears a tiny camera on his collar as he roams the ‘hood. Click here to see the episode.*
Speaking of Animal Planet, if you didn’t see the original episodes of our favorite cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy’s fabulous new show, My Cat From Hell, better hope you can catch it in summer reruns; and be sure to let Animal Planet know you want more!
* Cats face many dangers outdoors; please read this article and keep your kitty safe inside!