Journeys Great And Small
Catniss Everdeena long-haired, blue-eyed, year-old cat from Durham, North Carolinawas a typical participant. Like most cats in the study, she mainly stayed around her house and in the forested lot behind it. She did, however, make several visits to the apartment complexes on both sides of the house, and crossed the two-lane road in front of her house three times. Once she walked more than 150 yards to an industrial parking lot. The GPS unit attached to her harness recorded her location every three minutes, revealing a home range of about four acres.
Catniss actually wandered slightly more than most. More than half the cats stayed within about 2.5 acres, or the area of two American football fields.
Thats not to say that all cats were layabouts, however. Seven percent covered more than 25 acres, and several cats had enormous ranges. The record-setter was Penny, a young female from the suburbs of Wellington, New Zealand, who roamed over the hills behind her house, covering an area greater than three square miles.
Another standout was a neutered tomcat from southwest England whose rambles were unlike those of any other cat in the study. Max walked the road from the village of St. Newlyn East to Trevilson, a distance of more than a mile, and then turned around and walked back. Why he made this round-trip twice during the six days he was tracked is unknown.
Without the motivations of food and sex, most cats seem content to be homebodies, Kays says.
Proper Id And Microchipping
Microchips are a cheap and efficient way of identifying lost pets. Where Im located they cost around $20 to apply to a cat. When a lost cat is brought to an animal shelter or vet clinic, they will scan for a microchip. The chip provides them with their owners contact information and is not at risk of becoming lost unlike a regular ID tag.
How Likely Are Bengal Cats To Run Away
Bengal cats are not likely to run away. Although they are very sociable and adventurous cats and naturally like to explore, they do not dart away from their home territory. Bengal cats find comfort in a home environment, and most indoor pets are like this.
If your Bengal cat was raised indoors, they are even less likely to run away, and that most might only travel 10 meters or so. If you want to limit the likelihood of your cat running away, then its best to raise them indoors than outdoors.
In general, outdoor cats especially have a personality geared towards exploration and being adventurous. If they see something off in the distance, there is a chance that they may try to run over to that location. If the distance is super far, your cat probably wont bother with it.
Just like any other cat breed, Bengal cats are avid observers. So, just because you let your cat outside, even if they are an indoor cat, the likelihood of them running away is just very low.
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How Do Cats Find Their Way Home
Theres no way to ask our cats how they find their way home after getting lost. This is where the speculation comes in. Nobody really knows how they do it, only that they can and some cats are better at it than others.
Some scientists believe that they use magnetic geolocation. This is a process that uses the earths natural magnetic fields to enable cats to find their way back to a certain point. A study in the 1950s with a maze found that cats chose the exit closest to their home. They had more difficulty navigating when they were carrying magnets, which lends some support to the theory.
Sometimes, our cats arent lost in the first place. They might just have gotten distracted somewhere chasing mice. Remember, they dont have the same idea of time that we do.
- Microchip your cat .
- Tell local shelters to keep an eye out for new arrivals.
- Check around your former home .
- Shake a box of dry food.
- Leave their favorite toy, brush, or blanket on the porch.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
If you have done your best to keep your indoor cat safe or have provided your outdoor cat with its creature comforts , but your cat has still gone missing, show yourself some compassion. Losing a pet is an extremely emotional event. Sometimes, we never get the answers we are looking for, and our cat doesn’t come back. Know that you gave them a great life, perhaps they are off living up their wild instincts, and always hope that they will returnbecause one day they just might!
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How To Stop Cats Wandering
Roaming is a natural instinct for almost all cats. So, you may prefer to keep your cat indoors. You can adopt several techniques to make this more palatable for your pet. Aside from spaying or neutering, these include:
- A comfortable home environment
- Regular play to mimic hunting
Convince your cat that home is the best place. Ensure that it has privacy when needed and attention when requested. Good food and a clean litter tray are also essential.
If you get your cat into a regular schedule, itll feel more comfortable. Help your cat understand that it will be fed, petted, and played with at certain times of the day. Most cat toys mimic the experience of hunting in some way. Actively play with your cat twice a day, for 10-15 minutes each time.
These playtimes will sate your cats hunting instincts. This will mean that it will be happier to stay home. Hunting games also leave a cat exhausted and less likely to explore outside terrains.
What Should I Do With A Sick Or Injured Stray/feral Cat
If you find an injured stray or feral cat and theyre approachable, please confine them and take them to a vet, if possible. If this is not possible, please get in contact with us on 0300 1234 999.
If taking a sick/injured stray cat to the vets and the cat just needs minimum care, you might be expected to take the cat away and fit a paper collar if needed.
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Why Do Cats Escape
Although cats do not have built in Google Maps, they are highly intelligent and sensitive animals. They have privileged instincts and environmental stimuli can both capture their attention and awaken their curiosity. This is why, despite having a comfortable home life indoors, the outdoor environment can seem to provide a lot of entertainment and distraction.
The attraction of outside may be found in a potential mate, prey animals, beguiling smells or whatever piques their interest. This is why many cats try to escape. A cat running away may be trying to exercise their hunting skills, mate or simply to indulge their natural curiosity.
In general, cats which have not yet been sterilized have a greater predisposition towards escape. Satisfying their sexual desire can be a great temptation as they want to reproduce. For this reason, sterilization for cats is recommended. It will not only curb this desire and prevent unwanted pregnancy, but it will reduce the likelihood of developing behavioral issues, help prevent disease, reduce aggression and stop accidents which occur from escape attempts. In fact, one study suggests that sterilization can eliminate escapism and roaming behavior related to sexual desire in 90% of cases.
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Can Cats Find Their Way Home From How Far
Our cat getting lost when theyre out adventuring is one of the biggest concerns for us cat owners. In many cases, though, cats can find their way home from miles away. This ability to navigate home is why many people advise you to check for missing cats at your old house if you move.
That said, theres a great deal of uncertainty about how cats find their way home. All the stories about long-lost kitties showing up one day have led to many studies and speculation.
While its not infallible, their homing instinct is one of the many things that makes cats underrated superstars of the pet world. To prove it, heres everything that you need to know about their ability to find their way home.
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How Do Cats Find Their Way Home Over A Long Distance
Ever wondered, how do cats find their way home over a long distance?
Im sure, like me, youve heard some of the stories over the years about cats finding their way back home over hundreds of miles.
Do cats have some kind of homing instinct? Is it a supernatural power that we cant understand?
Scientists want to know these answers too. There have actually been some studies and experiments in cats remarkable ability to return home.
Heres some interesting insight into this phenomenon:
What Distance Do Cats Roam Not As Far As We Think
In 2013 academics from the Royal Veterinary College and the Universities of Lincoln and Bristol together with a team from BBC Horizon studied 50 cats living in the village of Shamley Green, near Guildford UK. By using sophisticated tracking and recording technology, they were able to build up a picture of the cats activities over several weeks. Researchers used GPS trackers to record the cats movements over six 24-hour periods. Micro-cameras were also attached to a selection of cats to film their activities.
They found that the activies of cats varied some wandering much further than others. Importantly, the distance is rarely over 100m from their home. Here are a couple of examples from the study, that featured on the Horizon programme
Hermie, a 4 year old black domestic shorthair male was a a very active cat when compared to others, according to researchers. He was found to cover up to 3.3 hectares in a 24 period, a larger area than any other cat.
Kato is a five year old male long-haired, fluffy black and white moggie. He travels up to 93m from his home and will cover about a hectare or 2.7 acres.
With both these examples a Tabcat Cat Tracker with its range of up to 122m, should more than cover the cats journeys.
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What Is He Doing
Youre most likely wondering what in the world Sampson could be doing in a neighbors yard where youve never been yourself. Cats are, by nature, very curious animals. Sampson spends his day being nosy, lurking through the neighborhood looking for critters to catch. If he isnt fixed, he may head two yards down every day to check out Molly, since shes in heat. Of course, Sampson also spends a chunk of his freedom chasing the sun, catching some zs under the afternoon rays.
How Far Do Cats Travel From Home
Male and female cats differ in terms of how far they travel from home. Male cats, especially if they are not neutered, tend to roam farther and cover more area than females.
An average male cat is likely to stay within 1,500 feet of his home. Females stay within 225 feet of the home. Some cats dont leave their owners property at all. The distance traveled will vary from cat to cat, but these are the average distances for most domesticated cats.
If cats are searching for food or breeding partners, they may roam more. Feral cats cover a wide range of territory for survival. Food and shelter from the elements must be sought out every day, and cats can roam farther and farther away from their starting points in these cases. Well-fed cats that can return to the safety of their homes when they want to dont feel the need to roam great distances.
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Spay Or Neuter Your Cat
We strongly recommend all our patients spay or neuter their pets. This will help in the wild cat overpopulation problem. Further, neutered male cats are less amorous and will be less inclined to wander constantly looking for mates. And neutered cats wonât be making lots of unwanted kittens. For information on how your kittyâs behavior will be affected by this, hereâs our post on the Expected changes in cat behavior after spaying or neutering.
What Are The Differences Between An Indoor And Outdoor Cat
It is easier to keep a cat inside when you live in a flat. But it also depends on the breed. Some breeds like Persian cats, Russian cats, Ragdoll cats, or Birman cats are known to be homebodies.
A kitten that has been used to living inside might not be frustrated being kept indoors. They will grow up without missing the great outdoors as they have never experienced it.
It is different for outdoor cats as they feel freer and have been used to going outside. In that case, it might be harder to keep your cat inside. It is also not a matter of prohibiting your cat from going outside all of a sudden, or you might get stuck with a cat cryingand meowing all day at the door.
If you do not have a cat flap, it will be easier to stop your cat from going outside. Some cat flaps can be programmed, and you can block the openingduring certain hours. At first, the cat may express their displeasure with a nagging cry, so it is important to hold on and not give in. They will eventually get used to a new routine, whether they like it or not.
Once your cat has got used to not go out at night, you can reduce their daytime outings by delaying their first stroll or calling them home early.
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Unneutered And Unspayed Cats Like To Roam
Male cats that have not been neutered may wander off for days at a time, especially if they catch the scent of a female cat in heat. They will travel miles and miles to act on their animal instinct. If the female cat in heat is an indoor cat, the wandering male can spend up to a week just waiting for a chance. So it could take the cat a long time to return home.
Frustrated, unspayed females also travel far from home to look for a male if given the opportunity.
Let Other People Know
Once you have searched high, low, and anywhere in between and your cat is still missing, it is time to let other people and organisations know. Post a recent photograph on the different social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. Take advantage of pages that have been set up specifically to help find missing cats, such as Cat Aware and Missing Pets GB. Remember to include a full description with their age, name and last known whereabouts, as well as any distinguishable features that will make it easier to identify your cat.
You can also further your search by creating a missing pet flyer and check with local shelters, your vet, and community forums. If your cat has been missing for a few days, it is worth asking boarding kennels in your area. There are also some great lost and found websites that have reunited lost cats with their owners.
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Cats Go Missing When Their Environments Change
Cats are sensitive to change in their environment and are known to go missing when a new baby or pet makes an unexpected appearance. To stop your kitty feeling unloved or neglected, it is a good idea to prepare it for upcoming changes where possible.
Make sure your cat is always well looked after with access to fresh water, tasty food and a clean litter box. And if you are unable to provide it with the attention it is used to, ensure there is plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Not even indoor cats are immune to going missing if they no longer feel like they are the cats whiskers.
How Far Do Neutered Cats Roam
Neutered Cats prefer not to roam around and hardly roam for half a mile.
Male cats that havent been neutered might go missing for days at a time, especially if they smell a female cat in heat. They will go to great lengths to act on their animal instincts.
If the female cat in heat is an indoor cat, the roaming male may have to wait up to a week for a chance to mate. As a result, the cat may take a long time to come home.
If given a chance, frustrated, unspayed females will go far from home searching for a man.
The mating drive is a strong motivator for wandering behaviour, and it can lead a cat to leave its accustomed habitat.
Neutering/spaying your cat will also help you avoid unexpected pregnancies and battles with other unneutered cats.
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Putting Up Lost Posters
It is also very important to let your neighbours and any passers-by know of your cats disappearance. Put up lost posters and hand out flyers with a picture of your cat, any distinctive signs, and your contact information.
Put up lost posters on electric polls, on your supermarket noticeboard and slip flyers in letterboxes. Do not forget to ask your neighbours to check their garage and garden shed, your cat might have gotten stuck in there.
Can Indoor Cats Find Their Way Home
Although they dont use them as often, indoor cats have the same instincts as their outdoor-dwelling counterparts. When it comes to them getting lost, they have the same homing ability as any other feline. The issue with many indoor cats is theyre not as familiar with surviving outside as feral or outdoor cats are.
Some cats are simply better at navigating than others. While one determined kitty might find their way home over miles and several years, another might not.
When it comes to whether your indoor cat can find their way home again, its difficult to answer. They might surprise you, but theres an equal chance that they dont have the experience required to do so.
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