Kitty Cam experiment reveals the hidden lives of domestic cats
August 17, 2012
Have you ever wondered what your feline does at night? For many cat parents, this has always been a mystery, but a recent study from the University of Georgia and National Geographic may have cleared up many misconceptions about cats' nighttime behavior. According to Care2.com, researchers followed 60 indoor and outdoor cats in Athens, Georgia, by placing a lightweight "Kitty Cam" video camera on their collars to witness cats performing their usual behaviors without interference from outside sources. The aim of the experiment was to examine domestic cats' affect on wildlife and to find out the risk factors between living indoors and being able to explore outside.
After viewing thousands of hours worth of footage, the researchers came to some interesting conclusions and found some unlikely behaviors that may clear up a few feline stereotypes. First, it was found that cats aren't exactly the hunting machines that we give them credit for. Out of the 60 cats, only 44 percent attempted to hunt while outside, and their prey species of choice were ironically not birds, but lizards, mice and other small animals. The news source reports that weather also played a factor in hunting activity, as cats were more likely to hunt during warm months as opposed to cool evenings.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the experiment also shed light on the many dangerous situations that an outdoor cat could face while roaming around outside. Nearly 85 percent of the cats who roamed around outdoors faced harrowing experiences like crossing two-lane roads, exploring tight spaces like storm drains and coming into contact with strange animals. Perhaps the most comical result of the experiment was that four of the felines also kept second families on the side, who they would visit with and, in many cases, would be fed another meal!
Ultimately, after reviewing the many hours of outdoor footage and comparing them with the video from indoor cats, the researchers have found that it's far safer to keep cats indoors where they won't be exposed to numerous risk factors.
If you've been thinking about adopting a cat of your own, there's no better time than now to do so. Bideawee is dropping adoption fees on cats and kittens during Free Feline Days from August 15 to August 31. This could be a wonderful opportunity to find the furry friend that you've always wanted.