What do you think the cats of Bedfordview get up to at night? We all know that cats love to explore — but just how far they go is quite amazing!
More than one dozen cats were fitted with GPS trackers to show the distance they roam from their homes. The end result was a series of maps, which provide a fascinating insight into the traveling habits of felines.
The maps are part of a cat tracking project by the Central Tablelands Local Land Services in Australia and is all about educating owners on where their pets go when they aren’t looking.
“Cats are given a pretty bad rap. In terms of the damage they do to biodiversity, to native fauna and flora,” Peter Evans, a senior land officer, told Mashable Australia.
“You always get the comment from owners that their cat doesn’t roam … but we thought it was a great visual to show owners where cats go when they don’t know where they are because generally a lot of cats are unrestrained.”
The project started in mid-March with 25 cats enrolled, but by the time the project ended in mid-May, only 14 cats remained. This was due to some GPS trackers disappearing or felines struggling to wear the harness with the tracker attached.
It was up to owners to decide how long they wanted their cat to wear the tracker, with times ranging from one to 10 days.
Evans said owners were “gobsmacked” to see how far their cats actually roamed. It was so unbelievable to the researchers, that some of the long distances were first suspected as glitches in the GPS data. “I knew they wouldn’t just stay in the backyard, but I was surprised with how far a few of the cats did go,” he said.
One cat was found repeatedly hanging around a local school late at night. Evans suspects it might have been going through bins for food or chasing mice as it spent a considerable amount of time there.
After seeing where their felines went, some owners took the step of changing how they look after their cats, with one owner deciding to keep their pet inside overnight.
Read more: Mashable