Go on the prowl with your cat

Research being conducted by University of Lincoln animal behaviour experts will help cat owners find out what their pet gets up to outside of the home.

The project, funded by Derbyshire-based charity Feline Friends, aims to track the movements of cats living in both a city and rural setting.

The latest stage of the study involves attaching a GPS satellite navigation system to cats in order to track their routes and activities on leaving the home.

It follows a unique survey in designated areas of Lincoln and Dunholme. Previous research contributed to the BBC Two Horizon documentary ‘The Secret Life of Cats’ first screened in June 2013.

Researchers from the School of Life Sciences are now looking to recruit cat owners who can put a GPS collar on their pet for seven days.

Dr Naima Kasbaoui said: “We want to compare cats that live in a city environment compared to those living in a more rural setting. We are hoping to record the movement patterns and activities of the two different groups to see if there is a difference in terms of home ranges and activities. For example, cats in more sparsely populated country villages tend to cross roads regularly. The more cats who are involved in this study, the more we will be able to conclude a real pattern.”

There are approximately 500 houses in each study area, but the Dunholme neighbourhood is more than five times bigger than the Lincoln section.

One of the main questions researchers hope to answer is whether rural cats have larger roaming territories than city-based cats.

Volunteers are needed from Milman Road, Clarina Street, Bernard Street, Tempest Street, Coleby Street, Oakfield Street, Grafton Street, Belmont Street, Florence Street and Cromwell Street in the Monks Road area of Lincoln.

If you own a cat and are interested in finding out what he or she does outside of the home contact Dr Kasbaoui by e-mailing nkasbaoui@lincoln.ac.uk by Wednesday, 2nd April.