BBC’s Cat Watch 2014 features animal behaviour expert

Following the success of last year’s BBC Horizon investigation into the secret life of cats living in one village, Dr Sarah Ellis from the University of Lincoln, UK, is to appear in a new three-part series.

Cat Watch 2014: The New Horizon Experiment, to be broadcast on 7th, 8th and 9th October, will see a team of professional cat experts back to dig deeper into the incredible world of cats.

The show is presented by Liz Bonnin, cat experts Dr Sarah Ellis and Dr John Bradshaw, and Professor Alan Wilson and his team from the Royal Veterinary College.

The team combine GPS tracking technology and cat-cams with a unique set of scientific experiments. This time they’re tracking, testing, filming and following 100 cats living three very different lifestyles; living cheek-by-jowl in the terraced streets of Brighton city centre, village cats from Rottingdean with far more room to roam, and working farm cats who rely on their hunting skills to survive.

The first episode discovers how our pet cats see, hear and smell very differently to human beings, and how they have evolved as supreme predators. The second episode reveals the way our pampered pets transform into wild animals when they leave the cat flap to hunt and fight, with some displaying more of a wild side than others. The final episode in this science documentary examines the way cats communicate, and how our 21st Century life is forcing them to change their naturally solitary nature.

This revealing practical study into a cat’s ability to live alongside us, yet retain that independent wild side, underlines why cats have become modern humans’ greatest animal friend.

Dr Ellis, from the University of Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences, appeared in Horizon’s ground-breaking “live study” Secret Life of Cats in 2013.

She was part of a crack team set up to discover what your cat really gets up to when it leaves the cat flap, with pets fitted with specially developed GPS collars and cat-cams to reveal their unique view of our world.

Cat Watch 2014 will screen on BBC Two on Tuesday 7th October at 8pm, Wednesday 8th October at 9pm and Thursday 9th October at 8pm.