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    Television show shows what cats really do behind their owner’s backs

    NewsUK Cat NewsThursday 13 June 2013
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    A new television show has been released that shows the secret lives of cats and what they get up to while their owners are away.
     
    The show looks at one particular cat called Claude who is seen as quite literally a cat burglar. Not content with his life at home he often goes to his neighbour’s house while they are upstairs sleeping. How does he get in? Well how else? He uses the perfectly designed cat flap that is intended for the neighbour’s cat. Once in, he forgets about the jewellery, money or electronics and heads straight for the one thing that is most true to his heart, the can of Whiskas that is supposed to be just for Rosie, whose house he is breaking into.
     
    Claude's owner has had him for 7 years and adopted him as a kitten. She had no clue that he got up to this sort of thievery only until now. This is just one of many discoveries that were found out when the BBC sent a camera crew and research time to the popular cat village of Shamley Green.
     
    She comments that ‘I had no idea,’  ‘I’ve always wondered why he never seemed to lose weight even when I put him on a diet – now I know.’
     
    Other cats were also engaging in similar activities across the village however stealing food was not the only discovery made by the team. It was all part of a a new experiment run by BBC called The Secret Life of a Cat.
     
    Researchers monitored 50 cats in the Surrey village of Shamley Green for one week and they were put on 24 hour surveillance.  They were fitted with GPS devices on their collars and these would then transmit data which could be downloaded and studied. For example, it could be pinpointed on map software to see exactly where they go during their time out of the house at night. If the researchers noticed something unusual then the cats were also fitted with tiny cameras that the researchers could monitor on television exactly what the cats saw. This incredible tiny technology was designed by the Royal Veterinary College. The same technology has been used in Africa to track wild cats.
     
    Dr John Bradshaw who helped lead the research said that
    ‘Before, we really didn’t know very much about what cats get up to,’ 

    ‘They’re fascinating creatures because they are part-wild and part-domesticated.’

     
    ‘We put posters up in local shops and spoke to people in the street. Word spread. A month later we had a meeting in the village hall – almost every other cat owner in the village was there.
    ‘People were just very intrigued. They have this life with their cat but have no idea where it goes. All cat owners would like to find out what their pet gets up to.’ 

    One interesting finding was that most cats, believe it or not, stayed within a short distance from their homes and would not venture further. There was one cat named Sooty who decends from a line of farm cats who would roam up to two miles a day in an area of over 7 acres.
     
    It also emphasised the view that cats are highly protective of their territory. Even though they do not go that far, they make sure they make their area theirs with distinctive smells and chemicals that they leave. They are also careful not to overlap into other areas or territories of neighbouring cats.  2 cats were seen squaring up to each other and hissing throughout the whole week who would go into eachothers personal space. 
     
    Cats would also form neutral truces where one cat would go out during the day and another cat at night to avoid being in conflict with each other. This was seen time and time again across the village. Finally owners understood why their cats would leave at 10PM on the dot every night to go out and explore.
     
    To watch the trailer for the show, check out the video below.
     
     
    Does your cat do anything unsual that you would like to share with us? Feel free to leave a comment below.
     
    Source: Daily Mail
     
    Photo: Geograph
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