In Australia, a group of cat parents equipped their feline friends with GPS trackers to help with an experiment conducted by the Central Tablelands Local Land Services. They wanted to see where their cats really roam when they’re outside, and the short answer is: pretty far!
Senior land officer Peter Evans 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.”
While the project didn’t exactly have a steady focus group–what started as 30 cats dropped down to 13 (some trackers were lost, some cats didn’t like wearing them), and the trackers were worn between 1-10 days–the most conclusive result showed that cats can travel far and wide.
“Some of the cats have stayed relatively close — 10, 15 or 20 doors down — and we’ve actually had one cat that’s gone three kilometres [almost 2 miles] from home,” Evans told ABC.
Evans hopes that, as the experiment spreads to different locations, cat owners can become more aware of their feline’s ventures, perhaps even taking extra measures to keep them safe.
“We’re hoping that people think about what dangers a cat can pose to itself, in terms of how often they’re crossing the road and encountering other cats,” he said to Mashable Australia.
For more about the project, check out ABC News.