A research study by the University of Georgia shows a never-before-seen side of family cats, providing a glimpse into the lives they lead when we’re not around.
The researchers attached small cameras, called “Kitty Cams,” around the necks of over 50 cats — and let them roam.
According to Kerrie Anne Loyd, a University of Georgia researcher, the team gathered thousands of hours of video from 55 different cats.
The team then analyzed the video, finding some very unexpected results.
It turns out our feline friends may be more welcoming than we thought.
“One of the most surprising things we witnessed was cats adopting a second set of owners,” the team wrote on the research website. “Four of our project kitties were recorded entering another household for food and/or affection!”
Who says cats aren’t as friendly as dogs?
But at the same time, don’t think all cats are angels. According to Loyd, some of the kitties that participated in the research project were channeling their inner tiger.
“There was a greater number of small reptiles killed than previously thought,” Loyd said. “This is probably because we don’t normally see it. The cats usually end up eating them or leaving them in the woods so we never knew before.”
The research also analyzed the number of risks each cat took, showing that male cats are much more aggressive than females.
Younger cats also took more risks than older cats. Maybe cats aren’t that different from their owners after all.
But according to Loyd, the technology used is as significant as the results.
“National Geographic has been making Critter Cams, cameras for wildlife, for years,” Loyd said. “But they stepped it up a bit and made something that could record large amounts of video.”
Critter Cams are typically used to study wild animals. But with the Kitty Cam, owners can recharge the batteries to get more footage. The cameras have motion sensors so the camera turns off if the cat is stationary, saving video. And there are even LED lights built in, so that when the cats went down storm drains or were out in the dark, researchers could see where they went.
“It opens so many doors knowing that this kind of technology works,” Loyd said.