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Feral cats roam more than 370 acres as compared to domestic ones' five

June 11, 2011 - Washington

A cat can roam farther than you think, covering as much as hundreds of acres, according to a new study.

The study, which tracked cats with radio collars, found feral cats roam more than 370 acres while housecats stick closer to home covering only five acres, reports Discovery News.

The findings may help people get a better idea of the cats' patterns and ultimately protect felines and the environments they live in.

It also stated that feral cats sleep less and are involved in more high-intensity activity than house cats. House cats sleep or sit still for 80 percent of their time.

Roaming cats hunt birds and other animals, and they can spread diseases to wildlife, people and other pets.

For the study, Mateus Nohra, a veterinarian and epidemiologist at the Illinois Natural History Survey in Champaign, and colleagues put special collars on 18 owned cats and 24 unowned cats, all living in Champaign-Urbana.

While house cats wandered over a range of just under two hectares, the researchers found feral cats covered an average of 157 hectares.

The feral cats also entered a larger number of landscapes, from farms and grasslands to forests and urban areas.

The study was published in the Journal of Wildlife Management.


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