Grå og hvid kat i græs der går mod kameraet
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Projektet gennemføres som et specialeprojekt og omhandler ejerkattes bevægelsesadfærd. Størstedelen af ejerkatte i Danmark har udendørs adgang og dermed mulighed for at bevæge sig ind på andre menneskers ejendom og for at interagere med den vilde fauna. Dette projekt vil bidrage til en bedre forståelse af kattes bevægelsesmønstre og aktiviteter, når de bevæger sig i det omkringliggende miljø uden opsyn.

 

Formålet med projektet er at kortlægge danske ejerkattes bevægelsesmønstre via GPS-sporing af tamkatte med udendørs adgang. Endvidere vil det undersøges, om der er en sammenhæng mellem kattes bevægelsesradius og faktorer såsom køn, alder, neutraliseringsstatus, levested, m.fl. Projektet vil belyse kattes døgnrytme og samtidig give et indblik i, hvordan katte interagerer med deres omgivelser.

 Specialeprojektet består af direkte målinger af kattes aktiviteter ved hjælp af GPS samt spørgeskemaundersøgelser og interviews af katteejere med henblik på at registrere forskellige faktorer, der kan være af betydning i forhold til kattes bevægelsesmønstre.

 Projektet udføres i samarbejde med Center for Forskning i Familiedyrs Velfærd. Desuden indgår der et forskningsintegrationsprojekt, hvor nye studerende på kurset Veterinær Etik og Videnskabsteori i efteråret 2021 deltager i dataindsamlingen og introduceres til, hvad forskning kan indebære.

 

 

Projektet vil være interessant for katteejere, da de får mulighed for at få et indblik i kattes aktiviteter, når de lukkes udenfor. Kendskab til kattes bevægelsesmønstre vil give en bedre forståelse af kattes velfærd og behov, hvilket ligeledes vil være interessant for dyrlæger og forskning indenfor kattes velfærd generelt. Endvidere vil projektet bidrage til at belyse eventuelle gener for andre mennesker og den vilde natur forårsaget af ejerkatte.

 

 

Studerende: Helene Ane Jensen.

 Vejledere: Professor Peter Sandøe og professor Søren Saxmose Nielsen.

 

Movement Patterns of Roaming Companion Cats in Denmark — A Study Based on GPS Tracking

Jensen, H.A., Meilby, H., Nielsen, S.S., & Sandøe, P. (2022)
Animals. MDPI

Simple summary

In comparison with other companion animals, domestic cats are more likely to roam freely, and this can give rise to conflicts and controversies. To assess the potential magnitude of the problems posed by free-roaming companion cats it is important to know how large an area outside their owners’ property they typically cover. Using GPS tracking, we studied nearly 100 cats in Denmark, a temperate country where around 14% of families own one or more cats, of which nearly three quarters are allowed to roam. We found that although the majority of the cats spent most of their time at their owner’s property and were less active when it rained, they still roamed a lot. The middle value (median) of the area used by the cats was the size of around seven soccer fields (5 ha), but there was huge individual variation, ranging from a little over one to over 150 soccer fields (1–113 ha). Thus, in a suburban neighbourhood, a free-roaming companion cat will typically pass through a lot of other people’s gardens. The area in which the cats roamed tended to be larger when they were younger, had access to nature areas, or were intact males.

Abstract

We studied the roaming patterns of companion cats in Denmark. The movements of 97 cats with outdoor access were traced for about seven days using GPS tracking. Data on the cats were gathered from their owners. The median time cats spent away from their homes was 5 h per day (IQR: 2.5 to 8.8 h), median daily distance moved was 2.4 km (IQR: 1.3 to 3.7 km), and median for 95% BBKDE home range was 5 ha (IQR: 2.9 to 8.5 ha). Cats above seven years of age spent less time away from home, were less active and had a smaller home range than younger cats. Cats with access to nature areas spent more time away from home, were more active and had larger home ranges. Intact male cats spent more time away from home than neutered cats and had larger home ranges as well. Finally, rainfall had an impact on the distance moved by cats: on days without rainfall the cats moved 3.6 km on average (95% CI: 2.8; 4.5 km); and on days with heavy rainfall the cats moved 2.4 km on average (95% CI: 1.6; 3.5 km).

Movement Patterns of Roaming Companion Cats in Denmark — A Study Based on GPS Tracking (URL)