Friday 30 June 2023

How to minimise your cat wandering too far from the cat-flap

Wandering cat
Wandering cat. Image: SVEN HERSELMAN.

I can think of two ways to minimise the distance that your domestic cat companion travels away from your home if they are indoor/outdoor cats. These are my tips:

  1. Feed your cat well with high quality wet cat food and some dry cat food for grazing at night. It has been found and indeed suggested by a very well-known cat behaviourist, Dr. Jon Bradshaw, that when domestic cats are fed well and regularly, they have less inclination to patrol over large areas. Domestic cat will inherently patrol their territory if they are allowed outside because this is instinctive wild cat behaviour. But when well fed it dampens that desire. It shrinks their home range because one reason for having a home range is to have a territory within which they can hunt. The hunting desire is somewhat dampened when well fed although not eliminated because the desire to hunt is not directly linked to feeling hungry. This is also inherited from the wildcat ancestor.
  2. Secondly, among the wild cat species of all kinds, you will find that the female's home range is considerably smaller than the male's. In fact, for the tiger, female home ranges are often encompassed by a single male home range. It's a kind of male harem. But the point is this: adopting a female cat should mean that they travel less distance from the cat flap.
RELATED: The misogynistic world of tiger property rights!

The above two points have, clearly, distinct advantages to the cat caregiver such as:

  • Less desire to hunt native species which should please conservationists and indeed the owner.
  • Less desire to roam widely. They might roam no more than 50 yards from the cat flap or even stay within the back yard.
  • Improved relationships with neighbours potentially because there will be less desire to roam onto neighbours' backyards or back gardens.
  • Less risk of injury through wandering onto roads and being hit by vehicles.
  • Less risk of injury generally as there is less opportunity to encounter hazards.
  • Less risk of being lost.

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