We wrote about the research done at the University of Georgia’s Kitty-Cam project, but there’s one interesting area of the study that we didn’t cover: exposure to risk factors.
It’s important to know that this information comes from a study of 60 pet cats in suburban Georgia; since Georgia’s climate is quite different than Canada’s, the results would be somewhat different if the study were done in Canada.
In the Kitty Cam Project, pet cats were fitted with collar-mounted miniature cameras. The researchers analyzed the results, and found that the most common risk factors experienced by suburban free-roaming pet cats include:
• crossing roads (45% of the sample)
• encountering strange cats (25%)
• eating and drinking substances away from home (25%)
• exploring storm drain systems (20%)
• entering crawlspaces where they could become trapped (20%).
Eighty-five percent of project cats were witnessed exhibiting at least 1 risk behavior. Male cats were more likely to engage in risk behavior than female cats and fewer risk behaviors were witnessed by older individuals. Total time spent outside also influenced the number of risks experienced by roaming cats.
More good reasons to keep your cat safe from roaming unsupervised!