Dodging that Winter Coat

Have you ever wondered how our Cat Tracker participants in northern climes fare compared to their southern counterparts? Do these indoor/outdoor kitties continue to roam outdoors during the winter months or do they remain indoors for comfort?

Over the past 3 months, temperatures on Long Island have ranged from lows around 10 degrees Fahrenheit to highs in the 70s. Conditions up north have varied wildly from blizzard to 60 degree sunny afternoons. During these temperature fluctuations, we have continued to monitor our furry companions, and have observed their behavior varies (much like the weather!). Some Long Island cats chose to relax at home, like Schubie in early November and Boo Boo Kitty in early December. While other participants, such as curious Peanut, continued to venture farther from home.

Though the multiple cat tracks are separated by time and distance, the three aforementioned cats (Schubie, BooBoo Kitty, Peanut) were recorded outdoors in similar temperatures: highs in the upper 40s and lows in the low 30s. We know that these individuals have their own unique habits, but what other external influences come into play when these cats decide to go outside? Are they like humans, choosing not to travel in the wintery conditions, or are there other threats? To-date, we have seen our Long Island cats exhibit a mid-sized home range, some curious enough to venture into forested areas while others, Schubie and Boo Boo Kitty, tend to be home-bodies. The biggest question on our mind is… could these felines have gone farther? Is there a direct correlation between weather and the absence of a top predator (coyotes) on their home range? Or is it the hustle and bustle of the New York lifestyle that keep these kitties close to home? Only continued research will tell us, and with 8 cool cats already logged for the Long Island area, we’re quickly on our way to answering many of these questions!

And we’re curious to hear from our other Cat Tracker participants! Let us know how your cat adapts to the colder temperatures. Do they stay inside more frequently or get cabin fever and are insistent on going outdoors?

Additionally, we are interested in learning how your cat’s home range changes from season to season; to all our current and past participants, if you’d like to be loaned a unit for repeat tracking later in the year, please let us know! We’re interested!

By |2015-02-02T11:38:32-05:00January 30th, 2015|

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