Under the cover of darkness, Claude slips through the back door of an unknown home and enters the kitchen.As its unsuspecting owners sleep inside, the intruder pads over the terracotta flagstones with barely a sound.
Despite owning Claude for seven years, having adopted him as a kitten, Henrietta Mulnier, a 47-year-old lecturer, was unaware of his nocturnal thieving (which, as it turns out, is surprisingly common among domestic felines) until recently.a€?I had no idea,a€™ she laughs. Dr Sarah Ellis, far right, shows the cat owners where their pets travelled during the one-week surveillance. An interactive map created by the BBC lets you follow 10 of the 50 Shamley cats featured in the Horizon programme including Ginger, Sooty, Orlando, Hermie, Phoebe, Deebee Kato, Coco and Rosie. Each moggy was fitted with a specially-designed collar which collected GPS data on their location and level of activity. Janet Williams, a 50-year-old book-keeper, was surprised to learn that her mild-mannered ten-year-old tomcat Ginger was moonlighting as the local trespasser after she had gone to bed.


Wilson said that being on site enabled his team to examine the data as soon as it came off the collars, and to work closely with behaviour specialists Dr Sarah Ellis, of the University of Lincoln, and Dr John Bradshaw, of Bristol University.For example, the collar data helped Wilson to decide where to place fixed cameras by identifying activity hotspots. During their week of surveillance, several others were caught sneaking into kitchens that werena€™t their own for a late-night snack. Any third party products, brands or trademarks listed above are the sole property of their respective owner.No affiliation or endorsement is intended or implied. Says John: a€?We saw stand-offs but not very much fighting at all.a€™So if theya€™re not scrapping a€“ how exactly do the cats go about protecting their territory?
An eight-year-old grey and white tom, he likes chasing mice, sitting in the front garden and Whiskas cat food a€“ which he regularly steals from the bowl of his neighboura€™s moggy, a five-year-old ginger named Rosie, once her owners have gone to bed, by making full use of their cat flap. Ita€™s quite cowardly of him - picking on an old girl like that!a€™ So, next time your feline friend slips out through the catflap, give a thought to what he might be getting up to when your backa€™s turned.


They are quite solitary really, so when you cram them together in a village, they dona€™t like each other very much. We arena€™t sure how the system develops but we think ita€™s from their routine of marking their territory with their scent.a€™Scientists believe that, as well as being able to smell where other cats have been, they are able to tell how long ago there were there.
In one cat had been in the vicinity recently, the other is likely to steer clear until more time has passed.



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