Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Jumble, Corsair and Magellan... Oh My!

So, I've left this idle for a while, its probably about time I got back to it.

We've got some data collected from all three cats and today we are going to compare the data.

This data has been utilised to produce heat maps to show where the cats spend most of their time. These maps utilise all the data we have collected from the cats over a period of months, divided by cat.  Each cat was equipped with the GPS for an equivilent amount of time to gather the data. All data has been corrected for HDOP and the innacurate points have been filtered  out.

Jumble's data was collected over a period between 18th April and 10th of May 2013.
Magellan's data was collected between the 10th and 18th of April 2013.
Corsair's data was collected over a period between  22nd April and 8th August 2013. So yes, we do have more data for Corsair than the other cats.

This data was collected over late autumn and winter.  We are now working on collecting data over summer. It will be interesting to note whether there is a seasonal difference.

Jumble is the oldest of the cats. He is a 14 year old, desexed male cat.  He has some health problems. For the last couple of years he has had a recurrent problem with pancreatitis - an inflamation of the belly. When it flares up he gets sick, but we can treat the issue with cortizone. As with most older cats, he is a bit fat, he doesn't move as fast as he used to and he also obviously has some pain as he doesn't leap as high or as confidently as he used to. Jumble spends most of his time asleep on our property. He doesn't wander as far as the younger cats. When I'm home I notice that he spends most of his time asleep either on our bed, our couches, his box, in the back yard. The data gathered suggests that this is his pattern when we are not home as well. Jumble always comes when called, so he is probably never far away. Mapping shows that he never travels more than 120 metres from our home and rarely goes more than 50m from our home.

Magellan is a 3 year old, desexed male cat. Magellan was hit by a car when he was younger but physically appears to have made a full recovery. He certainly still gets on the roof and jumps heights the other cats don't. He is a fairly standoffish cat, not a very friendly and sociable cat. Sometimes he will deign to sit on my desk and watch me type, but rarely comes up for pats or snuggles. He is even more anti-social when friends come visiting and runs from strangers. He appears to be our most active of cats, always the first out the cat flap when it is unlocked in the morning. He is the cat that defends the back yard from the incursions of other cats and he is our little explorer kitty. The data says that Magellan travels further than Jumble but not as far as Corsair. Magellan spends by far and away most of his time on our property. He travels up to 150 metres from our house, but rarely travels outside of our immediate neighbours. He does travel to the neighbours over the road, as does Corsair, but spends less time over the road than she does.

Now Corsair is a three year old female, desexed cat. She is friendly and sociable and loves hugs. She will approach anyone, friend or stranger for pats. She invites random stray cats inside and shows them the food bowl. I've never seen her chase any cat out of the back yard.  She roams further than any of the other cats, up to 200m in every direction from our house. Our house however does remain the focal point of her activities. Its interesting that house B (See Does Corsair have a second home?) is also a focal point of her activities, but she still spends at least twice as much time at our house as she does at house B. Why does Corsair wander further than the other cats? Is it her sex? Is it the search for food to fill her fatty belly? Is it her inate socialness that makes her seek out company when we are not home? These are questions the data won't tell us.

I've overlaid all three cat's data on each other, just to provide a visual representation of how far they travel compared to each other.

As you can see its Jumble being the most homebody, followed by Magellan and Corsair as the biggest explorer of them all.  Breaking down the data into smaller and larger time periods doesn't seem to change the result.

Why do you think Corsair travels so far compared to the other cats? 

Is she in search of adventure? 

Is she is search of food to fill her fatty belly?

Or is she simply searching for hugs and attention?