How far will cats roam when wearing our Birdsbesafe® cat collar cover? Two ideas came to mind: 1) farther than usual, to reach more prey or 2) less far than usual, as suggested by cat owners saying the cats seem to be "home more" when wearing Birdsbesafe® collar covers. So the research team at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, tested these ideas with a field study where cats wore GPS devices, and either did or didn't wear Birdsbesafe® collar covers as well. What happened next?
The newly published paper in the Journal of Applied Animal Behaviour by Catherine Hall et al suggests simply: Cats wearing Birdsbesafe collar covers don't roam farther, and they don't roam less far. They travel about the same distances, which depend more on housing density (and the proportional cat density) than what prey they do or don't catch.
One other interesting bit of news was uncovered in the study, as reported in an interview with science researcher Catherine Hall (link is here). If your cat is going to wear Birdsbesafe® collar covers, it might not change their hunting routes, however kitty might come home sooner for dinner. The noted effect of cats being around home more may reflect a failure to catch as much prey, and a wanting to be home near the food bowl sooner than usual.
A fourth study on Birdsbesafe and its effects on cat predation is underway in New Zealand.
At Birdsbesafe® company, owner Nancy Brennan is content to cooperate with field studies, but says: "We know that the Birdsbesafe® cat collar covers are working really well for cat owners across all of North America, and in Europe. We've 'field tested' our products for years by selling them to cat owners, who provide feedback, both directly and indirectly. The most common feedback we hear is 'It really works! Thank you!'"