Home range, habitat use, and activity patterns of free-roaming domestic cats

Jeff A. Horn, Nohra E Mateus-Pinilla, Richard E. Warner, Edward Heske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We used radio-telemetry and collar-mounted activity sensors to compare home range size, habitat use, and activity patterns of owned and unowned free-roaming cats on the outskirts of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA. Owned cats (3 M, 8 F) had smaller home ranges than unowned cats (6 M, 10 F), but we failed to detect consistent differences in home range size between the sexes or among seasons. Home ranges of unowned cats included more grassland and urban area than predicted based on availability in all seasons, and farmsteads were selected in fall and winter. Within home ranges, unowned cats shifted their use of habitats among seasons in ways that likely reflected prey availability, predation risk, and environmental stress, whereas habitat use within home ranges by owned cats did not differ from random. Unowned cats were more nocturnal and showed higher overall levels of activity than owned cats. Space use and behavioral differences between owned and unowned cats supported the hypothesis that the care a cat owner provides influences the impact a cat has on its environment, information that is important for making decisions on controlling cat populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1177-1185
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Volume75
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

Fingerprint

activity pattern
home range
habitat use
cats
habitats
range size
space use
prey availability
radiotelemetry
predation risk
environmental stress
urban area
grassland
decision making
sensor
radio frequency identification
winter
radio telemetry
habitat
urban areas

Keywords

  • Felis catus
  • activity patterns
  • feral cats
  • free-roaming cats
  • habitat use
  • home range
  • radio-telemetry
  • survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Home range, habitat use, and activity patterns of free-roaming domestic cats. / Horn, Jeff A.; Mateus-Pinilla, Nohra E; Warner, Richard E.; Heske, Edward.

In: Journal of Wildlife Management, Vol. 75, No. 5, 01.07.2011, p. 1177-1185.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Horn, Jeff A. ; Mateus-Pinilla, Nohra E ; Warner, Richard E. ; Heske, Edward. / Home range, habitat use, and activity patterns of free-roaming domestic cats. In: Journal of Wildlife Management. 2011 ; Vol. 75, No. 5. pp. 1177-1185.
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