CATCAM Open Thread!

British researchers put small video cameras on cats to observe their behavior. Here are some samples:

Excerpts from an interview with one of the authors:

Q: What were the challenges of getting the cats to wear cameras?

A: We started with 21 cats, but only 16 tolerated the cameras. The others either started racing around or tried to scratch them off. One mother cat was like this, and when we put the camera on her son, she began hitting him. So we didn’t use either cat.


Q: You thank the study cats in the paper’s Acknowledgements section. Why?

A: I always acknowledge the animals I work with. I’ve been doing that since my Ph.D. thesis. I do feel thankful because if the cats didn’t oblige us, we couldn’t do the study.

From my experience with cats and harnesses, I am surprised that none of the cats acted paralyzed and fell over on its side.

Here’s the full journal article.

Open thread for anything but politics.




41 replies
  1. 1
    Raven says:

    The University of Georgia did that and found out what killing machine the gatos are.
    “WELCOME! Kitty Cams research examined the nature of outdoor activities of owned cats by monitoring pets outfitted with “Kitty Cam” video cameras. Kitty Cams allow recording of a cat-eye view without disrupting behavior. We used Kitty Cams to investigate the activities of urban free-roaming cats in Athens, Georgia from Nov. 2010 -Oct. 2011, with goals for wildlife conservation and for improving the health and well-being of pet cats.”

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    Retrospectively Defecating is a good band name.

  3. 3
    NotMax says:

    Something Good Open Thread.

    But- but – it’s about cats.

    Does not compute.


  4. 4
    Citizen_X says:

    “From here there is hardly any change in position.” Lol.

  5. 5
    CaseyL says:

    I could watch this all day. Would love to put cameras on my own furry masters, but the first images would be of them working diligently to get rid of the cameras.

    About 10 years ago, a local cat named Cooper became briefly famous as a photographer: his humans put a collar camera on him set to automatically take snaps at 10-second intervals, and then made prints of the images. They had a gallery showing, where I bought one of the framed pictures. It shows another kitty coming around a fence toward Cooper – a ladycat we were told was his girlfriend.

  6. 6
    Hob says:

    One of the first of these things was a hobby project by (I think) a German engineer. The biggest surprise to me in his videos was how much time outdoor cats spent hanging out with other cats, like a group of three or four unrelated cats just chilling about 5 feet apart.

    Re: “retrospectively – defecating”, I often wonder whether feral cats are as terrible at covering up their poop as my indoor cats are. Mine seem to regard digging as an artistic endeavor with no practical purpose, unrelated to where the poop is. They will “dig” on any object they can reach from the litter box, such as the wall, or a stepladder.

  7. 7
    debbie says:

    I had no idea there was such a thing as cats’ chattering teeth.

  8. 8

    @debbie: My orange cat chatters while watching the birds in the window.

  9. 9
    StringOnAStick says:

    The video illustrates why we have strictly indoor cats. I can tell by what happens to their toys and how they react when they see small scurrying/flying things outside that if they went out there they’d kill a ton of things before being killed by one of the local predators/cars. I sometimes wish I could have them outside with me when I am gardening, but then I remember that outdoor cats last one, maybe two years in our neighborhood thanks to coyotes, fox, and bobcats so that’s a big nope.

  10. 10
    Mike in NC says:

    Around 6 AM today one of our cats hopped onto the bed and bit my nose. That never happened before. Trying to think what payback will be.

  11. 11
    Glidwrith says:

    @debbie: Mr. Glidwrith claims it is an imitation of baby birds to lure prey.

  12. 12
    debbie says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Next time, wake up and rush to them when they call you!

  13. 13

    Ooh, I’ll have to watch that! But right now I’m watching Always Be My Maybe, which is good so far.

  14. 14
    burnspbesq says:

    Were he still among us, noted Duke-hater efg would be in a state of advanced dismay today. Not only are two former Blue Devil golfers tied for the lead as the final round of the U.S. Women’s Open begins, but the Duke baseball team took care of WVU last night to take control of the Morgantown regional.

    Since I can no longer ask him to suck it, is there a volunteer to take over his spot?

  15. 15
    piratedan says:

    @burnspbesq: burnsy, you’ve used me in the past, fee free to do so in the current as needs/opportunities allow.

  16. 16
    cmorenc says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    From my experience with cats and harnesses, I am surprised that none of the cats acted paralyzed and fell over on its side.

    Or, tried to scratch furrows in the would-be-harnasser’s arm, shoulder, and face.

  17. 17
    trollhattan says:


    Duke has sent the kid a pile of recruiting stuff. I respond by telling her where it is.

  18. 18
    mrmoshpotato says:

    Checks the mail.

    So much day baseball.

    Go Cubs! Go Bucs!

  19. 19
    Catherine D. says:

    I loved the ‘manipulate object” My late cat Huey was so good at doorknobs that I had to put a hook & eye on the basement door.

  20. 20
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @cmorenc: Years ago, my parents got a leash for their orange short-hair. The experiment with tying the leash to the porch railing thinking he’d just lay down and chill with us outside didn’t go well. He damn well tried strangling himself.

    We unhooked his collar and off exploring he went.

  21. 21
    Betty Cracker says:

    @StringOnAStick: Cats kill a couple of billion birds annually in the US alone and are a huge threat to biodiversity all over the world. Thanks for keeping yours inside — safer for them, safer for the wild critters!

  22. 22
    zhena gogolia says:

    The captions don’t seem to be written by a native English speaker. They remind me somewhat of Mugumogu’s charming captions for her Maru videos.

  23. 23
    Yutsano says:

    No big deal. Just CaseyL and I having a lovely brunch in one of the cute side neighourhoods in Seattle.

  24. 24
    trollhattan says:

    @Betty Cracker:

  25. 25
    Baud says:


    Kind of rude for you to be on your cell phone then.

  26. 26
    Yutsano says:

    @Baud: Eh. We’re sharing the BJ haps together.

  27. 27
    CatFacts says:

    A few years ago, there was also a BBC documentary called The Secret Life of the Cat where researchers attached cameras to kitties and tracked their movements outdoors via GPS. Really interesting! Last I saw, it was still up on Dailymotion for folks outside the UK.

  28. 28
    Baud says:


    Cool. Tell her I said hi!

  29. 29
    J R in WV says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Wife likes to put her feet out from under the covers, to cool down. But she also twitches a lot. Punkin cat who loves to sleep in bed with us get more and more excited as wife twitches, sound asleep, tries hard to restrain herself, but eventually can’t stand it any more and pounces on wife’s poor tooties at 3 or 4 am. Wife Screams!!

    All of us are alert and awake after that! No actual blood shed, but you would think death was involved, or at least a Hitchcock film event… This is rare, and happened for the first time in months just the other day. Maybe a couple of times a year now, after much cat abuse after previous attacks.

    Our current two cats do like to go out in the night when weather is good, and they do “predate” on local rodents — am I evil that I think this is a good thing? I would guess the ratio of rodent prey to bird prey is at least 30:1 and perhaps much higher. Birds are a favorite, but even though many hours of stalking and hunting are invested, once a month during the summer is about it for success rate. Rodents are 3 or 4 a day, from tiny up to chipmunks and once a squirrel.

    Huzza!! for the cat who took a squirrel down!! The dog is sad that she can’t do as well as the cats.

    WE did lose a tom cat some years ago, probably to a coyote or perhaps a barred owl, he was too fearless for his own good. You know what I mean, fearless predator, in charge of all he surveys kind of tom kitty. I miss him!

    The two girls are really paranoid and skulk around very silently — one is a big 14 pound black tortie, nearly invisible at night, and dead silent too. The other is a smaller 10 pound gray tabbie, feral in outdoor nature, a very successful predator, though affectionate when she does come in to lounge on my hip in bed, or on my shoulder at the computers. We are deep in the woods, on several hundred acres of forested hills and ridges between our land and the neighbors’ wooded farms.

    I wonder what an infrared kittycam would cost a guy? Nothing else would work for a dark night under the canopy of forest we still have here.

  30. 30
    Shana says:

    Younger daughter’s BF put in a camera in their apartment to see what their cat did during the day. Evidently he was worried that the cat needed a companion. Turns out he just slept most of the day in one of two places. Occasionally got up on the viewing platform suction-cupped to their patio door so he could look out over the deck railing on the patio, but mostly just slept.

  31. 31

  32. 32
    BeautifulPlumage says:

    @Yutsano: would have joined you but had a late night. Enjoy!

  33. 33
    MattF says:

    @Betty Cracker: Australia is where ‘invasive’ species are a huge problem. Try googling ‘feral cats in australia’. But it’s also true for dogs and rabbits. Somehow, when domestic pets go to Australia, they go native and become mass killers.

  34. 34
    germy says:

    @J R in WV:

    You know what I mean, fearless predator, in charge of all he surveys kind of tom kitty.

    “Look, Simba. Everything the light touches is our kingdom …”
    – Mufasa

  35. 35
    CaseyL says:

    Jeannie was a stray who turned up on my doorstep and either already was preggo or got that way in short order (I know who the lucky guy was, a big seal point Himalayan, because all but one of the kittens were Siamese-ish). She had her babies outdoors and kept them hidden until they were about 4 weeks old: Oscar is one of that litter.

    All this is to say, my cats were born/raised outside and didn’t become indoor cats until I adopted them (though I suspect Jeannie was a runaway, or abandoned, as she was and is thoroughly socialized). Those are the hardest kitties to keep as indoor cats and it breaks their hearts to try.

    I think Oscar and Jeannie will be my last kitties as they have, knock wood, about 7-10 more years in them – by which point I’ll be at the age where I would worry about a young cat outliving me. Or I might adopt a senior cat or two. At any rate, the issue of indoor/outdoor won’t arise.

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:


    Our sadly and recently late kitty Annie was found living with a feral colony as a kitten, and you could not have paid her enough to live outside. She was perfectly happy having couches to sleep on and windows to look out of to warn away any outdoor cats who thought they could try to get a piece of the sweet deal that she had.

    IOW, it really does depend on the cat. Some are natural-born roamers, and some aren’t. 🤷‍♀️

  37. 37
    tokyokie says:

    My four cats are strictly indoor cats. The corpulent lilac-point Siamese is always trying to get out, but when he does, he just goes behind the bushes at the front of the house and munches on vegetation (and can always be lured back inside with an offer of freeze-dried fish). The other three don’t even try to leave the safe confines of our stately manor any longer.

  38. 38
    zhena gogolia says:


    My three semi-ferals never showed the slightest desire to go outside. They had enough of living rough!

  39. 39

    The BBC broadcast a documentary study on the Secret Life of Cats in an English village — — Fascinating and entertaining to watch domesticated cats wearing small cameras going about their business.

  40. 40
    randy khan says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    My three semi-ferals never showed the slightest desire to go outside. They had enough of living rough!

    Pretty much all of our cats have been rescues, and many of them have been feral or semi-feral. The only one who ever expressed much interest in escaping to the great outdoors was a Siamese who had been an indoor cat before we got him. (His sister, by contrast, had no interest in going outside, but she had very little interest in moving at all.)

  41. 41

    I found the first CatCam blog I ever saw on the Interwebs — — Mr.Lee is a German tom cat whose owner made a camera for him to wear.

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