Feral Cats (Felis Catus L.) On New Zealand Farmland. Ii. Seasonal Activity.
19(6) 707 - 720
The activity patterns of a resident population of 15 feral cats (Felis catus L.) on New Zealand farmland were investigated from March 1984 until February 1987 by radiotelemetry. Females could be divided into two separate groups: (1) those denning in barns and (2) those denning in the swamp and willows. Females denning in barns were mainly nocturnal except in spring and summer when rearing kittens. Barn cats moved significantly further between dusk and dawn, except in autumn-winter, than those denning in swamp and willows which were active over 24 h. When not breeding, related females occupied the same barn. In both groups, the home range of female relatives overlapped. Males ranged over all habitats, and dominant adult males moved significantly further and had larger home ranges than other males in all seasons, except in summer when they rested, avoiding hot summer days. Only adult males were active during the day in spring and autumn-winter. The importance of a Zeitgeber in synchronising cat activity with that of the prey is examined. The significance of female den site is discussed in relation to proximity of food, predators, social behaviour and male defence.
Full text doi:10.1071/WR9920707
© CSIRO 1992