The Royal Veterinary College has teamed up with the BBC and presenter Liz Bonnin for Cat Watch 2014, a series of programmes on BBC2 this week.

Liz Bonnin with Alan Wilson, (R) and PhD student Richard Harvey preparing to put GPS collars on farm cats.

In the Horizon programmes, being screened tonight, tomorrow and on Wednesday (October 7, 8 and 9) scientists from the college’s structure and motion lab will show how town cats, village cats and farm cats spend their days and nights, and how cats use their incredible senses and agility to hunt.

Laboratory professor Alan Wilson and his team developed the wildlife collar tracking technology for their research into hunting behaviour by wild cheetahs, lions and leopards in southern Africa.

For Britain’s cats the collars had to be miniaturised so they could be carried comfortably without affecting the cats’ behaviour. Collars were fitted to 100 cats so they could be tracked round the clock to find out where they went, what they did and which other cats they met or avoided.

Filmed in the structure and motion lab, the RVC researchers explain how the muscles and bones of domestic cats compare with the big wild cats and how this affects their posture and athletic prowess.

Viewers will discover how the scientists study the animals in the lab and in the wild as they record their movements during running, jumping and negotiating obstacles.

Presenter Liz Bonnin is a cat scientist, with a master’s degree in wild animal biology from the RVC, for which she tracked wild tigers in Nepal.

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