For the scientist, although this behavior is not unique, it remains exceptional. “Most of the time when cats get lost they will stay within three blocks”, she says. Joana Lagarrigue refers in particular to a study from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), which wanted to better understand what happens when felines are left to fend for themselves in the wild. To do this, researchers tracked 92 cats with GPS collars in a limited area of 1.1 kilometers for a month. And it appears that cats spend the vast majority (79%) of their time 50 meters or less from their home, traveling a maximum average distance of about 352 meters.
We will therefore never know what went on in the mind of Coxi the cat to allow her to travel 600 kilometers, but with the advancement of science, of cat behavior and of cat biology, our behaviorist puts forward several lines of explanation. Primarily, “Since the cat is a very routine animal, this move could have caused a great upheaval, and it is possible that he was trying to find the bearings he had in his old house”, she thinks. Next, “We know that the cat has a spatio-temporal memory, that is, it is able to locate itself in space according to experiences it has had. We also know that the cat has a very strong sense of smell, 70 times more developed than the human sense of smell, its hearing is also three times more developed than that of humans. These are the main senses that the cat will use to identify its environment and find its way.”