Cats are not immigrant animals but they are known to be excellent in finding their way back home, they can cross a distance of more than 50 miles with difficult landscape reliefs , mountains , lakes and rivers, wild regions the same as busy roads inside big cities and succeed to regain their old homes.
Many people experienced this fact with their pet cats. Cats are much more attached to the places where they are born and grown up. They have the ability to return to places that are familiar to them and distance is not an obstacle for them when they are willing to return back home.
It was a very astonishing experience: when I traveled more than 50 miles with a cat in a box within my car trunk. This cat was not our pet but she used to live in the garden in the front yard of our house. We used to feed her regularly but she did not get into the house, except for few times. She was much more attached to my sister but she was not totally a tamed animal, she refused to be hugged of caressed except for rare times when she allowed my young sister to take her in her arms. One day when my little sister wanted to caress her, she scratched her in the face near her left eye. Fortunately the eye was safe. I was very angry and thought of taking the cat away to a city where she can find what to eat but live away from my young sister. I knew that a distance of 5 to 6 miles means nothing for a cat to return back home. I heard of similar stories; but I had never thought of a distance of 50 miles.
I had to travel for a work at Errachidia a city that is almost 50 miles away from my home town Errich. I made a trap for the cat and caught her in a box, put her into the trunk of my car and left. When I arrived to Errachidia I freed the cat and she went straight to big garden. I knew she can manage herself and find a shelter and food as she used to do.
We forgot all about the cat, but after a year she came back home!! We were very surprised to see her sitting in front of the door waiting for us to give her food. She lost almost a third of her weight but she was in a good shape. I could not believe it! The road to Errachidia from my home town was very far and full of mountains, a long river and a big dam lake full of water along the year. Besides, the cat was inside the car trunk, she did not see the road at all. At first glance, I said to myself she should not be the same cat, but my little sister knew her and knew that she kept the same habits of sleeping in the front yard and visiting us from time to time.
I felt a remorse at first for taking the cat away from our garden but, later, I got the conviction that she should be respected for the way she is. We can help her with food from time to time, but as she is half tamed she cannot be caressed of hugged.
What happened raised many questions and urged me to read about this phenomenon. I learn that scientists from National Geographic and Georgia university in a project called kittycams used cameras and satellite tracking chips to study the behavior of lost pet cats and follow them in regions where they were deliberately left. Lost pets use their innate ability to locate where they are. They rely on their strong smell sense and biological compass to find their ways home. This might be easier with migrating birds and wild animals but still a local tamed pet never loses its natural innate faculties. They can have the ability to survive in regions full of cars, large roads and big cities, avoid wild animals and even hunt for their food.