Animals are fascinating creatures; they are capable of so much yet we still know so little about them. One interesting phenomenon is an animal and their migration and navigation habits. I am sure you have heard of falcons that return to their owners, as well as bears that hibernate for weeks at a time, but one species that might surprise you in regards to navigation are cats.
About three years ago in November, the incident occurred. A four year old indoor cat named Holly was with her owners at an R.V. park party in Daytona Beach, Florida when she must’ve gotten spooked by all of the commotion and went missing. This unbelievable feline then managed to make its way approximately 200 miles from Daytona Beach back to her owner’s home in West Palm Beach. She returned to her neighborhood in a backyard only a mile from Jacob and Bonnie Richter’s home two months later on New Years Eve.
This miraculous event surprised scientists and zoologists! Typically, when pets get lost and return after a longer period of time it turns out to be a stray cat, and the owners have simply convinced themselves that it is their animal returning. However, Holly had a microchip so there is no denying this miraculous feat! Scientists are baffled and believe it could be anything from being able to read cars, having some street smarts, as well as being a good hunter.
There are ways to determine how a bird deciphers their geographic location, whether it be their magnetic fields, orientation or the sun and olfactory cues, but there are not any studies regarding cats and their navigation. It is quite the relief for this cat’s owners.