Migrating cats

One odd behaviour characteristic that several researchers have concluded is that many of the large black animals possibly being leopards seem to move around at certain times of year coinciding with movements of people; for example, in the summer months in areas where human activity is high, the cats seem to vanish and keep a low profile and their field signs cannot be found often for several months. I have found this on the isle of Purbeck where most of my study areas are. The cats seem to move away after the May bank holiday and go deeper into the forests, only to return in September time ! this seems to happen every year and I am not surprised as so many people visit beaches and heathland sites that the cats do not like the disturbance. This also means that territories are not exactly static and there must be some give and take between rivals. However, just as I predicted, the beginning of September would again yield scats and scrapes in the usual area. below is the first scat found for eight weeks in my most prolific study area.



This is a cat scat possibly the same female leopard that marks her area for the last seven years in this spot. I expect to find more as autumn approaches and the behaviour change in the Sika deer ( the main prey ) also triggers reaction from the leopards. These scats are no good for D.N.A analysis as they dry out so quickly in the hot sun and they are rarely found fresh.

2 thoughts on “Migrating cats

  1. I was out mountain biking on The Purbecks last night. I was on the top of nine barrow down when the light on my bars caught some animal eyes on the path ahead. I flicked my helmet light on and saw something dark and the size of a small deer move off of the trail and into the gorse.
    Not at all unusual (I nearly got side-swipped by an adult deer later in the ride!) until I got to where the animal had been…and found the lower half of a very small sheep there!
    It was a fresh kill (still warm!) and had been very cleanly half eaten. There was no blood at all.
    I ride this area frequently and have never seen anything like this before.

  2. Hi

    I believe that I saw a big cat today (10/09/2013) on the Dorchester Bypass.
    Time 07:20 – 07:30
    Location A35 Dorchester Bypass – Just after turnoff A352 for Broadmayne
    Details: – Driving west bound behind small white van, when large cat ran across road in front of van. Ran out from trees on Dorchester side to trees on south side of bypass that border the fields.
    Description:- Size approx of dog fox. Colour- Sandy/Reddish Brown – No Distinct Markings.
    Tail did not taper like a domestic cat.
    Ran like a big cat ie; like one sees a lioness chasing prey on TV docs.

    Would have to say that only similar cat I have seen images of is a Puma, but this was not a particularly big animal. Could it be a feral cat?
    It would be interesting to see if any other reports for similar in area.


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