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What do cats do home alone? Cat cams have answers

By jim Published: December 3, 2009
This undated image provided by Ketchum pr shows Leo-Hector with a cat cam attached to his collar. Leo-Hector was one of fifty house cats who were given collar cameras that took a photo every 15 minutes. The results put a digital dent in some human theories about catnapping. (AP Photo/Ketchum/ Lyn Thornton) ** NO SALES **

LOS ANGELES (AP) — What do cats do when their owners are away? There was one way to find out — "cat cams."

Fifty house cats were given collar cameras that took a photo every 15 minutes. The results put a digital dent in some human theories about catnapping.

Based on the photos, about 22 percent of the cats' time was spent looking out of windows, 12 percent was used to interact with other family pets and 8 percent was spent climbing on chairs or kitty condos. Just 6 percent of their hours were spent sleeping.

"What surprised me was how active the cats were. I believed my three cats were sleeping during the day," said Jill Villarreal, an animal behavior scientist who collected the data for Nestle Purina PetCare's Friskies brand of cat food.

The 777 photos studied by Villarreal showed the cats looking at a television, computer, DVDs or other media 6 percent of the time and hiding under tables 6 percent of the time.

Coming in at 5 percent was playing with toys; eating or looking at food finished at 4 percent.

Will the cats get movie cameras next? "We are in the think tank now," Villarreal said.

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