Browse content similar to Episode 1. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
BOTH: We are Dr Chris and Dr Xand van Tulleken.
And we're tracking down the most awesome...
BOTH: ..and epic things in the universe!
Come with us and discover unbelievable things
that will blow your mind!
Blow Your Mind will be bringing you all the top experts on the planet,
from icebergs to elephants, spaceships to sharks.
And this week it's all about amazing animals.
So, hold on to your brains - here's what's coming up.
Today, we're going undercover to follow cats
with amazing GPS systems.
And we'll be able to watch what they get up to
when we look through specially designed cat cameras.
Now, Chris, you've got a dog and a cat. Which do you prefer?
Well, I love my dog, Spike, but I'm a bit more interested in my cat.
-He's harder to understand.
-Well, that's good,
because today we are investigating cute kitties and furry felines.
That's right. Blow Your Mind is going undercover
to find out what happens to YOUR cat when you're not watching.
That's good. I want to know what he gets up to.
Now, here's an interesting thing. Cats are important
because we've got ten million of them in the UK,
and that's twice as many cats as there are people in Scotland.
For this research, we only needed 50 furry felines.
Let's see how they got on.
The cat scientists wanted to recruit 50 cats
of all ages, sizes and breeds,
so they headed to Shamley Green to see if the cat owners
wanted their cats to take part.
-Well, I've got three cats, if that's any good.
-I've got one.
On average, cats live to about 15 years old
and weigh in at around four kilos.
This is Lilly. She's an 18-month-old Bengal that I bred.
This is Obi.
Short for Obi-Wan Kenobi.
This is Cato.
Claude is quite a character,
and he has various girlfriends in the district.
He does quite a lot of hunting.
-I want to find out where he gets them all from.
-That's what I said.
They do go out every night and come back and sleep all day,
so it would be quite interesting to see how far they go.
My husband thinks he just goes ten feet up the woods,
but I think he goes a lot further.
He used to belong to a lady over the road,
but he left home when they got a dog.
I think I'd move out if a massive scary animal with huge teeth
-moved into my house.
-Told you cats were clever.
Now, the scientists have fitted each of the cats' collars
with one of these.
It's a special GPS tracker,
which means that they can see on a map exactly where each cat is
and at what time.
-So it's a bit like sat nav in a car?
This is going to be interesting.
The especially designed cat collars are a big hit with the cat owners.
And they're queueing up to get their hands on them.
-Who's a good girl?
-Give her another stroke. Excellent.
And let her eat.
You'd rather have one of these?
-And some more food for him.
And after a few days, there are 50 collars on 50 cats.
Everything is now in place for the study to begin.
The scientists and researchers are setting up base in the village hall.
Behind...the trees on your right.
The operation will run day and night across the week.
And they've even brought in an undercover surveillance crew,
so they can secretly film the cats.
We're also having five more cameras dotted around.
One on top of the garage.
So, hopefully, we'll be able to see what's going on.
And with all the technology now in place, it's down to the cats.
Wow, so not only have they got the GPS collars on the cats,
they've also got secret surveillance cameras
keeping an eye on them day and night.
They'd better keep their eyes peeled
because cats can travel at up to 31mph.
That's faster than the speed limit in your town.
So, what happens
if the cats walk out of the field of view of the cameras, though?
Ah. The scientists have actually thought of that,
and they've come up with a way of keeping filming the cats
without scaring them off.
I know what they will have done. Hold on. Wait a second.
Is it this? A cat costume with a BBC cameraman?
But check out THESE little beauties.
The BBC's Research and Development department has created
a brand-new type of camera
that will capture a cat's-eye view of our world.
Today, Dr Sarah Ellis and Alia Sheikh,
who developed the camera, are out to test a prototype.
-Oh, I see. That's clever, yeah.
-Is it recording now?
-It's recording now.
The most important thing is the cats' comfort and safety.
The cameras are very light, and they'll be fitted
onto quick-release collars in case they get caught up.
Yeah, he's a good boy.
We'll give him a bit of fuss. That's lovely.
And we'll play with him.
You're a good boy. Such a good boy.
You're a good boy. Are you wanting to go outside
so we can see what you're doing with that camera on?
The cameras have been made smaller...
..and able to film in the dark.
AND they can record sound.
And then they're connected to the GPS collars, so that we can see
exactly where the cats are and exactly what they're looking at.
Coco. How are you this morning?
14 cats have been chosen to wear the cat cameras,
and soon we can start to see the world through THEIR eyes.
Cats can jump up to seven times their own height...
..and jump DOWN even further.
Cats have excellent long-distance vision,
but they can't focus their eyes under 25cm,
which is why they have whiskers.
So THAT'S why cats have whiskers,
cos their eyes can't focus on stuff that's near to them,
-and so they FEEL the nearby world around them?
So what did the scientists learn about the life of cats
-using all this technology?
-It's quite interesting.
Most cats stay quite close to home.
You can see on the GPS map here that, basically,
a cat like Brutus, he just patrols around his home,
whereas Molly does like to walk to the village woods.
But basically, the average male cat
only goes about 100 metres away from home.
That's the length of a football pitch.
The average female cat... it's about half that - 50 metres.
But some of these lines do get quite close together.
What happens when they meet?
Well, that's when things can get a bit CATTY.
And that's where the cat cams come in really handy.
CATS HISS AND YOWL
When cats stray into each other's areas, trouble begins.
For some cats, the leafy hedges
and gravel paths of our back gardens are like a battleground.
There was one cat that came into the garden.
It wasn't so much a fight,
it was a showdown between the two of them, sort of staring at each other.
He was out all the time.
He was like the king cat of the close,
and he was always fighting and literally no-one would come...
Any other cat would be like, "There's Cato."
I heard this tremendous fight going on, so I got the ladder,
climbed up the hedge to see what was going on.
And the cat was having a fight with the neighbour's cat
on top of the hedge.
-On top of the hedge?
-Yeah. That was...
He does come in occasionally.
Frightens the life out of them.
-And they run and hide.
-And then Charlie runs up the stairs to hide.
Scientists think that many cats have a personal territory.
This is its own personal space where it eats, sleeps
and brings up its young.
So, when another cat enters this space,
they instinctively want to defend it.
So, cats are territorial animals. If you step on their patch,
you're going to know about it. The results could be CAT-astrophic.
Very good, Chris.
So were there any good fights in the village?
Well, actually, the scientists were really interested in finding out
how cats defend their territory. Let's meet one fierce feline.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Ginger the cat!
Ginger has lived in the village for ten years,
and he seems to be a friendly, well-behaved cat.
We think that he just goes next door, catches the odd bird and sleeps.
And we don't think he goes out at night.
Because when you watch him,
he doesn't seem to like getting his paws wet or...being out in the rain.
He doesn't like the cold, he doesn't like the snow.
In the summer, he'll just sit and sunbathe in the garden.
So, yeah, it will be interesting.
But appearances can be deceptive.
Ginger, it turns out, has a secret life.
Here's Ginger. He came over here.
And if we just move forward...
The GPS data show that he deliberately heads
towards another cat's territory - their garden.
To find out what he's up to,
the scientists put a camera on him.
At 8.36pm, Ginger leaves the house.
He spends a few minutes patrolling his own back garden.
And then he takes a trip across the village common.
At exactly 8.48pm, Ginger stops dead in his tracks.
He's now behind enemy lines in the other cat's garden.
And, unfortunately for Ginger, that cat is at home.
This might not have been such a good idea after all.
Sensibly, Ginger decides to cut his losses and make a run for it.
If you want to come and have a look,
-we've got some footage on one of the cat cameras.
This is from Ginger.
Ginger has been roaming around the area near its house
going through some fields.
Moving quite fast.
You can see right away there
there's a pair of eyes from another cat.
Is he running towards the other cat?
I think he's trying to get a bit of distance really, more than anything,
because the other cat came towards him.
Definitely doesn't want to be anywhere near him, anyway. Yeah.
Looks like really a piece of classic stand-off...
-..between two cats
where they are using hissing, growling and yowling
to really try and keep a distance from each other.
-And it looked as if it was reasonably effective there.
So this is a big part of what your cat does beyond the cat flap -
patrolling their territory
and facing off against invading neighbourhood cats.
So cats WILL defend their territory,
but most of them prefer to avoid fighting so they don't get injured.
But they do like sticking their noses into each other's territories.
So it's true what people say, that curiosity can kill cats.
It does get them in trouble. You can see how close they get to each other
with those coloured lines on the GPS map.
I think it's cool, this spying on the cats.
I'm glad you're enjoying it, because we've got more.
Coming up this afternoon, we're going to see
if it's all-out cat warfare in Shamley Green,
and we're going to meet some cat burglars.
So join us later on...
BOTH: ..Blow Your Mind.