Chris Kouwenhoven

The feline compass

Familiar scents and the cat's visual memory enable it to find home without much difficulty over short distances. What about those tales of cats who find their way home over many miles, even hundreds of miles? A number of studies have been conducted in an attempt to explain how these journeys can be possible. It has been discovered that cats, as well as a variety of other species including humans, possess an extraordinary sensitivity to the earth's magnetic field. This sensitivity enables them (and us) to find the way home without visual clues. It seems likely that iron

Particles occurring naturally in animal tissues give the homing individuals a built-inbiological compass.

Scientists are still learning more about how this system works, but we already have some very good reasons to take these "incredible journeys" seriously.