Milo Contributes to Science

A little while ago Milo (Figure 1) signed up for a science experiment. He wore an accelerometer for around 2 weeks as part of the Feline Activity Study at the University of Bristol. This interesting study is being run by Dr Evelyn Maniaki who is studying the impact of feline degenerative joint disease on mobility and quality of life in cats.

Figure 1. Milo wearing his accelerometer.

Evelyn provided me with the data collected from Milos accelerometer. I plotted Milos activity levels (the metric the accelerometer provides) over each hour of the day. From anecdotal experience, I had a feeling that his behaviour is different when he is alone. One coarse way of measuring this was to divide the data into weekdays (when he spends more time alone) and weekends (when I'm more often home annoying him). This revealed a very interesting change in his patterns of behaviour.

You can see in Figure 2 that Milo is typically very active in the early hours of weekday mornings (4am until 8am), typically inactive from 9am until the evening, where he becomes consistently active until midnight. I can confidently say that 4am is a special hour for Milo where he occasionally seems to go into a frenzy of activity. Otherwise, given that he would typically be alone between 8am and 6pm it appears that his activity levels are somewhat correlated to when he's alone.

Figure 2. Milos activity levels (y-axis) versus hour of day (x-axis) on weekdays (Monday to Friday).

At weekends I'm more likely to be home during the day. Figure 2 plots Milos activity levels over Saturday and Sundays and reveals an interesting change in when he is active. For example, on weekdays he was very inactive between 9am and 1pm, but on the weekend that's pretty much the peak hours of his activeness.

Figure 3. Milos activity levels (y-axis) versus hour of day (x-axis) on Weekends (Saturday and Sunday).

I find it super fascinating that Milos life seems to be considerably affected by my patterns of behaviour.

This was posted on Fri 06 Mar 2020 by Ryan McConville