Fast Five Review: Cats Uncovered (2014)


2014 | G | Documentary

Aloof. Disdainful. Vicious. Or friendly, fluffy balls of fur who just want to be loved. Opinions on cats tend to differ though one thing is sure – they occupy a very special place in the hearts of many. But how much do we really know about them? This fascinating and revealing series investigates every aspect of the lives of this often-misunderstood species.

1) Did you like it?

Loved it! This documentary combines adorable cats with high technology. I didn’t stand a chance.

2) Why?

Cats have been domesticated for a long time, but anyone who’s spent much time around them knows that they’ve still got a bit of wild animal in them. They have strong instincts, are keen hunters, and are much less willing than dogs to adapt their behaviour to human lifestyles.

Cats Uncovered follows a team of researchers who attached GPS trackers and cameras to three different groups of English cats: Farm cats, small-town village cats, and suburban cats in the city of Brighton. Most fascinating to me were the insights into how cats interact with one another when these solitary predators are forced to share their territories. It’s enough to make you reconsider getting a “friend” for your current pet cats – the “cat cams” and GPS data capture fierce rivalries, time-sharing of city streets, and some very cheeky exploitation of human affection. The cameras also spend some time at Cat HQ, to see how the researchers gather and interpret cat stats, and do some very cute experiments to show how cats interact and communicate with humans.

Keep an eye out for Ozzy, an aggressive black cat named after the Black Sabbath frontman, who owns his Brighton street and terrorises everything in his path. Lots of amusement to be had, especially from his unsuspecting owners when they find out exactly how much of a troublemaker he really is.

3) “You would enjoy this documentary if…”

You’ve ever wondered where your outdoor cat goes when you’re not around. Or, if you’ve watched ALL the funny cat videos on the internet and still need an excuse to watch more cats being cute!

4) “This documentary made me think…”

How did they get the cats to keep their trackers and cameras on? They’re pretty bulky, and most cats I’ve met will barely tolerate a collar.

5) Stars out of five?