It's true that the way animals navigate their world can be fascinating to us. For dogs, for example, getting home has much more to do with their sense of smell than visual cues. A sense of direction often comes with learned behavior, according to Weiss. "We all move toward things we know, as long as they were positive experiences, and away from things we don't know," she said. "This is true of us and our pets."
A cat last year managed to track down her person just weeks after she had moved to a nursing home and left the cat in the care of a loving neighbor. The cat astonishingly turned up at the nursing home just to be with the person with whom she felt truly at home.
Mayhem the cat successfully undertook a similar feat, following her owner to a totally new neighborhood.
Non-human animal behavior can be just as fascinating as human behavior is baffling. "We've done research on how humans behave with their pets, and why people don't put tags on their pets," Weiss said, noting that while the vast majority of people say it's important to tag pets, only about a third actually use an ID tag. "We see that pattern in all kinds of behavior, including putting batteries in smoke detectors or recycling."