A CAT has turned into an overnight celebrity after appearing on a groundbreaking documentary.

Hannah Partridge and her three-year-old cat Saphie are two of the stars of new programme Cat Watch 2014, which has aired on three nights this week.

The show used state-of-the-art GPS tracking to uncover the lives of 100 cats in Brighton, Rottingdean and the surrounding countryside.

Research for the BBC show has revealed that rural cats travel further on their adventures than first thought, while town cats have to endure the stress of having lots of other cats in close proximity to their territory.

The show has also shown cats are still much less domesticated than their canine equivalents and remain true to their wild instincts as “lions in our laps”.

The show has also explored their ability to reduce the stress levels of their owners, how they communicate and how they see the world. Night-vision cameras show how effectively they can see in the dark, even though their short-sighted vision is very poor during the day.

BHASVIC student Hannah said she got involved in the show when a flyer from programme makers was posted through the door of her family home in Meadow Close, Rottingdean, earlier this year.

European shorthair Saphie was then tracked by GPS technology during May and July, with the show airing on Wednesday night.

Hannah, 17, said: “We thought she just stayed in the garden and our neighbour’s garden but we found out there’s a nearby farm which she visits quite a lot.

“We also found out she had whiskers on what are effectively her elbows and, through DNA samples, that her ancestry traces back to Egypt, Arabic countries and all over Europe.

“We got her from a farm when she was about ten weeks old so we always thought she was English but she actually has a very interesting background.

“I don’t think we will be treating her differently after what we have found out but I have a lot more respect for her now.”

Councillor Lynda Hyde was instrumental in getting the show to film in Rottingdean, convincing producers that the area was full of cats and community-minded people who would want to be involved.

Coun Hyde said she has learnt a lot about her two cats, Theo and Pixie, which she inherited from her student granddaughter, who also featured heavily in the show.

She said: “It was fantastic to see Rottingdean on the television, and hopefully it will be a nice boost for traders and put Rottingdean on the map.”