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...are often smaller than they appear, as the snow on the rim of the print melts.
Cats have quite large territories, or rather, ranges: five acres is often quoted. Feral cats would range much further than this.
And if the property in question doesn't have a cat, then every other local cat will feel free to include it in it's range.
So it is equally possible that your footprints are from a feral cat, or from a local moggy out a-hunting.
How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
On your other observation (http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/314667) I've just spent some time arguing the first picture to be a dog. However, I now feel very daft because the second picture showing the gait makes it very clear this is a cat. The claw marks are because it has them slightly extended for balance as it leaps/hops through the snow. The shape of the print is distorted by the snow and the cat leaping. The parallel prints are also due to the cat's leaping gait. Ignore everything I said in the other post.
Just goes to show how important seeing the gait of an animal is when identifying prints!
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