Wild Cats: April 2008 Archives

UPDATE: Lost wild lion cat found, read here.

lost-lion-maniwaki-quebec.jpgWell imagine the look of shock on the local police dispatcher's face when they got the call that an African Lion was on the loose in Maniwaki Quebec!

Apparently the cat was new to the area and only purchased two days ago by an unidentified man in the area. According to reports, the cat was tied to a pole in front of the man's house. Ingenious. The 70 kg lion eventually broke loose of the pole and started roaming the area.

The obvious fear is that once the cat becomes hungry, it may pose a real threat to local residents.

According to many people, the lion is domesticated. The reality is that an African Lion is never domesticated and they are not meant to be pets. No one understands how how or why the owner was able to obtain a wild lion.

This is another example of why wild cats are not meant to be domesticated. In the last few months, two individuals have been attacked by "domesticated" cheetahs in separate events and a lady was attacked during a photo-shoot after attempting to pose with a wild African Lion.

These animals are not pets, they are wild animals. The operative word being "wild" and that implies that the cats are obviously unpredictable.

Other posts I think you might be into:

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

See a 400 lbs African Lion hug and kiss his rescuer!


In the wild, Fishing Cats catch fish at night. But in this video, you get to see the rare and beautiful Fishing Cat catching fish during the day! Watch for the wild cat to tap the water with its paw and then dive in to catch the fish. They do this to mimic the behavior of insects before they pounce.

Fishing cats are a threatened species of wild cat so minimal efforts are being made to save them. There are hunting regulations in Laos, but Fishing Cats have no legal protection in Bhutan, Malaysia or Vietnam. Hunting isn't really the problem though, destruction of the wetlands is the primary threat. As usual, humans will wait until there are only a few left before we do something.


Fortunately, they are one of the few wild cats who can breed in captivity. With a little time and a lot of money, there may be hope for the future Fishing Cats. You can donate to the National Zoo to help them keep up their conservations efforts. This video was made in the National Zoo and features the Fishing Cats that now live there, some of them were born in captivity.

which_came_first_dogs_ or_cats.jpg

The debate rages on, which came first, dogs or cats? The mounting evidence shows that dogs were domesticated long before cats, but in my opinion, it all has to do with the nature of dogs and cats. Dogs are pack animals and can be trained by "alpha dogs" (or humans). Whereas cats have a different social structure and are direct descendants of wild cats. So domestication of dogs looks different to archaeologists than the domestication of cats. Let me explain...

Determining the exact era when cats were domesticated is difficult because cats aren't necessarily raised by humans but are attracted to human settlements. Imagine you have a number of cats living close to villages, they let humans touch them and interact with them, even allow their kittens to be touched but the cats remain independent. They come and go to and from the village as they please. Humans allow this because they understand that cats need their freedom to hunt.


Dogs on the other hand, are easier to see as domestic because they have often had collars and leashes. Dogs needed these collars and leashes so humans could control their labor, pulling sleds, sniffing out game for hunting, protection against predators, etc.

You see the difference? A cat on a leash can't stalk and kill rodents. But a dog on a leash can bark when danger approaches it's human. Archaeologists have found evidence of leashes and were able to determine without a doubt that the dog was domesticated.


Another major difference between cats and dogs that makes it difficult to determine which came first, dogs or cats is that cats are direct descendants of wild cats. A domestic cat is physically similar to its wild ancestors. So when archaeologists find the remains of a cat near a village, it is hard for them to tell if that cat was an integral part of village life or it was just passing by.

So for now, the debate continues, which came first, dogs or cats?


So what do you think? Which came first, dogs or cats? It's generally believed that dogs were domesticated long before cats. But recently, growing evidence reveals that cats and humans have lived in harmony throughout the ages.

Most scientists agree that cats were domesticated by the ancient Egyptians about 6000 years ago. But we now know that this is not the earliest known case of cats and humans living in harmony. A cat and a human were found buried together on the Mediterranean Island of Cyprus. This grave was dated at about 10,000 years old. That's at least 4000 years earlier than the Egyptian cats.


It makes sense because around 12,000 years ago, humans began to cultivate grains, store them in their villages and of course rats and mice were attracted to the stored grain. Wild cats sniffed out the rats and mice and moved closer to the villages to be near the steady food supply. The villages would have benefitted the wild cats - lots of mice and rats to eat, and protection from predators that hunted cats. Humans also would have benefited from the rodent control.


One interesting thing about this grave on Cyprus is the fact that it was an island, how did the cats get there? Most scientists agree that the cats were brought to the island with the human settlers. And the cat and human to be buried together suggests the importance of the cat to the human. Cats must have had both secular and spiritual significance to the people of the time.

It is hard to know exactly which came first, dogs or cats, because none of us were there. But with growing evidence like this, the answer is getting closer.

european_cave_lion.jpgThe scientific name for this cat is Panthera Leo Spelaea but it is more commonly known as the European Cave Lion, European Lion or the Cave Lion.

The European Cave Lion first appeared in Europe around 500 000 to 700 000 years ago. Paintings of this cat have been found in many European caves depicting the animal hunting together in teams similar to current modern day lions.

Pictures_of Cats_American-bobtail.jpg

Born in the wild, American Bobtail Cats are a naturally occurring breed that has only recently been recognized.

The first at the door to greet company, will follow you from room to room in the house, plays fetch and even likes to play in water! American Bobtail cats are intensely devoted to their humans. But be sure to groom them regularly and keep lots of toys on hand, better yet, get two bobtails to keep each other amused while you are out!

Quick Cat Characteristics of the American Bobtail Breed:

Physical: Short tail, strong, stocky body with hind legs slightly longer than their front legs. A short tail.

Color: A distinctively wild appearance, but can be any color with long or short fur.

Temperament: Confident, friendly, easily adaptable and fairly vocal.

History: feral cats possessing a short tail.

Unless something is done soon, most of these cats won't be around too much longer. Limited efforts are being taken to try and save most of these cats. The main issue unfortunately is that with so few of these cats left, the incidence of inbreeding is much higher which can cause it's own problems like genetic disorders, reduced fertility, higher infant mortality, reduced effectiveness of immune system, lower birth rate and so on.

Many of these cats are literally months from being extinct. You can do your part by donating to the World Conservation Union.


Amur Tiger extinction.jpegAmur Tiger also known as the Siberian Tiger: With approximately 400 to 500 of these incredible cats left, the Amur Tiger's days are numbered. The cat lives throughout China, the Korean Peninsula, South Eastern Russia and North Eastern Mongolia.

These incredible cats can weigh anywhere from 100 to 350 kg and are slightly taller than their popular Bengal Tiger cousins.

Compared to other species of tigers, the Siberian Tiger has a larger mane, furrier paws and generally more white and less striping in their coats.

Siberian Tigers are known for there mellow and fair tempered demeanor.

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