The Large and Small of Wild Cat Breeds

Cheetahs have been around the longest of all wild cat breeds having evolved 18 million years ago according to researchers. Another interesting fact is, unlike other big cat breeds Cheetahs do not roar. Instead they yelp at various volumes and even purr much like standard domestic cats.

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The most shocking trivia about Cheetahs is found in their speed. These cats can get all the way up to 80 miles per hour in short distances and a regular speed of 60 which ranks them as the fastest four footed animal on earth.

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Lions are probably the most well known and recognized of the wild cat family most due to movies like The Lion King. What’s unusual about this breed is the organization of a social group known as a pride that can contain up to forty lions. While the lioness’s of the pride are the ones to hunt it is always the lions who will eat first. While the well known lions are not in danger certain subspecies are. Other subspecies such as the Barbary and Cape Lion are considered now extinct.

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Ocelots beautiful cats spend most of their days in high trees choosing to hunt in the darkness of night because of its nocturnal nature. Because of their smaller size, ocelots can often be mistaken for regular domestic cats and adopted as pets. This combined with the demand for the beautiful pelts in various areas of the world has led this wild cat breed to become endangered with many subspecies suspected to be extinct now.

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Servals haven’t always been classified as their own species having only gained that status within the the last several years. These big cats have been bred with domestic cats to create another new breed known as the Savannah. While it’s still illegal in most states with the United States to own a serval as a pet, it is still a problem in many areas. Weighing between thirty and forty pounds they may not seem like a large threat. This misconception doesn’t take into account that the only other wild cat that beats them in speed is the Cheetah and they have a prey catch ration of up to 50% which beats most other wild cats by far.

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Kodkods are the smallest of wild cats in the western hemisphere. While most of these beautiful cats have red or greyish brown fur many kodkods with black fur are found in the wild. Much like a variety of other wild cats these too can be confused with domestic cats. Matching quite comparatively in size between four and six pounds.

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These small and short legged sand cats are some of the only true desert cats naturally living in these warm and dry conditions. Foot coverings help these felines walk through the otherwise abrasive sand without the least bit of trouble. This also means they don’t sink into the dirt and thus leave no footprints making them even more difficult to study. This combined with the coloring of their coats they are often able to completely disappear into their surroundings.

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Puma’s are up to eighty known names including cougar, panther and mountain lion. While the size and coloring can vary across this type this is largely due to the environment and climate where these animals live. While adults most often have a solid colored coat cubs are marked with spots to help them blend in with the ground and vegetation while they grow. Like many other big cats Puma’s are incredibly athletic running up to 50 miles per hour and jumping as high as 15 feet in the air.

Bio

I’m 31 years old and have always loved animals. Wild animals have been an interest for me when I began to read about the problem with them becoming pets in peoples homes. I also keep track of endangered species as well as the effects of our environment and weather on the animal population. Away from animals I love to read, do a lot of art, and can often be found binge watching various tv shows or movies on netflix. Katrinity


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