Big Cats

All About Large Wild Cats

Many people who are passionate about cats also have an interest in wild large cats in addition to their own domestic cats. Everyone is filled with awe and reverence for the wild cats, despite the fact that they are terrifying hunters. Large cats, such as the cheetah and the lion, are referred to as “big cats,” in contrast to our more familiar and much smaller housecats, which are referred to as “little cats.”

Regrettably, there are some individuals who are interested in keeping large, exotic cats as pets in their homes. This is a certain way to get into problems, not just for the owner but also for the animal. The larger felids should not be kept as pets since they belong in the wild.

Although lions and tigers are perhaps the first large cats that spring to mind, there are really many more species, including the following:

A snow leopard

The coat of the snow leopard, which is native to Central Asia and is sometimes known as the snow cat, makes it one of the most stunning examples of a large cat. This large feline is distinct from others of its kind because it is unable to let off a complete roar. The snow leopard is indigenous to the alpine ranges of central Asia, where it largely subsists on the meat of wild goats, sheep, and deer. This particular species is in the same precarious position as the Florida panther. In most cases, it does not pose a risk to human beings.

Tiger taking a bath

The biggest of the big cats is found in Asia and is called a tiger. The Bengal tiger is the only species of tiger that can produce the white variant. During the last one hundred years, the natural population of tigers has decreased from a peak of about 100,000 to an estimated 7,000. These large cats may be found in a wide variety of ecosystems across Asia, including the forests of Siberia and tropical parts of Asia.

A lion

The second biggest of the big cats is the lion, which may be found in Africa and India. As is the case with the majority of large cats, they are social carnivores that hunt in prides. Male lions may weigh up to 250 kg and have manes on their heads. Lionesses may weigh up to 150 kg. The average lifespan of a lion is between 10 and 14 years.

It is possible to refer to the puma cat that lives in both North and South America as a mountain lion, cougar, or panther. This is the large cat native to North America that strikes terror into the hearts of campers. The puma inhabits the western part of North America, ranging from Canada to Mexico, and may be found in both countries. There are many other puma species found all throughout South America. It is possible for this large cat to drag down a cow or horse with its strength. One of the puma species that is in risk of extinction is the Florida panther.

A jaguar in action

Jaguars, which may be found in both North and South America, are among the biggest of the Americas’ wild cat species. They may be found all the way from Texas to the southern tip of South America. Because of their spotted coats, leopards and these animals are often mistaken with one another. This helps to distinguish the jaguar from the leopard since the leopard does not have a central black spot as the jaguar does. In addition, the jaguar has a bigger skull and front legs that are more stocky.

NOT a black panther

There are at least two distinct species of large cats that are known as black panthers. Jaguars and leopards, both of which may have an all-black coat, are together referred to as black panthers. Melanism is the term used to describe the dark pigmentation of the coat. Although they are the largest, jaguars and leopards aren’t the only big cats that have it; other wild cats, including the common bobcat and jaguars and leopards, also have it. As a consequence of this, the term “black panther” may refer to more than one species of large cats.

In spite of its name, the fisher cat is a huge wild animal that is native to North America. Although it is often referred to as a cat, the fisher cat is really a member of the same family as weasels. The fact that it enjoys munching on mice and other rodents makes it somewhat comparable to cats, but it is not a cat in any other way. The fisher cat is a secretive creature that is only seen sometimes.

A significant number of the giant wild cats, sometimes known as “killer cats,” are classified as endangered species. One of the reasons for the decline in their population is because people hunt them anywhere they pose a risk to humans or to the livestock that people keep. One further reason is that a few decades ago, when it was common practise to conserve certain animal species, the skins from these large cats were very desirable for use in the production of elegant jackets and accessories. Even though furs with animal prints are still regarded to be trendy, faux furs are now all the rage, and real skins are no longer thought to be suitable.

People feel both dread and wonder in the presence of wild cats. Both their attractiveness and their prowess as hunters are exceptional. However, a significant number of them are in risk of extinction. To our good fortune, there is a concerted effort being made by humans to conserve the big cats.

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