CataBlog #01 – First blog, Let’s get it correct
I have been working with cats for almost 25 years now and the one thing I can always count on is that the facts about cat we thought to be true in the past may change in the future. I can give a big list of facts, or maybe I should call them ideas, that we thought were true but they ended up being our best guess at the time. Here are a few examples:
1. Clouded Leopards are descendants of the Saber Tooth cats. This has now been proven to be false with DNA testing.
2. White Tigers are inbred and that is why they have genetic defects. This has very recently been studied and proven to be false. (This will be the subject of my next blog).
3. Cheetahs hunt only in the day light hours. Not true!
4. Fishing Cats have webbed feet. Not true!
5. Guinas (Kodkods) live in trees. Another wrong assumption and there are many more . I wouldn’t
be surprised if more “facts” are proven to be wrong by the time you read this blog!
It is very frustrating to learn something and then have to be told that is not correct anymore, but I guess that is the story of many things in life. The world is not flat, the moon is not made of cheese, there is no Santa Claus and reindeer don’t fly. It bothers me when people present ideas or a “best guess” as fact. Often times these ideas that are accepted as truth have no scientific facts to back them up.
There are other bothersome beliefs about cats that never seems to go away. Dark colored leopards are called “panthers” when in fact “panthers” are not a species of cat. These words are now stuck in the language and will probably never be removed. A dark cat can be a leopard or jaguar, we call them “melanistic” or dark in color. If you look closely, they are not really black but dark brown and their rosettes are more dark in color and show through. There are also small species of wild cats that can be melanistic. The term “panther” is just a nick-name for any dark colored cat, whether a leopard or a jaguar!
We will blog about many things. Some times you will say “what the heck?”, or maybe, “wow I didn’t know that!”, but through it all, I hope that it will make you think. We will make every effort to provide you with true facts and current information but remember, researchers are making new discoveries all of the time. If information changes, we will update and let you know!
This blog serves to share information and inspire you to get involved with helping cats and other animals in the wild.
Many people have many different thoughts about animals. Some people will try to make you believe something because that is the agenda they are trying to push. There are a lot of politics in the animal world, probably more then you would think. Be wise and be careful about what you hear and read. Question it all and work to educate yourself the best you can.
White Tiger myths and facts coming soon!