Cats News -- ScienceDaily
Cat news. Read about household contaminants affecting cats, allergies to cats and more. Also find stories on lions, tigers and leopards.
08/07/2017 11:05 AM
Largest-ever study of pets and kids' health finds no link
A large body of research has reported an association between the pet ownership and better health among children. But a new study that is the largest-ever to explore the issue contradicts the common thinking. Researchers did find that children from pet-owning families tended to have better general health, but those differences disappeared when factors such as family income and family housing were considered.
08/02/2017 01:28 PM
The truth about cats' and dogs' environmental impact
US cats and dogs cause 25-30 percent of the environmental impact of meat consumption in this country. The nation's 163 million cats and dogs eat as much food as all the people in France. People should keep their pets -- and keep feeding them meat -- but there may be steps pet owners can take to reduce their environmental impact, says a researcher.
08/01/2017 06:33 PM
Whole genome sequencing identifies cause of zoonotic epidemic
For the first time, researchers have used whole genome sequencing to identify the cause of a zoonotic infection that sparked a national epidemic. Researchers describe their use of whole genome sequencing to determine the cause of a respiratory disease that ripped through a population of native horses in Iceland several years ago.
07/31/2017 08:10 AM
What does trophy hunting contribute to wild lion conservation?
Trophy hunting of lions, the killing of selected individual animals for sport, is highly controversial, and there is much debate about what it contributes to conservation. A new article highlights significant 'unknowns' that thwart conservationists from making any robust conclusions.
06/19/2017 11:58 AM
Ancient DNA reveals role of Near East and Egypt in cat domestication
DNA found at archaeological sites reveals that the origins of our domestic cat are in the Near East and ancient Egypt. Cats were domesticated by the first farmers some 10,000 years ago. They later spread across Europe and other parts of the world via trade hub Egypt. The DNA analysis also revealed that most of these ancient cats had stripes: spotted cats were uncommon until the Middle Ages.
05/23/2017 07:37 AM
Wolves need space to roam to control expanding coyote populations
Wolves and other top predators need large ranges to be able to control smaller predators whose populations have expanded, according to a new study. The results were similar across three continents, showing that as top predators' ranges were cut back and fragmented, they were no longer able to control smaller predators.
05/23/2017 07:19 AM
New cancer drug can prevent reactions to common airborne allergens
A cancer drug for patients with certain types of leukemia and lymphoma can also prevent reactions to some of the most common airborne allergies, according to a recent study. The promising data from this pilot study could have greater implications for adults with food allergies.
05/11/2017 10:59 AM
Rare feline genetic disorders identified through whole genome sequencing
Veterinary neurologists found a genetic link between degenerative myelopathy (DM) in dogs and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease in people. Now they have found that a biomarker test that helps diagnose ALS also can assist with determining a diagnosis for degenerative myelopathy.
04/19/2017 08:31 AM
Robotic cheetah created
Engineers have developed a prototype cheetah robot. They have constructed a scaled-down robotic version of the fastest land animal in the world, with a view to replicating its movements. Relatively speaking, the robot moves using only about fifteen percent more energy than a real cheetah.
04/12/2017 10:57 AM
Look to lactate to help predict ill cats' prognoses
Researchers performed a retrospective study of cats treated in the intensive care unit of Penn's Ryan Hospital. In cats with low blood pressure, the researchers found that animals with a normal level of lactate, a byproduct of metabolism under low-oxygen conditions, were more likely to survive to discharge than those with high lactate levels.
04/12/2017 10:11 AM
Skull of saber-toothed cat found almost complete
An excavation team found the remains of a saber-toothed cat at the archeological site in Schöningen. An examination of the skull fragments revealed the animal to be a representative of the European saber-toothed cat, Homotherium latidens. The recent discovery constitutes the third example of this large predatory cat from Schöningen.
03/23/2017 11:59 AM
How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
Cheetahs are categorized as vulnerable species, partly because they have been considered to be prone to diseases due to their supposed weak immune system. However, they are hardly ever sick in the wild. A research team has recently discovered that cheetahs have developed a very efficient innate “first line of defense” immunity to compensate potential deficiencies in other components of their immune system.
03/22/2017 09:37 AM
Minitablets help medicate picky cats
Of all pets, cats are often considered the most difficult ones to medicate. Very small minitablets with flavors or flavor coatings can help cat owners commit to the treatment and make cats more compliant to it, while making it easier to regulate dosage and administer medication flexibly.
03/20/2017 09:40 AM
Trichomonosis: A conundrum in cats
Over the past two decades, the protozoan Tritrichomonas foetus has come to be recognized as a cause of chronic colitis in cats in many countries worldwide. Today trichomonosis is regarded as one of the most common infectious causes of large bowel diarrhea.
03/08/2017 07:40 AM
Clown tree frogs: Newly discovered and already threatened?
An international team of scientists discovered two new species of clown tree frogs in the Amazon region. Until recently, these colorful amphibians had erroneously been considered part of another species. Now, DNA studies and an analysis of the calls of the examined populations revealed a much higher diversity within this group of frogs. Due to their small distribution areas, it is likely that the newly discovered species are threatened, but the determination of their protection status is currently still pending.
03/07/2017 09:03 AM
Rangers fight loss of wildlife with fire
Native animals are declining on Australia's second largest island with brush-tailed rabbit-rats, black-footed tree-rats and northern brown bandicoots the worst hit.
03/01/2017 12:20 PM
Improved gene expression atlas shows that many human long non-coding RNAs may actually be functional
Scientists have generated a comprehensive atlas of human long non-coding RNAs with substantially improved gene models, allowing them to better assess the diversity and functionality of these RNAs. Their results suggest that 19,175 of these RNAs may be functional, hinting that there could be as many -- or even more -- functional non-coding RNAs than the approximately 20,000 protein-coding genes in the human genome.
03/01/2017 09:55 AM
Keep calm and measure cats' blood pressure
A decade ago, researchers presented some alarming facts: the risk of becoming hypertensive during a lifetime exceeds 90% for people in developed countries, with over 1.5 billion adults expected to have hypertension by 2025. Now new research is highlighting some broadly similar concerns in our feline companions.
02/28/2017 07:42 AM
Newfound primate teeth take a big bite out of the evolutionary tree of life
Fossil hunters have found part of an ancient primate jawbone related to lemurs -- the primitive primate group distantly connected to monkeys, apes and humans, a researcher reports. Scientists named the new species Ramadapis sahnii and said that it existed 11 to 14 million years ago. It is a member of the ancient Sivaladapidae primate family, consumed leaves and was about the size of a house cat.
02/24/2017 08:25 AM
High levels of chemicals found in indoor cats
A study has now established what was previously suspected, that the high levels of brominated flame retardants measured in cats are from the dust in our homes.
02/22/2017 07:28 AM
The first Iberian lynx infected by the pseudorabies virus
Matojo, the nine-month-old Iberian lynx cub found dead in 2015 in Extremadura, did not die from natural causes. His necropsy shows that it was the pseudorabies virus that triggered his sudden demise. Before this case, contagion of this infectious disease was only known in one wild cat in the world, a Florida panther.
02/21/2017 09:06 PM
Cat ownership not linked to mental health problems
New research has found no link between cat ownership and psychotic symptoms, casting doubt on previous suggestions that people who grew up with cats are at higher risk of mental illness.
02/08/2017 08:40 AM
Carnivores more seriously threatened by roads than previously acknowledged
The effects of roads on carnivores have obviously been underestimated in worldwide species conservation. This is the conclusion of the first comprehensive global study on this topic. The protection status of several species that are severely affected by roads cut through their habitat should be reconsidered, the researchers say.
01/24/2017 06:36 PM
Insidious wasp gets ahead by tunneling through host's head
A newly discovered wasp victimizes gall wasps by modifying their behavior and tunneling to freedom through their heads. It's a rare example of a parasite infecting a parasite, a process known as hypermanipulation, according to scientists.
01/17/2017 07:38 AM
Tigers could roam again in Central Asia, scientists say
Caspian tigers, some of the largest cats that ever lived, roamed through much of Central Asia before they were designated as extinct in the middle of the 20th century. But there is a chance that tigers — using a subspecies that is nearly identical, genetically, to the Caspian — could be restored to Central Asia, say experts.
01/04/2017 09:36 AM
Feral cats now cover over 99.8 percent of Australia
Feral cats cover over 99.8 percent of Australia's land area, including almost 80 percent of the area of our islands. These are just some of the findings of new research which looks at the number of feral cats in Australia. The research was undertaken by over 40 of Australia's top environmental scientists and brings together evidence from nearly 100 separate studies across the country.
12/22/2016 08:48 AM
Closely related yet so different
Southeast Asia is home to numerous felids, including the Asian golden cat and the bay cat. The two cat species are closely related sister species which split from each other 3.16 million years ago. Yet, their more recent history was quite different. Scientists could now show that, after a massive volcanic eruption about 73,000 years ago, the Asian golden cat survived only in Indochina, from where it expanded its range in dramatic fashion during the peak of the last Ice Age. The cooler and drier climates at the time pushed its sister species, the bay cat, however, into rainforest refuges on Borneo.
12/20/2016 08:52 AM
Conservation science for US jaguar recovery plan
A recovery plan for the Western Hemisphere's largest cat species along the US-Mexico border has been released by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), informing the position of USFWS on jaguar conservation by providing the best available science and research to guide and support the plan.
12/14/2016 09:06 AM
Scientists sequence the genome of the Iberian lynx, the most endangered feline
Genomic analysis of the Iberian lynx confirms that it is one of the species with the least genetic diversity among individuals, which means that it has little margin for adaptation. The research opens new pathways of research and conservation. The use of new genomic resources will contribute to optimizing management aimed at preserving the maximum genetic diversity.
12/08/2016 07:58 AM
Rare combination of genetic changes increases the virulence of canine distemper virus
The long-running debate about why just one of several canine distemper virus (CDV) outbreaks in the Serengeti in Tanzania during the past 25 years was fatal for lions and spotted hyenas has been resolved. An international team of scientists conducted genetic analyses of CDV strains obtained from a range of carnivores between 1993 and 2012 and discovered that lethal CDV infections in lions and hyenas during the 1993/1994 epidemic was caused by a rare and genetically distinct CDV strain with three rare mutations not present in any other Serengeti strain isolated from domestic dogs or wild canids. Two of these rare mutations were found to increase the ability of CDV to invade lion cells.
11/24/2016 07:16 AM
Toxoplasma's balancing act explained
The parasite Toxoplasma gondii is a silent success. It infects up to 95% of people in many regions of the world, and most of them never know it, due to the parasite’s artful manipulation of its host’s immune response. Toxoplasma keeps the immune response low enough so that it can thrive, but high enough so that its human hosts generally live healthy lives and can incubate parasites. Scientists have uncovered one of the ways it maintains this balance.
10/31/2016 08:35 AM
Wild cat brains: An evolutionary curveball
The brains of wild cats don’t necessarily respond to the same evolutionary pressures as those of their fellow mammals, humans and primates, indicates a surprising new study.
10/26/2016 01:11 PM
Jaguar scat study suggests restricted movement in areas of conservation importance in Mesoamerica
The largest gene-based survey of its kind on wild jaguar populations in Mesoamerica has now been published. The analysis is based on nearly 450 jaguar scat samples collected in Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. This work identifies areas of conservation concern for Mesoamerican jaguars and underscores the importance of large-scale genetic monitoring efforts when prioritizing conservation and management efforts for this near-threatened, and elusive, carnivore species.