Cats News -- ScienceDaily
Cat news. Read about household contaminants affecting cats, allergies to cats and more. Also find stories on lions, tigers and leopards.
10/19/2017 01:30 PM
Ancient DNA offers new view on saber-toothed cats' past
Researchers who've analyzed the complete mitochondrial genomes from ancient samples representing two species of saber-toothed cats have a new take on the animals' history over the last 50,000 years. The data suggest that the saber-toothed cats shared a common ancestor with all living cat-like species about 20 million years ago. The two saber-toothed cat species under study diverged from each other about 18 million years ago.
10/12/2017 09:36 AM
Pumas found to exhibit behaviors like social animals
Pumas, long known as solitary carnivores, are more social than previously thought, according to a new study. The findings provide the first evidence of complex social strategies in any solitary carnivore -- and may have implications for multiple species, including other wild cats around the world.
10/11/2017 11:38 AM
Advance achieved in dry preservation of mammalian sperm cells
In an important advance in the preservation of animal reproductive material, researchers have achieved the first successful drying and rehydration of domestic cat sperm using a rapid microwave dehydration method. More challenging to dehydrate than rodent sperm because of the presence of a centrosome, the rehydrated cat sperm were viable and capable of producing blastocysts. Dehydration preservation allows relatively easy, low-tech storage, which could be important in resource-challenged conditions.
09/28/2017 09:31 AM
How do zebrafish develop their stripes?
A mathematician has thrown new light on the longstanding mystery of how zebrafish develop the distinctive striped patterns on their skin.
09/15/2017 03:52 PM
Delayed weaning reduces behavioural problems in cats
Early weaning increases aggression and stereotypic behavior in cats. Based on the study, the recommended weaning age of 12 weeks should be raised by at least two weeks. Delaying weaning is an easy and cost-efficient way of improving the quality of life of cats.
09/13/2017 09:44 AM
Lion conservation requires effective international cooperation
In response to the alarming population declines of one of the most charismatic representatives of the megafauna, the lion, a team of international wildlife lawyers and lion experts joined efforts to assess the current and potential future role of international treaties regarding the carnivore's conservation.
09/07/2017 01:27 PM
How tails help geckos and other vertebrates make great strides
A wagging tail is often associated with dogs' emotions, but the side-to-side motion may also help them take longer strides and move faster, according to a study. The research was done on leopard geckos, which are ideal animals for the study of tail function because they naturally lose their tails as a defense mechanism against predators in a process called autotomy.
09/06/2017 09:35 AM
Research dog helps scientists save endangered carnivores
Scat-sniffing research dogs are helping scientists map out a plan to save reclusive jaguars, pumas, bush dogs and other endangered carnivores in the increasingly fragmented forests of northeastern Argentina, according to a new study.
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.