Cats News -- ScienceDaily

Cat news. Read about household contaminants affecting cats, allergies to cats and more. Also find stories on lions, tigers and leopards.

02/05/2018 09:32 PM
Novel research approach sheds light on how midsize predators interact
A novel research approach has resulted in a key step toward better protecting the fisher, an important forest predator that findings show is the dominant small carnivore when present.

02/02/2018 10:26 AM
Cheetahs' inner ear is one of a kind, vital to high-speed hunting
The world's fastest land animal, the cheetah, is a successful hunter not only because it is quick, but also because it can hold an incredibly still gaze while pursuing prey. For the first time, researchers have investigated the cheetah's extraordinary sensory abilities by analyzing the speedy animal's inner ear, an organ that is essential for maintaining body balance and adapting head posture during movement in most vertebrates.

01/30/2018 01:02 PM
An outdoor cat can damage your sustainability cred
If you install solar panels on your roof and avoid dousing your lawn with chemicals and pesticides, your online peers may consider you to be environmentally friendly. But this street cred can all be erased if you let your cat roam around outdoors.

01/25/2018 09:13 AM
MMV malaria box phenotyped against plasmodium and toxoplasma
Scientists have completed phenotypic screening of a large collection of potent chemical inhibitors (known as MMV Malaria Box), against pathogenic parasites toxoplasma gondii and plasmodium falciparum, causative agents of human toxoplasmosis and malaria. This knowledge opens up new avenues to study unique stages of infectious cycle that are affected by inhibitor classes towards anti-parasitic drug development.

01/24/2018 01:15 PM
Predator control can have unintended consequences
Introduced predators pose threats to biodiversity and are implicated in the extinction of many native species.

01/24/2018 12:17 PM
Fat cat? Here's how much to feed to lose weight
Does your cat lay around all day, only getting up to eat and visit the litter box? Chances are, he's overweight. Maybe you've switched to the 'diet' cat food or tried feeding him less, but you might have noticed it's not easy to get that weight off. A new study explains what it takes to get kitty to slim down.

01/22/2018 09:40 AM
Female cats are more likely to be right-handed, researchers discover
Researchers have found that female cats are much more likely to use their right paw than males.

01/17/2018 09:26 AM
Canine distemper confirmed in Far Eastern leopard, world's most endangered big cat
The Far Eastern or Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is already among the rarest of the world's big cats, but new research reveals that it faces yet another threat: infection with canine distemper virus (CDV).

01/16/2018 08:36 AM
Habitat fragmentation a bigger threat to Chile’s güiña wildcat than persecution by humans
Research by conservationists has found that habitat fragmentation, and the subdivision of large farms into smaller ones, are the biggest threats facing the güiña wildcat in Chile.

01/11/2018 09:40 PM
Experts raise concerns over raw meat diets for cats and dogs
Experts are warning dog and cat owners to be aware of the risks associated with feeding their pets raw meat-based diets, instead of the more conventional dry or canned pet foods.

01/03/2018 06:47 PM
Impact of lions living alongside giraffe populations
New research is calling for an urgent review into how populations of giraffes are managed in the wild when living alongside lions.

12/28/2017 09:09 AM
Veterinary surgeons perform first-known brain surgery to treat hydrocephalus in fur seal
A neurosurgical team has successfully performed what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind brain surgery on a Northern fur seal named Ziggy Star in an attempt to address her worsening neurologic condition. Ziggy, an adult female, is recovering well at her permanent home at Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Conn.

12/11/2017 08:27 AM
Endangered listing urged for cheetahs
Researchers present evidence that low cheetah population estimates in southern Africa support a call to list the cheetah as "Endangered" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

12/08/2017 08:59 AM
Toxoplasmosis: How a cat parasite exploits immune cells to reach the brain
Scientists have previously shown that a parasite from cats can infect people's brain and affect our behaviour. Now, researchers at Stockholm University have discovered how the parasite takes control of our cells.

12/06/2017 06:37 PM
New species of extinct marsupial lion discovered in Australia
A team of Australian scientists has discovered a new species of marsupial lion which has been extinct for at least 19 million years. The findings are based on fossilized remains of the animal's skull, teeth, and humerus (upper arm bone) found in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area of remote northwestern Queensland.

12/05/2017 04:02 PM
Tigers cling to survival in Sumatra's increasingly fragmented forests
A research expedition tracked endangered tigers through the Sumatran jungles for a year and found tigers are clinging to survival in low density populations. The study found that well-protected forests are disappearing and are increasingly fragmented: Of the habitat tigers rely on in Sumatra, 17 percent was deforested between 2000 to 2012 alone. Their findings have renewed fears about the possible extinction of the elusive predators.

12/05/2017 01:25 PM
Cooling climate drove evolution of Tasmanian Devil and its relatives
A big drop in global temperatures 12-14 million years ago may explain the evolutionary success of Australia's unique marsupial carnivores, a new study has found.

12/04/2017 10:29 AM
Medium-sized carnivores most at risk from environmental change
In a surprise ecological finding, researchers discover medium-sized carnivores spend the most time looking for food, making them vulnerable to change.

12/04/2017 08:18 AM
Intestinal worms may solve allergy puzzle
While young people with parasite worms currently have a four times higher risk for developing allergies and asthma than others, their parents are generally unaffected. Researchers were surprised when they found that intestinal worms, so-called Helminths (Toxocara Canis) from animals, actually have an influence on allergy- and asthma risk in humans.

11/29/2017 12:13 PM
Sorry, Grumpy Cat: Study finds dogs are brainier than cats
The first study to actually count the number of cortical neurons in the brains of a number of carnivores, including cats and dogs, has found that dogs possess significantly more of them than cats.

11/28/2017 06:00 PM
Dogs get the Hollywood treatment to make animal animations more realistic
Researchers are creating a library of movement data from different dog breeds, to make animal animations in films and video games more realistic.

11/20/2017 07:54 AM
Tiger bones? Lion bones? An almost extinct cycad? On-the-spot DNA checks at ports of entry
Wildlife species are going extinct faster than humankind can reliably keep track of. Meanwhile, wildlife crime evolves quickly, with new tricks fueling a lucrative illegal global trade. As a result, customs and other port-of-entry officials confronted with unidentifiable bits of animals and plants need to make rapid decisions based on reliable information. LifeScanner LAB-IN-A-BOX, a portable DNA barcoding lab can serve as a new tool for rapid on-site species identification, adding to law enforcement's arsenal.

11/10/2017 07:43 AM
Scientists investigate how different houses and lifestyles affect which bugs live with us
Humans have lived under the same roof with bugs since we first began building shelters 20,000 years ago. Now, scientists are studying how physical factors of our homes -- from the floor plan and the number of windows to even how tidy we are -- may play a role in the diversity of the multi-legged communities populating the indoor environment.

11/01/2017 08:26 AM
Feral animals pose major threat to Outback, climate change study finds
A study of changing rainfall and wildfire patterns over 22 years in Australia's Simpson Desert has found - in addition to a likely climate-induced decrease in cover of the dominant plant spinifex - introduced cats and foxes pose a major threat to seed-eating rodents.

10/27/2017 09:18 AM
Cell Biology: Cellular power outage
Protein aggregation is a hallmark of many neurodegenerative diseases. Even in normal cells, such deposits can accumulate in mitochondria, blocking energy production, but a newly described quality control system can mitigate the problem.

10/23/2017 10:29 AM
Sumatran tigers on path to recovery in 'in danger' UNESCO World Heritage site
New research looks at the effectiveness of the park's protection zone and finds that the density of Sumatran tigers has increased despite the continued threat of living in an 'In Danger' World Heritage Site.

10/19/2017 12:30 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 08:36 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 11:17 AM
Bycatch responsible for decline of endangered New Zealand sea lion
Getting caught in fishing nets is a major cause of death for the increasingly endangered New Zealand sea lion, according to new research.

10/11/2017 10:38 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 10:17 AM
Saber-toothed kittens may have been born with thicker bones than other contemporary cats
Saber-toothed kittens may have been born with thicker bones compared to other contemporary cats, but they have a similar pattern of bone development, according to a new study.

09/28/2017 08:31 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.

09/18/2017 08:22 PM
Parasitic eye infection poses significant threat to UK dogs, warn experts
A parasitic worm that is becoming increasingly common in Europe poses a significant threat to UK dogs, warn experts in a new report.

09/18/2017 08:22 PM
Owners of seriously ill pets at risk of stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms
Owners of seriously or terminally ill pets are more likely to suffer with stress and symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as poorer quality of life, compared with owners of healthy animals, finds a study.

09/15/2017 02:52 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 08:44 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 12:27 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 08:35 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.

08/30/2017 08:35 AM
How invasive species threaten bats
A new review is the first to describe the scope of threats to bats by invasive species.

08/17/2017 07:31 AM
‘Euro Devil’: Fossil of carnivorous marsupial relative discovered in E Europe
Scientists have discovered fossil remains of a new carnivorous mammal in Turkey, one of the biggest marsupial relatives ever discovered in the northern hemisphere.

08/07/2017 10:05 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.

08/04/2017 08:04 AM
Wildlife royalties: A future for conservation?
Should people who profit from the cultural representation of wildlife pay towards conservation? That is the question asked in a new research study.

08/02/2017 12:28 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 05:33 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 07:10 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.

07/27/2017 08:30 AM
Best first aid treatment of jellyfish stings
New research has identified the best way to treat a sting from the lions mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata).

07/18/2017 06:55 AM
Shadow of a cub brings more hope for tigers in Russia
A new photograph provides further evidence that tigers are re-colonizing lost habitat in Russia.

07/05/2017 08:40 AM
Know your enemy: Exposing threatened species to predators improves evasive behaviors
A study of burrowing bettongs in the Australian desert has shown for the first time that exposing threatened native animals to small numbers of predators in the wild teaches them how to avoid their enemies. The new findings could assist in the successful reintroduction of bettongs back onto the mainland.

06/21/2017 05:00 PM
African leopards revealed: Study documents minute-to-minute behavior of elusive cats
The elusive behavior of the African leopard has been revealed in great detail for the first time as part of a sophisticated study that links the majestic cat's caloric demands and its drive to kill.

06/20/2017 05:59 PM
Mountain lions fear humans, fleeing when they hear our voices, new study reveals
New research into the behavior of mountain lions indicates they don't like encountering humans any more than we like bumping into them on hiking trails. The findings are particularly valuable as human development encroaches on lion habitat and drives up the number of human-puma encounters.

06/19/2017 10:58 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.

06/19/2017 10:09 AM
How to stop the nasty lurking toxoplasmosis parasite? Target its 'stomach,' research suggests
One in three people has a potentially nasty parasite hiding inside their body -- tucked away in tiny cysts that the immune system can't eliminate and antibiotics can't touch. But new research reveals clues about how to stop it: Interfere with its digestion during this stubborn dormant phase.

06/13/2017 10:05 AM
Study sheds light on determining surgical margins for feline tumors
Researchers are paving the way for more precision in determining surgical margins for an aggressive tumor common in cats by analyzing tissue contraction at various stages of the post-operative examination process.

06/07/2017 12:13 PM
Female Steller sea lions tend to breed near their birthplace
Female Steller sea lions tend to breed at or near the rookery where they were born, according to a study.

05/23/2017 10:41 AM
Declawing linked to aggression and other abnormal behaviors in cats
Declawing increases the risk of long-term or persistent pain, manifesting as unwanted behaviors such as inappropriate elimination (soiling/urinating outside of the litter box) and aggression/biting, new research concludes.

05/23/2017 06:37 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 06:19 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.

05/12/2017 12:07 PM
Famous tree-climbing lions of Uganda roaming farther as prey animals decrease
Scientists in Uganda studying the behaviors of the country's famous tree-climbing lions have found that the home ranges of lion prides in the study areas have increased over time as they search farther for diminishing numbers of prey animals.

05/11/2017 12:19 PM
Three new sub-species of snow leopard discovered
A recent research paper reveals that there are three sub-species of snow leopard. Until now, researchers had assumed this species, Panthera uncia, was monotypic.

05/11/2017 09:59 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.