Cats News -- ScienceDaily
Cat news. Read about household contaminants affecting cats, allergies to cats and more. Also find stories on lions, tigers and leopards.
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.
09/22/2016 10:44 AM
Trophy hunting of lions can conserve the species, report suggests
Trophy hunters can play an important role in lion conservation, researchers have shown. These findings may surprise the public, but most lion conservationists think trophy hunting could play a key role in conserving this species because lions need large areas to thrive, and managing this land is expensive. The new work shows land under long-term management for trophy hunting can help fill this shortfall.
09/06/2016 07:36 PM
Pushing a parasite from land to sea
Higher levels of rainfall and coastal development increase the risk of disease-causing organisms flowing to the ocean, according to a study. The work advances earlier work by tracking the parasite T. gondii to see how human-driven land-use change and rainfall might be impacting pathogen movement from land to sea.
09/02/2016 12:22 PM
'Ghost snake' discovered in Madagascar
Researchers discovered a new snake species in Madagascar and named it 'ghost snake' for its pale grey coloration and elusiveness. The researchers named it Madagascarophis lolo, pronounced 'luu luu,' which means ghost in Malagasy.
09/02/2016 10:54 AM
Zolushka sighting: The tiger Cinderella story continues
Brought into captivity as a nearly starved, 3-month old cub, the tigress that became known as Zolushka (Russian for "Cinderella") flourished in a rehabilitation center designed to prepare her for life back in the wild. Without a mother (probably lost to poachers) Zolushka learned how to kill natural wild prey presented to her in the rehabilitation center, where she was kept far from people to preserve her innate fear of humans. New photographs just released from Bastak Reserve in the Russian Far East confirm that a feline Cinderella story continues to unfold.
09/01/2016 10:48 AM
Genome-wide Toxoplasma screen reveals mechanisms of parasitic infections
Researchers have conducted the first genome-wide screen in Apicomplexa, a phylum of single-celled parasites that cause diseases such as malaria and toxoplasmosis. The screen sheds light into the vast, unstudied reaches of parasite genomes, uncovering for instance a protein common to all apicomplexans.
09/01/2016 08:22 AM
Unique health survey of Finnish cats reveals common and breed-specific illnesses
A research group has conducted a unique study on the health of Finnish cats. The most typical health issues in cats have to do with the mouth, skin and kidneys. In addition, the research group identified nearly 60 illnesses specific to particular breeds. These results can be used to improve cat welfare and develop breeding programs.
09/01/2016 07:28 AM
Food puzzles enhance feline wellbeing
Greater understanding of the importance of environmental enrichment in enhancing an animal's physical and social environment is bringing benefits for pet cats -- particularly those that are kept solely indoors.
08/23/2016 08:31 AM
New tiny species of extinct Australian marsupial lion named after Sir David Attenborough
The fossil remains of a new tiny species of marsupial lion which prowled the lush rainforests of northern Australia about 18 million years ago have been unearthed in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area of remote north-western Queensland. The discovery team has named the new species Microleo attenboroughi for its small size and to honor the famous broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough.
08/12/2016 05:37 AM
Male and female cats respond differently to distressed kittens
Female domestic cats adjust their response to kitten calls depending on how urgent they sound, according to a study. Independent of their own experience of raising kittens, female cats distinguish between kitten calls that convey different levels of urgency and react accordingly, researchers have found. Male cats do not adjust their response in similar ways.