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 12:17 PM
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 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 11:17 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 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.

09/18/2017 09:22 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 09:22 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 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.

08/30/2017 09:35 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 08:31 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 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.

08/04/2017 09:04 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 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.

07/27/2017 09:30 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 07:55 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 09:40 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 06:00 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 06:59 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 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.

06/19/2017 11:09 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 11:05 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 01:13 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 11:41 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 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.

05/12/2017 01:07 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 01:19 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 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.

05/10/2017 10:52 AM
African lions under same threats as extinct sabre-toothed tigers faced
African lions are under the same threats extinct sabre-toothed tigers faced.

05/03/2017 10:07 AM
35-year South Carolina alligator study uncovers mysteries about growth and reproduction
Research by wildlife biologists is shattering conventional scientific understanding about American alligator growth and reproduction.

04/26/2017 01:17 PM
Limited gene flow between two Bengal tiger populations in the western Himalayan foothills
The flow of genes between Bengal tigers in two reserves of the Terai Arc Landscape in western Himalayan foothills is too low, according to a study.

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.

04/19/2017 08:16 AM
The tale teeth tell about the legendary man-eating lions of Tsavo
Analysis of the microscopic wear on the teeth of the legendary man-eating lions of Tsavo reveals that shortage of normal prey did not drive them to begin killing and eating people.

04/17/2017 07:48 AM
The dangers of being a saber-toothed cat in Los Angeles 12,000 years ago
Large saber-toothed cats that roamed Los Angeles 12,000 years ago had many injuries to their shoulders and backbones that likely occurred when they were fighting with other large animals, biologists report.

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.

02/21/2017 12:07 PM
Prides, protection and parks: Africa's protected areas can support four times as many lions
Africa's protected parks and reserves are capable of supporting three to four times as many wild lions if well funded and managed, according to a new report. The study shows that populations of the African lion and its prey species are drastically below their natural potential inside most of Africa's protected areas (PA).

02/16/2017 11:05 AM
Can’t we all just get along – like India’s cats and dogs?
Three carnivores -- tigers, leopards, and dholes (Asian wild dog) -- seemingly in direct competition with one other, are living side by side with surprisingly little conflict, new study in India shows.

02/08/2017 02:02 PM
Snow leopard and Himalayan wolf diets are about one-quarter livestock
Around a quarter of Himalayan snow leopard and wolf diets are livestock, the rest being wild prey, according to a new study.

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.

02/06/2017 03:00 PM
Cats, dogs teaming up is best way to keep rodents away
Cats and dogs may be longtime enemies, but when teamed up, they keep rodents away, a new study concludes.

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.