The main difference, according to a 2014 study by the National Academy of Sciences, is that a house kitty’s personality traits are less aggressive and more prone to tolerate its human caretaker. But in some of the pictures here, you’ll see that big cats can be super affectionate too. These adorable photos are proof of the similarities between wildcats and your kitty at home.
Like it or not, it’s bath time for this little tiger cub. Iris, an Amur tigress, is taking good care of her little one. The cub is just seven weeks old in this picture, born in August 2011. This picture is the perfect piece of evidence showing that moms are universally programmed the same way, regardless of species. This is also what it feels like for every young kid whose mom licks her thumb and then cleans their face. No kid enjoys it, including this cub by the look of things. But that's life, buddy!
It was the cub's first visit to an open-air cage. They both live at the Royev Ruchey Zoo in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. What an adorable picture!
Out on a Limb
All cats are great climbers. Once they scramble to the highest point, on the other hand, their skill level plummets. There is a reason firemen are known for rescuing pet cats from trees. Big cats get trapped in trees, too, just as our wayward mountain lion has. Yet trees are an ideal place for napping, stalking prey, or devouring the latest kill without having to share it with scavengers.
Only cheetahs cannot climb trees. As the only cat without fully retractable claws, their semi-retractable nails are not made for climbing. But they are made for sprinting. Cheetahs are the world's fastest animal, hitting top speeds of 75 mph. Interestingly, the cheetah is also the only wildcat that can purr but not roar.
This tiger looks happy enough, lapping up some food from a monk's bowl. Tiger Temple, located in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, doesn’t have a stellar reputation. It’s true that Thai monks have taken in rescue tigers, but, unfortunately, it has been to exploit the creatures. Asians have a deep and long-held respect for tigers, and Tiger Temple charges an admission fee to see them.
Based on a report of the care the animals received, 39 groups, including the Humane Society International and the WWF, sent a letter urging the National Parks of Thailand to take a stand against the treatment of the tigers. Tiger Temple is accused of mistreating the beasts. Tiger Temple was also accused of secret illegal breeding. In 2016, the Thailand Wildlife Conservation Office began shutting down the facility and investigating it for alleged wildlife smuggling.
There’s Something About a Christmas Tree Cats Cannot Resist
Kitty cats become obsessed as soon as a Christmas tree is placed within their territory - sorry - your home. Whether it’s the ornaments or having a bit of nature inside, the tree can serve as anything from a new climbing structure to endless entertainment.
Guess what! Big cats are just as obsessed over conical-shaped pine trees. In fact, the folks over at Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary in Jacksonville, Florida, love to provide their lions, tigers, and other big cats with seasonal toys. Drop off your Christmas tree, if you’re in the area, and make a big cat very happy. It’s a great way to recycle your tree!
King of the Wheelbarrow
There's an age-old saying, "If I fit, I sit," that cats will live and die by. This is one such example. Cats are territorial. The king of the beasts in this photo looks fairly set on commanding this great and mighty green machine. On the other hand, zoo ground crews may never again retrieve their wheelbarrow.
If you've had a kitty, it's pretty obvious that your sweet little feline gravitates to high places. From the top of the stairs, or from a secure vantage on the landing, we sometimes see our pet cats studiously observing the action downstairs. In the wild, cats will head up to high places such as trees to hide and prey.
Cats Love to Play
This stunning white tiger named Zabu simply adores its big red ball. In any other situation, Zabu is a fearful and ferocious beast. But here she is playfully romping around with her favorite toy. Just like house cats, fierce wildcats like this tiger don't want to miss out on playtime.
The heavy-weight ball that endures Zabu's playful bites and scratches is actually a stall ball. Stall balls are designed for horses. Horses like to play too! Thankfully and wisely, Zabu doesn't play together with the horses, and we're sure you can figure out why. It has something to do with tigers being apex predators and able to take down animals twice their size. Also, who likes to share?
This curious cheetah couldn’t believe his luck when a cardboard box ended up in his confinement at a Manhattan zoo. The cheetah sauntered over to take a look at the recent addition to its territory. Of course, the big kitty rubbed its face all over the box, leaving scent markers to make it his property. Incidentally, cats will also use scratching to mark property in an effort to keep other cats away.
When the large cat began exploring the new toy, sniffing it all over and checking out its various dimensions, something surprising happened! The curious cheetah slipped its head into the small opening at the bottom of the box, and it got stuck! Lifting its head, the box raised off the ground. Like a boxy helmet without a lens shield, the cheetah wandered around blind and humiliated. Thankfully, the shameful moment lasted only seconds.
Boxes, Boxes, and More Boxes
Here’s another caracal. This one is hiding its gracefully blackened ear tufts while it takes a nice leisurely nap. All cats love to conceal themselves inside undisclosed locations. They also prefer to stay snug. Cats require a warmer temperature.
The National Research Council determined that the thermoneutral zone for cats is between 86 to 97 degrees. Cats are most comfortable being super cozy, as if it was not obvious enough. Boxes provide a lot of insulation. The area inside a box is a perfect way for cats to preserve body heat and be insulated on all sides. See, it all makes sense now.
Siberian Tiger Celebrates Snowy Day
Julian is one of six Amur tigers held at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo. Amur tigers, better known as Siberian tigers, are covered with thick, warm fur coats. These animals also have oversized paws that help them trek through snowy terrain.
Julian is one of the most playful tigers at the Bronx Zoo. Besides rolling around in the snow, he enjoys frolicking in the mud. This magnificent beast is always the dirtiest tiger in the bunch! Julian was five years old in this 2016 picture. He weighs 360 pounds. Amur tigers are the world's largest big cats. These creatures naturally roam the Russian Far East all the way to China.
Rare White Lions in Captivity
This lion couple looks rather content. In 2015, the majestic cats gave birth to four white lion cubs. It’s a rare event when rare breeds in captivity produce healthy offspring. The all-male cubs were named Hank, Harrison, Oliver, and Gus. The four brothers were sent to a zoo in Quebec in early 2017.
Mama lion, Makali, lay here next to Fintan. They became proud parents on September 26, 2015. The cubs were slowly introduced to Dad and living as a pride. We hope it was a happy-ever-after situation for the lion family. Life in captivity can be tricky, so it's good to know that there are people out there running sanctuaries with the animals' best interests at heart.
Okay, fine, they’re called cubs, but these four Indochinese tigers are as cute as kittens, especially as they’re pictured in that adorable picnic basket. We can imagine they love to chew and scratch at it too. They are cats, at the end of the day.
These cubs were born at the Tierpark Zoo in Berlin. Indochinese tigers are from Southeast Asia. Most of the population lives in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and southwestern China. Since 2018, the Indochinese tiger has been considered critically endangered. The Indochinese tiger is now extinct in Cambodia, and, according to 2011 figures, the total population is only about 350.
How is it possible for a wildcat cub to look even more loving and adorable than a house kitty? (That is when they decide to give you the time of day.) The zoo attendant must take very good care of this sweet, young leopard. Leopards are beautiful animals. Their spots are called rosettes because they look like a rosebud.
Black leopards have spots, but they are not visible, and that’s why they are called panthers. Leopards and panthers are known to hunt from trees, dropping in on their prey. Female leopards mate year-round. The cubs generally stay with mama for two years before going off to live on their own.
The King of the Beasts Playing With a Cat Toy
This is not something we usually see. We usually observe lions out in the wild, wandering the Serengeti. We don’t see cat toys lying around the desert plain. True, these large beasts like to play with their dead prey, just the way our kitties at home bat around a dead bird or mouse, as if regretting it’s dead and the end of playtime.
But here’s a toy that is not going anywhere. Chained to a tree, this lion will get plenty of playtime out of the dangling ball. Look at him go after it! He’ll play with it until he gets bored of it, as cats often do.
All Cats Love a Good Box
Place a box in a cat's environment, and it will be noticed. It’s something new and exciting. The box will not only become part of the cat’s territory, but the cat will step inside and squeeze on in, if necessary. Boxes are good for cats. A 2014 study showed cats given boxes exhibit fewer stress behaviors.
The insulation boxes provide give extra warmth and a cozy place to curl up in. It is exactly what cats adore. Just look at this magnificent jaguar contently resting inside a large produce box. Cats also use boxes as a place to hide, another trait indigenous to cats. Mikel Delgado, a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis, told Inverse magazine in 2017, “I think the box might give the cat a sense of concealment while they’re waiting to see if a mouse or small prey item might come along.” She thinks that cats like the option of stalking behind cover.
Cats Love Cardboard
Boxes are like toys to cats, as well as resting places. If the box gets flattened while an oversized cat attempts to ease into it, so much the better. Now there’s a cushy blanket to rest on. The cat, no matter if it’s a large cat of prey or a domestic house cat, will rub its scent glands on the cardboard to mark its territory. Pheromones are excreted from the glands on the sides of their face and around the mouth as they rub against the cardboard. When your kitty rubs against your ankles, yes, they are marking you as territory.
Since cats of all kinds love to nap, a piece of cardboard like the one this tiger is conked out on is a great find. Cats spend most of their day resting. On average, they sleep about 12 to 16 hours per day. It is part of cats’ predatory instinct to sleep so much. Sleeping is how they conserve energy for the high-energy demands of hunting. In general, cats live on a feed-rest-hunt cycle. After a large feed, they will lie down and rest for hours.
Big Cat organizations that care for and rehabilitate wildcats will sometimes give the beasts treats and toys for mental stimulation. This white tiger is certainly relishing its treat. As a bonus, cat caretakers will insert a chunk of meat inside the pumpkin as an even more delightful treat. It’s fun to watch the cat try to figure out where the scent of delicacy is coming from.
When the cats first find the pumpkin, they will kick it around like a ball and begin to check it out. Their mouths are so large that a tiger can pick up and carry an entire pumpkin with its powerful jaws.
The King of the Beasts Poses for a Picture
If you have a cat at home, you may have noticed it will occasionally drop to the floor and roll around, rubbing its back against the carpet. And if you can easily interpret cat language, you would know that your cat is feeling relaxed, safe, and secure, and is quite possibly asking for a little affection.
Big cats are no different. And doesn’t he look sweet? Albeit, choosing to give a playful rub to 600 pounds of muscle, talon-like claws, and razor-sharp sabers may not seem as inviting as petting a little house kitty.
Big Cat Foot Rubs
Here's a lion looking for a little attention. You see the way he's on his back, signaling to the zookeeper that he's ready for his foot massage? Alex Larenty, a British zookeeper who cares for Jamu in a lion park outside of Johannesburg, South Africa, says Jamu has total trust in him.
“Trust me, though, you need to know what you are doing, and our relationship is one that has built up over the last six years.” Larenty adds, “Jamu won’t just let anyone touch him the way I do.” Perhaps you recognize Jamu? The 550-pound cat stars in a British TV show called 'Wild at Heart' on ITV.
The Annual Weigh-In
Here's Heidi standing tall, reaching the 6-foot mark on the large ruler she is standing next to. Heidi is an Asiatic lion who lives at the London Zoo. Her height and weight are being recorded. The zoo shares the statistics they gather at the annual event with zoos all over the world.
Heidi is eight years old. She was born in 2011. She’s a talker. So, if you hear some roaring, it’s probably her. She's also the most motherly of her female littermates and likes to groom the other females.
Stalk and Pounce
Stalking and pouncing are part of every cat’s predatory instinct. The hunting instinct is very strong, and it is similar in every feline. Since cats are inveterate nappers who conserve energy, they will sit and stare at their prey (or toy) for hours, sometimes, before moving in on it. Cats do not want to exert a lot of energy chasing their prey. They want to get into the perfect position and pounce on it in one fell swoop.
Kittens, at just nine weeks old, have mastered the characteristic pounce. All cats will settle into their back legs before commencing the leaping pounce, and wiggle their rear ends in preparation. As funny or cute as it looks, this preemptive wiggle is crucial to making the leap successful. Knowing your cat’s natural behavior can make playtime more fun.
'Will You Give Me Milk if I Stand?'
If you look at the photo closely, you’ll see a small carton of milk in the zookeeper’s hands. The tiger is looking at it intently with his mouth open to increase its sense of smell. All cats do this. Inside a cat’s mouth is an additional olfactory organ that allows the cat to taste-smell the environment.
All kitties can stand, just like this tiger. It makes them appear larger when warding off a threat. Notice how it makes the tiger as tall as the zookeeper. But it is also a sign of playfulness and a way to get attention. This tiger is clearly hoping to get the attention of that bottle of milk. House cats will stand to receive a treat, and that is exactly what this massive feline is doing.
How comfortable and relaxed does this enormous tiger look? Sprawled across this chaise lounge, he clearly has claimed the best seat in the house. Short of a sibling, we can’t imagine anyone who would contest the 200-pound beast's cushy lair.
At home, a house cat might try to claim the best couch too. Cats tend to take over the furniture. But at least with a house cat, it's an even contest. Our only concern (well, our main one, at least) is that even housecats can do some irreparable damage to couches. So, we can't imagine what number this little guy will do to it.
I'm Feeling Boxed In
Cats are confident, majestic, in-charge animals. They always land on their feet. Cats rarely misjudge jumps or attacks. This snow leopard, we can only assume, is absolutely mortified. He must be indignant that its box would do such a thing to him as get stuck on his head.
Luckily for this playful leopard, the box was shaken off soon enough. Who knows if he’ll go after a box again after this incident? Although, with their legendary curiosity, he will probably try to conquer that box once more someday. Legend has it that they are still fighting to this day.
A Cougar at Play
Everyone loves opening presents; it's honestly one of the only serotonin highs in this life. Anyway, unlike all the other big cats, cougars cannot roar. And, like the little cats, cougars purr. Despite the differences, cougars love to play, just like cats of all sizes.
The trick is finding a toy large and durable enough for a wildcat to play with. The folks at Big Cat Rescue brought all kinds of toys in for all kinds of big cats to play with. We spy a ball there, which is always a hit with cats, no matter their size. And boxes? This cat's in feline heaven.
Christmas at the Toronto Zoo
Santa did not forget about these snow leopards at the Toronto Zoo! Ena, Kita, and Mylo were good all year, and we enjoyed watching them rip into their Christmas present. The zoo said it was an enrichment gift as part of its 2018 “12 Days of Enrichment” program. Many other zoo animals were included in the festivities.
Cats are curious, and these snow leopards were very curious about the Christmas present sitting in the middle of their territory. They went up to them and gently unwrapped the ribbon and paper, thanked their handlers for the thoughtful gifts, and shared them between themselves. Just kidding, they tore them apart like they would a gazelle and played until the sun went down.
Sleepy Snow Leopard
Awww! Here’s a two-week-old snow leopard hiding out in a blue bucket on the day of his first vet exam at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington. At the first exam, zoo vets reported that the cub was female. Upon closer examination, the second visit found a surprise! The young cub was determined to be male, according to the Woodland Park Zoo blog. The community voted to name him Aibek. It means, “will live for many moons” or long-living.
Snow leopards originate from the high mountain ranges of Central Asia and Russia. Populations of the striking wildcat are endangered, with fewer than 8,000 snow leopards roaming wild. In their native habitat, these beautiful beasts are often hunted for their fur and bones, which tribes use in traditional medicines. They also get killed by herders while preying on livestock.
All Cats Love Catnip
Actually, not all cats love catnip. Though the plant, Nepeta cataria, also called catmint, is coveted by many cats. About 30 percent of cats aren’t interested in the herb, but those that are have a wild reaction. Once they find the catnip, they may get very playful, roll around in it, lick it up, become euphoric, and may even look drugged out. After about 15 to 20 minutes of enthusiasm, the thrill wears off, and they will take a nice, long snooze.
Big Cat Rescue decided to do a little experiment to see if big cats like catnip too. The crew placed catnip inside paper bags and threw it over the fence to the ferocious felines. The response was clear. Some of the wildcats took to the catnip with abandon, and a few of the cats were uninterested. Pictured here is Alex resting after a nice romp through the catnip. The cats who relished the treat behaved just like house cats, rolling around, acting ecstatic, and very happy.
This tiger does not look like a happy kitty. In general, cats abhor rides in the car. Her expression seems to concur, despite the fact she got shotgun. But we wonder, is this tiger named Sara not terribly irritated that she must be inside a vehicle that she can easily outrun?
Just so you know, Sara broke the 100-meter sprint record at just over six seconds in 2009. She's the fastest animal on earth. We have to hand it to this lady for being insanely brave. We've dealt with angry cats in cars before, and to avoid getting clawed while driving, we put the ball of fluff and shards in a box. Sara is getting transported to the Cat Ambassador Program, where it will be on display for local school children. Perhaps there lies the trepidation.
A Thank You Kiss
Apparently, tigers love milk. This zookeeper just poured the contents of the milk carton into the enormous cat's mouth as it sat standing. What's more amazing is that the zookeeper allowed the beast to lick his face. Tiger's tongues contain rows of spikes called papillae. The barbs are scratchy enough to lick paint off of a wall or to lick through the hides of animals they kill. Tigers use them to scour feathers off of birds!
After a few licks on human skin, the papillae will usually draw blood. Don’t let a tiger lick you! If you are afraid he will eat you unless you allow him to lick you, stare him right in the eyes. Direct eye contact makes it less likely a tiger will attack you. On the upside, tigers' tongues excrete antiseptic saliva. So, if you do get licked raw, at least your wound won't get infected.
Are Tigers More Affectionate Than House Cats?
Tigers are arguably the most fearsome of all the big cats. They are larger than almost every wildcat in the world and can weigh in at well over 600 pounds. Its large dense body, ripped with pure muscle and electrified by intimidating and vibrant stripes, horrifies human imagination. Gazing into a tiger’s eyes is as terrifying as it is mesmerizing.
Animal behaviorist Louis Dorfman says tigers are one of the most emotional big cats. He also said that their emotional range makes them unbelievably affectionate. Also, like every other type of cat, they love a snooze in the middle of the day.
Playtime With a Box
Here we have Andre and Arthur, who were happily surprised to find a new object inside their cage. After playfully checking it out, rolling it around, and going in and out of it, the massive cats began chewing it up. (Fluffy, at home, only dreams she could chew so much damage into one of these human contraptions.)
Many people donate old present boxes to big cat sanctuaries because, well, it's no secret that all cats love boxes. Big Cat Rescue is responsible for bringing us these adorable images. The group, located in Tampa, Florida, is a non-profit educational sanctuary that is accredited and non-breeding.
The Best Bed in the House
This fantastic black panther has claimed the coziest section of its zoo confinement. Just chilling out at Lincoln Park Zoo, with its tail cascading over its luxury box bed and its alert eyes reflecting some light, this guy looks purr-fectly content.
If you're in the area, Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is a great place to visit. It's one of the oldest zoos in North America. It was founded way back in 1868, just years after the Civil War ended. This zoo is one of the very few zoos in the U.S. that offers free admission. One more reason to check it out.
The sitting position is common to cats. They have powerful hind legs and a great sense of balance, so sitting upright comes naturally. They used the position to reach things like a treat. They also prop themselves up on their hind legs to get a better look around.
They try to appear more fearful in order to threaten a predator by standing tall. Cats can even stand upright on two back paws if they need some more height. Despite its intention as a threatening pose, it's downright hilarious to look at. They look so cute and derpy.
Seems Pretty Normal, Doesn’t It?
What’s the problem with this picture from back in the sixties? It’s just a little kitty playing with a kitten. It’s cute, the black and white colors give it a timeless quality, and both parts look like they’re having a good time. Well, it turns out that that kitten is actually a tiger cub. It does change things a little bit, but at the core, it’s still two young ones having a little bit of fun in the sun.
We hope that the cub kept its claws sheathed during this play session. We also wish we could find out how this little kid – three years old at the most – got the opportunity to play with a tiger cub. Lucky kid.
Gotta Look Good
We guess we shouldn’t be surprised to see a couple of cats staying out of the hot sun and cleaning themselves up, but it’s still a part of wild cat life that you don’t get to see too often. Whenever an animal like this is seen in a movie or TV show, it’s usually slinking through the underbrush, mauling an unsuspecting character, or lazing next to a Shah’s opulent throne.
Rarely do we get to see the upkeep required for fur that is that fuzzy and soft, though if you have your own cat it’s nothing special. The tongues are probably rougher, and there’s more work to be done since the cats are bigger, but all in all, it’s more or less the same.
Get It Off Me
Lynxes might not be the biggest or most dangerous of wild cats, but they can still give you a fright if you meet one in a dark alley, make no mistake. Unless, it seems, you’re a beautiful little butterfly that daintily lands on the Lynx’s paw. Then, the lynx will stare at you like you’re the most beautiful thing in the world.
A lot of house cats would probably rather chase a bug like this down and try to gobble it up than just stare at it, but this big animal seems content to let the butterfly sit. The picture as a whole is a beautiful one that gives us a mix of the beauty and the ferocity of nature. And that lynx is so befuddled. It’s hilarious.
It’s the Playful Pose
Here we see an image that any person familiar with cats will understand. Sure, a lot of cats would rather sulk in a dark corner than hang out with the humans, but there are also plenty who enjoy spending all the time they can with the other creatures in the home.
It’s clear that this isn’t your normal house cat, but it’s hard to look at the pose it’s pulling and think it wants to do anything other than jump around with that ball in its paw. This is a leopard cub, and while it will one day grow up to be big and strong, right now it’s just a house cat with a bright future. And that means you can join it for some playtime.
Been So Long!
You know the feeling. If you have a bestie that you haven’t been able to see in months or years, it’s all you can do not to hit them with a crushing embrace as soon as you see them. A couple of lionesses were doing a little bit of hunting when they happened to spot each other, and we got to see the resulting hug.
Well, probably a hug. Maybe this is a prelude to a big fight since these lionesses hate each other. You always have to be a little wary of how animals act, since it could be us putting our human emotions on non-human creatures. Though from the way these two look, they could very well be thrilled to see each other.
It Doesn’t Matter What Kind of Cat They Are
If you work from home and have a cat in the house – or even if you just use the computer occasionally – then you know cats will love to get in the way of your hands. Whether it’s because they want your attention, or because the laptop is nice and warm, the keyboard is a prime napping location.
We guess that even bigger cats find this to be the truth, even when the keyboard isn’t connected to a computer. In this picture, Saki the cheetah cub tries to figure out why the humans keep using this device from back in 1987. Unless Saki can get it to start typing out requests for more cuddles, we assume the cub will quickly lose interest.
A Log-Central Cuddle Puddle
Kittens and cats get a kick out of snuggling up in a big pile of fur and claws and tails and things like that, and that piece of information extends to wild cats just as much as cats that live in your house. While they often have to take advantage of non-traditional places to nap, such as the ends of fallen tree logs, they still look oh-so lovable while doing it.
One of these little baby lynxes is giving the camera a winning smile, but the other one couldn’t care less. We actually think there might be a third cub way in the back there, who doesn’t even realize he or she is the subject of a bit of nature photography.
Stretching Out in the Sun
If there’s one single thing that links every single member of the cat family, it’s their desire to sun themselves during the hottest times of the day. Whether you’re thinking of a tiny little house cat or a dangerous wild animal, the end result is gonna be the same.
As we can see in this image, even big African lion cubs will stretch their bodies to the breaking point if they feel comfortable enough. It looks like the entire family is enjoying the sun – Mom or Dad is out of the shot a little bit, but Junior doesn’t care. He’s going to put his feet up and catch some rays.
Call the Fire Department!
Cats love trees. Well, they really just love to climb, and trees are the best option for doing so. Here’s a quick tip for you cat owners – give your indoor pets stuff to climb on the walls. They’ll love it, they’ll be more active, and they'll be healthier. It will also make the allure of trees a little less strong, which means they’ll get stuck in the trees less often.
There’s a reason the fire truck has to come out and get cats stuck in trees so many times. It seems that even the bigger cats can struggle with the whole “getting down” aspect of climbing. However, this Canada lynx probably isn’t going to have much of an issue – they’re much bigger than house cats and know how to handle themselves.
Yawning or Howling?
You’re going to have to be the judge of this one. From the relaxed position that this big boy of a black panther is exhibiting, it sure looks like he’s just yawning before laying his head down for a nap, but those sharp fangs are pretty prominent. Maybe he’s telling another member of the family to back off from his favorite snoozing spot – a combination of both of the options we’ve presented.
“Aw man, I’m so tired, better give a big, loud yawn. Why yes, I did just show off my strong jaws and sharp teeth, thanks for noticing.” One way or another, we’re not about to approach this lean, mean, napping machine. The fangs – not to mention the claws – can do a number on us.
Don’t Make Us Say It
It looks like the famous workplace poster we’re all familiar with has a bit more reality in it than we thought there was. Yes, this bobcat kitten is hanging around and looks like it could go for a hand getting down. Just look at that face.
It’s the kind of face that starts out crying for Mom or Dad, but it soon switches to looking around for anybody who could lend some assistance. Just hold on tight, bobcat, we’ll get to you in a second. We have to take a picture first so we can make a new version of a poster we’re all sick of. Use your claws and dig into the wood, you’ll be fine.
I Wanna Play!
While this young white tiger cub looks to have learned a couple of tricks from Fido, we bet that dapper gent will still give the cub all the attention it wants, at least in order to keep it from tearing his coat to tiny little shreds. The black and white from 1968 makes it hard to tell, but this is Akbar, a rare white tiger, pictured at the Bristol Zoo as a senior zookeeper wants to get away.
It seems like it doesn’t matter what kind of creature we’re talking about, a young animal loves to have some fun. As long as Akbar knows not to try this tactic once he’s all grown up, of course – Mr. Barrett here will suddenly find himself running for the tailor.
Getting Limbered Up Before a Run
We all know about cheetahs. They’re said to be the fastest animals on dry land, and some statistics say that they can reach the simply astounding speed of eighty miles per hour. They can only maintain that speed for a few short moments – like even the most talented of sprinters. Still, that kind of speed makes even the fastest eyes pop.
However, just like human runners, cheetahs have to make sure they’re fully prepped if they’re going to push themselves to the brink of what is possible. In this example, the cheetah from Kenya is digging its claws into the rubber of a vehicle to get a nice, deep, cleansing stretch. Arms, shoulders, back, and legs are all limbering up.
Taking a Tumble
Cats, dogs, humans, monkeys – it doesn’t matter what kind of animal you are, you love to play around if you’re a young one. Even if you’re a couple of Eurasian lynxes at the Granat Wildlife Reserve in Westfalen, Germany. Just because they hunt for their meat doesn’t mean they don’t like to run around and have some fun with their siblings.
We can’t say for certain if these half-wild lynxes play in the exact same way as a house cat that is curled up on your couch, but it looks to be the same general manner. Rolling around, claws outstretched, grabbing each other by the ears and head, and hanging on as you spin one way and another.
No Pictures While I’m Napping
If you ever needed something to prove that house cats and wild cats come from the same family tree, look no further. While most of us only know cheetahs as the fastest animal around, it seems that they excel in some other matters, too. Primarily it is the realm of getting in absolutely top-notch cat naps, even if they have to get them while hanging in a tree.
This cheetah in particular is delivering some A-grade material, with its head suspended between two tree branches and its limbs hanging down. Calling a private game lodge in South Africa your home must be a pretty sweet gig since you don’t really have to worry about other animals muscling in on your territory and you can just focus on catching some shut-eye.
You Know What Lion Mom Would Say
Brothers all around the world and all over the animal kingdom all seem to be the same. If they aren’t getting each other into trouble, they’re getting each other to make funny faces. Of course, their lioness mom is probably right out of the frame, telling them their faces are going to get stuck like that if they don’t knock it off.
These furry pals just got done snacking on some antelope, most likely, and the two couldn’t look happier. A lot of people think that cats are anti-social, or don’t like hanging out with others, but there are plenty of examples of cats, both those of the house and of the wild, spending quality time with their family.
Might Need Some Help Getting Down
Cats love to climb. They love their vertical space – if you have an indoor cat we hope you’re providing it with cat trees to climb or shelves to sit on so that it doesn’t jump up to places it shouldn’t be. Cats that are born in the wild have the exact same tendencies, as we can see here.
A young European lynx is seen getting higher and higher, though the parents might not be too pleased to find out it’s gotten so high. On the other hand, maybe they’re on the ground urging it on. This looks to be the exact moment it starts to think “Uh oh, how do I get down?” It hasn’t figured out how to turn around just yet.
As we grow up, we have to get used to certain things. One of those things is a camera, and for some reason, it can take a little while. You want to make a funny face, or run away, or something like that whenever someone whips out a camera. Eventually, you grow out of it, but the compulsion is always still there, just a little bit.
From this picture, it looks like jungle cats can also be a bit sheepish when it comes to the paparazzi. This big male lion is hiding his face in his paw. Maybe it’s to wash himself, or maybe it’s to make sure nobody catches his bad side when he isn’t looking. Maybe he just doesn’t want to end up on the front page of the tabloids.
Mom, Are You Busy? Mom? Mom?
Coming to us from Masai Mara in Kenya, this little couple of cheetahs not only shows us a very cat-like pose, but it’s a human sentiment as well. Plenty of us probably remember being bored during a rainy day and trying to get our mom to play with us while she was trying to cook, clean, or sew. This cheetah mom is just trying to get some chores done, like... You know, stuff. Savannah stuff.
Cleaning the... rocks. You know, maybe cheetahs don’t actually have that many chores to do, now that we think about it. So you’d think that this mom would just be able to play around with her kid all day, but anybody who actually has a child knows that is absolutely not the case. Kids are tiring.
Do You Have No Shame?
Cats. Can’t live with them, and if you try to live without them they’ll sneak into your home and eat all your ham. And, also, when they do live with you, they lie around the house exposing their underbelly in an attempt to get as much affection as possible.
This black panther might not be looking for scritches, but it’s still lying in its sunny spot with the same kind of pose a house cat might adopt. It’s hanging on for dear life as one of its legs rides up on the log next to it. One of the reasons cats are cool is they don’t really care that much. They’ll do whatever they want. They just don’t give a hoot.
Matt, Is That You?
Cats are, the story goes, curious creatures. They love to poke their heads into boxes or get them stuck in the handles of IKEA bags or go around knocking stuff out of your closet because, if they’re lucky, they might just find something good in there. Food or catnip or something like that. There aren’t any other better options for a cat, now that we think about it.
It turns out that lions go through some of the same motions, though we wonder if catnip would even affect them. You need a whole lot of it to do anything, but it would be fun to see. This lion is going hunting for something as a jackal, perhaps a little confused, looks on.
Waiting for Someone to Sit
Ah, a park bench. The perfect place to sit and have a sandwich while enjoying the great outdoors. Just make sure to check for lion cubs underneath your feet before popping a squat. We don’t think it’s a very common occurrence, but it’s happened, according to this picture, at least once. And that makes us worry about all the times we DIDN’T check for lion cubs under our park benches.
The circles of park benches and lion cubs make an incredibly narrow sliver at the center of the Venn diagram, but there is clearly some overlap. In all likelihood, this cub is just looking for something to do before dinnertime, and it knows that there are sometimes fun people sitting at this bench in particular.
If You Put a Flower in My Mouth I’d Make a Weird Face Too
Go ahead and prove us wrong. It’s not just giant wildcats that get this kind of look if you jam a flower down their throat. We’re sure there are a lot of animals that would get that look or at least one that is similar to it.
We’re pretty certain that this leopard and your regular old house cat will both have the same kind of face after whatever has happened here...happens. Was this intentional? Did the leopard tear a chunk out of a bouquet because it likes the taste of flowers? Or was it just playing around and happened to get some of it stuck behind its teeth?
Catching a Lynx-Nap
Cats nap. Well, most animals do at one point or another. Very, very few creatures can make it from sunup to sundown without having to catch forty winks at one point or another. One of the rare exceptions is the Siberian napless sloth, of course. Your regular old lynx, however, loves to take a snooze here or there, just like pretty much every other cat that has ever existed.
This one looks quite content to be sleeping on the hard ground – look at that face, the back paws stuck up, and the soft belly that looks just so rubbable. We advise against rubbing it, however, as this animal still has a lot of claws. Five of its six appendages have something sharp at the end.
It Is the End Times
We’ll have to double-check, but we’re pretty sure the Book of Revelation has something about dogs and cats living together being a sign of the coming apocalypse. No, actually, these two are Duke the Alsatian dog and Ravi the Bengal tiger, who grew up together!
This picture was taken in 1977, and it’s at about the point when Ravi started getting too big for it to be safe for the two, so the owner had to make sure to keep a close eye on them. It looks like the two are plenty close, but Ravi is still a wild animal. Lots of claws and such on that beast. Dogs and cats are perfectly able to live together, as we can see here, but this isn’t usually how it looks.
The Great Dane Isn’t the Greatest Anymore
It’s true that cats and dogs can get along if they know how to play nice, but what about Great Danes and lion cubs? Well, just take a look at this picture and you’ll see the truth of the matter. The dog is Patches, and the little cub is Peanut. How do we get this picture?
Well, Peanut’s parents were rejected by the rest of the pride for some odd reason, so a family outside of Cape Town took them in. The family owns a chicken farm, which seems like it’s inviting trouble, but here we are. Peanut, as well as siblings Chippie and Sassi, are being hand-reared before being sent to approved homes.
Ball Is Always Life
Basketball players aren’t the only ones that only have eyes for the ball. This Siberian tiger is happily playing in the water with something that few animals of a certain size can ignore. Human kids, dogs, cats, and all sorts of animals find a ball just oh so much fun. Then again, check out the tiger’s ears – maybe this ball said something mean about his sister.
Also, check out those enormous claws. You can’t just throw any ball into a tiger enclosure and expect it to last the entire day. It almost looks like the ball in this example is made of stone or metal or something like that, but there’s no way a tiger could lift that out of the water. Right? They aren’t that strong, right?
Feet Big Enough to Balance
A Eurasian Lynx cub tries to make the most of its situation, but we assume it will be headed for the ground before too long. Whether that’s because the branch it’s trying to balance on snaps, or it jumps down, we aren’t here to try and guess.
It might still be working on its balance, but we can tell this little guy or gal is going to grow up to be a big one. You can tell because of the paws. This is true of cats and dogs as well – the bigger a kitten or puppy’s paws are, the bigger the full-grown animal is going to be. This little lynx still has plenty of growing to do.
DID YOU SEE THAT?!
What do you think these two little black panthers could be reacting to? A trailer for a video game they’ve been waiting for? A really cool basketball play? Maybe they saw a grilled steak for the first time, and neither of them could handle the incredible smell. Those aren’t the only options out there, but they seem like the most likely.
Or, maybe neither of them had ever looked into a mirror pool, so there was no way they could figure out what they looked like. Now that they’ve seen each other, they are both amazed at how cool they look. Black fur and blue eyes? It’s just unfair to all the other animals out there.
A Little Bit of Privacy, Please?
Cats like to stay tidy no matter what they’re doing. If they happen to fall into water or mud, they look so upset it seems like they’re about to shred the closest person. It doesn’t matter which part of their body needs some cleaning, they’re going to clean it. Yes, any part of the body.
Cats don’t really care who is looking at them while they expose their most private areas. This bobcat seems to delight in showing off its acrobatic skills. No, we aren’t jealous! We could probably be that flexible if we worked on it for a little while. You know what, we don’t actually want to do that.
Mom Says It’s My Turn on the Tree
Just like siblings in any other kind of family, it looks like these three lion cubs from Kenya are all trying to have fun with the same toy. A tree might not fit into the toy category for most human kids, but young lions just learning to climb love to queue up and wait for a chance to go higher and higher.
We feel like there’s enough space around the other sides of the tree to give all of them a chance to go at the same time, but maybe the other cubs are there for moral support, or to catch the one who is currently climbing the tree. The fewer injuries the better, we suppose.
Watch the Face
We’d be interested in finding out how some animals like to play, and some animals don’t. Do bugs play? What about snakes? We know that cats and dogs are playful, as are dolphins supposedly, but how do they develop the idea of play? Is it to make social connections or learn how to handle their bodies?
Regardless, these two lion cubs are getting into a little tussle as their mom looks on from behind them. The claws are safely sheathed, and they’re just using soft paws to roll around in the dust. If you’ve ever had a couple of kitties at the same time – or even a pair of cats when one of them was young – you know that young cats can’t get enough of some energetic wrestling.
It’s Always Time for a Cat Nap
It’s true that cats sleep a whole lot of the day away. We like to think of them as lazy, but if you had nothing to do for the entire day, you’d probably sleep more, too. This big boy, a wild male Bengal tiger, is taking a champion snooze in the forest, totally unafraid to show off his big belly and immense paws.
If you were an immense jungle cat that could take on almost any kind of predator, we bet you wouldn’t mind flaunting it a little more, no matter where you like to sleep. Man, being a tiger sounds like it would be pretty great, as long as you ignore a few things.
The King of the Jungle Relaxing
Cats are legendary for their ability to get into a spot and fall asleep at the drop of a hat. It doesn’t matter when or where – if they want to sleep there, they are going to sleep there. A box, a bag, a bowl on the counter, a comfy couch cushion, or a spot on the floor. Even a hardwood floor, if they’re desperate.
Just like your little house cat, this big lion is able to stretch out wherever he darn well pleases to get the sleep he needs. It’s not like anybody is going to run over and wake him up. It’s good to be the king, baby. No crown, but the rest of the bonuses are still there.
Taking a Chunk Out of Mom
It doesn’t matter if you aren’t a cat owner, you probably know this feeling if you’re a parent. If you aren’t a parent but you are a cat owner, you probably also know the feeling. Lots of animals like to bite. They will even bite much bigger, much stronger animals that are responsible for caring for them, like their parents or older siblings.
A young Eurasian lynx is about to find out why you don’t bite your parents. At the very least, the cub is going to get a kick to the face, but more likely the parent is about to wheel around and scream right at it from inches away with a head that is the same size as its entire body if we’re seeing the proportions properly.
Going Up for the Grab
Seeing a big animal get even bigger is a thrilling moment for anybody who gets to witness it. A big, lean, and powerful black panther is always ready to astound, but having one rise up to its hind legs for an off-screen reason is even better. Is this huge beast trying to bat at a ball coming its way?
Maybe it’s trying to get a closer look at a butterfly. Most likely it just wants to get its paws on some fresh food that’s being thrown his way from a truck or a keeper. The light that is hitting its underbelly is a fun way to show that a black panther isn’t just solid black – there is a pattern on the fur, but it’s often too dark to see.
Don’t Look, Hon
It’s just too much to bear, sometimes. We don’t know what these two members of the pride are witnessing, but it must be pretty heinous if the lady is covering her guy’s eyes. Maybe they were watching “The Rise of Skywalker,” and they just could handle the way Disney had mucked up the sequel series.
They’re going to go home and talk about all the parts they hated, like when C-3PO turned out to be Han Solo in disguise for the entire time. Like, literally all nine of the movies. It really brings up a lot of questions that have some uncomfortable answers.
Get Lucky, See Funny
Most cats have a pretty standard face. You know – the cat face. It... It looks like a cat. You know the one. However, if you’re quick with a camera at certain moments, you might just be able to take a picture of a cat’s face that looks like something a little different.
Like if you managed to get a pic of this caracal, who is either in the middle of a big yawn or just had a handful of sneezing powder blown into its face. We couldn’t tell you much about what a caracal actually looks like, but we bet it doesn’t usually look like this. Keep a sharp eye on the cat that is lying around your house, and you might be able to get a face similar to this one.
A lot of cats can’t get enough cuddles, especially if you have food or it’s near their dinner time. While it’s usually a pretty bad idea to try and get cuddles from a cat like this one, it looks like it can, at least, be done. However, you’d have to put in the time raising a dying lioness from a cub up to a happy, healthy adult.
The man who has the time and effort to spare in this picture is named Valentin Gruener, who is such an absolute chad that he not only raised this lioness from a cub (and she’s very grateful, obviously), but he also can just sit in the water with her on his shoulders. Well, if you’re a cat person, you’re a cat person. It’s a look of pure relaxation.
Is That Some New Kind of Cheetah Thing?
Cheetahs are fast, yes, but what else? It appears that they’re keen hide-and-seekers, too, since this lean wild cat is seen sticking its head into the ground. Maybe it’s just trying to avoid the current discourse, or maybe it’s after something in particular, but for one reason or another, it’s buried its entire head into the dirt.
Looking for food? Saying hello to the neighbors? Maybe this is a way to stretch out those long legs before bursting into an eye-popping sprint to chase down Gazelles. One way or another, it reminds us of an inquisitive house cat who is hunting through boxes or bags to find something to play with. Or, most likely, something to eat.
Just the Cutest
Cats are plenty cute, but what about little cats that will, one day, grow up to be much bigger cats? Well, it turns out that they can tip the cute meter, too. This white lion, no doubt one of the few in the world, can be found in the city of Yalta, in Crimea.
We bet that he or she is one of the biggest draws to the zoo in that city. We’re not sure if the lion suffers from albinism – the eyes do look a touch red – or if it’s some other lion thing that makes the fur fully white, but one way or the other this little guy or gal has quite the cute future.
They Don’t Mind That Much
There’s a reason that people keep spray bottles full of water on the counter where they don’t want the cats to go. They really seem to hate getting sprayed with water. They also hate baths, and being out in the rain. Most of them, anyway – wild cats have a much easier time dealing with the wet stuff.
This cat (a quick check revealed it's a wild cat species called a serval) seems to be done with a bath and is drying off with a few sharp shakes of the body. Maybe it’s playing in the water, too. We imagine a whole lot of time that predators spend is taken up doing things to stave off boredom. That and hunting and sleeping, of course.
Big Little Kitty Kisses
What kind of name do you give a lion? Sure, there are the classics – Simba, Nala, Mufasa, and even Scar – but what other kinds of options are there? Well, let’s ask Zookeeper Julia Forst, who is seen here taking part in the naming of lions. Not only does it sound like the title of a sub-par YA fantasy book, but it’s also a real event!
It took place in Magdeburg, Germany, and this beautiful white cub and its twin were named Shaira and Jasiri. We’re not sure which one this is, but it has a nice name nonetheless. Shaira means “Wish of Heart” and Jasiri means “The Brave.” For our money, this one looks more like a Shaira.
Splash Splash Splash
Aw, look at the little kitties. They love playing in the water, unlike most little kitties, and also they could eat you if they wanted to. We still want to cuddle with one of them, but we think things will be best if they stay where they are and we stay where they are. Just look at the muscles rippling underneath the fur and skin.
Such strength. Such power. Such raw, unbridled fury, ready to unleash at the first sign of prey, also when they’re playing like this, don’t you just want to jump in and start splashing around with them? We know we do. No, no, remember. Those big soft paws have some pretty sharp claws hiding inside them.
Ah, the Circle of Life
There was a study done once about how many rats, mice, rabbits, etc., outdoor house cats actually take out if they have the chance to roam and hunt. Sure, they bring a few back to the doorstep because they think we don’t know how to hunt for ourselves, and you might find a few carcasses around the yard while doing some gardening, but it turns out they leave plenty more where you usually can’t find them.
They hunt a lot, apparently. To what should be no one’s surprise, wild cats also hunt a lot. This young caracal is taking a bite out of his latest prize, a white rat. We’d like it with some veggies on the side, but the caracal is okay eating it plain.
Starting to Stalk
It turns out that your little Fluffykins isn’t the only kind of cat around that likes a nice, safe, cardboard box. This bobcat, who looks to be on the young side, has claimed this box as a home before slinking out of it to start a hunt. What is the allure of boxes?
We get that some cats might want a nice, shady place to hide so that no potential dangers can find them, or potential prey can see them coming, but cats like to sit in boxes even if they’re open to the elements. A box for your board game or something like that. Maybe it’s just the little piece of their brain that tells them a place like that is at least a little safer than a lot of other places.
Hugging It Out
There are a number of stories of lions being raised by humans, and pretty much all of them are heartwarming. This is Valentin Gruener with the lioness that he raised. He, or someone, found the lioness as a cub, sick and dying, and Valentin managed to nurse the lioness, who is named Sirga, back to health.
As you can see, this pair of man and beast is a bit attached. We bet it took a little bit of time for Valentin to get used to that much pure lion muscle hanging on to his shoulders, but he looks more or less comfortable with it by now. Sirga is eyeing the cameraman, and we’re not sure we like the look.