Cats

Large felids such as lions and tigers cause more deaths than other predators like bears and wolves. Most fatal felid attacks occur in low-income areas and are predatory, with humans stalked as prey.

What 70 Years of Data Says About Where Predators Kill Humans

A new survey of attacks by lions, wolves and other big carnivores shows that people in low-income countries are at greater risk

A captive-bred male lion at Warthog Safaris in Limpopo, South Africa. The breeding facility is one of an estimated 260 in the country.

Is It Ethical to Hunt Captive Lions?

In South Africa, the big cats are raised to be killed by hunters. Opponents are outraged, but advocates point to conservation benefits

Our ten-most read stories of the year featured the all-woman army of the African kingdom of Dahomey, mischievous felines, J.R.R. Tolkien and more.

Our Top Ten Stories of 2022

From a teen inventor to invasive fish to lost cities of the Amazon, these were our most-read articles of the year

Innovators may want to create soft robots that more accurately replicate the dynamics of an elephant’s trunk.

Seven Scientific Discoveries From 2022 That May Lead to New Inventions

Nature is a breeding ground for innovative solutions to everything from aging to plastic pollution

One of the first-ever photos of a young pink iguana

First Recorded Pink Iguana Hatchlings Found on Galápagos Island

After a ten-month effort, researchers discovered the young endangered reptiles on a remote volcano

This 2013 photo of P-22 helped catapult him to fame. The cougar inspired conservation projects for urban wildlife and earned a robust Instagram following.

Why Los Angeles Fell in Love With the Mountain Lion Known as P-22

A local celebrity, the feline that was the face of several conservation campaigns died this weekend

New York is now the sixth state to pass a law banning pet sales in stores, following California, Illinois, Maine, Maryland and Washington.

New York Bans Sale of Dogs, Cats and Rabbits in Pet Stores

The law, meant to combat abusive breeders, will take effect in 2024

A pack of grey wolves in Yellowstone National Park. 

Parasites Make Grey Wolves More Likely to Become Pack Leaders

Research has shown that infected animals can engage in riskier behavior than their uninfected peers

Barges stranded by low water in the Mississippi River in Rosedale, Mississippi, a small town near where the lion fossil was found

Drought Reveals Rare American Lion Fossil in Dried-Up Mississippi River

Low water levels have also stranded barge traffic and threatened drinking water

Upon examination, veterinarians realized Hope, now named Beans, had no internal or external sex organs.

Meet the Rare Gender-Neutral Kitten With No Sex Organs

The formerly homeless cat has now been adopted in the U.K.

The costume worn by Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther in the 2016 film Captain America: Civil War is in the collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The suit imbues him with powers similar to the abilities of the dark cats.

14 Fun Facts About Black Panthers

Many of the Marvel superhero’s powers are inspired by the namesake predator

A fishing cat, Prionailurus viverrinus, in Koh Mon, Thailand, at a shrimp farm. Such facilities reduce the area inhabited by the shy animal, contributing to its decline. 

Planet Positive

Fishing Cats Face Many Human Threats. What Can Be Done to Save Them?

The wild felines in Asia are highly adapted to watery environs that are disappearing

Previous research has shown that dogs respond to pet-directed speech, but there's less research on cats' responses. 

Cats React to ‘Baby Talk’ From Their Owners, but Not Strangers

New research provides evidence cats see their person as “more than just a food provider”

Amani, the mother, with her two cubs born October 3. 

Two Cheetah Cubs Born at Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute

The twins are an important addition to their vulnerable species and its dwindling gene pool

A cheetah at Erindi Private Game Reserve in Namibia

Cheetahs Arrive in India After 70 Years of Local Extinction

As part of an ambitious reintroduction plan, conservationists flew in eight of the big cats from Namibia

Contrary to researchers' expectations, cats with higher levels of the hormone oxytocin displayed fewer bonding behaviors than those with lower levels. 

New Study Links Cat Hormones and Gut Microbiomes to Their Social Behavior

Felines with lower cortisol, oxytocin and testosterone levels are more tolerant of other cats

Cheetahs are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, with approximately 6,517 mature individuals left worldwide. 

Cheetahs Will Soon Be Reintroduced to India

The felines were declared extinct in the country in 1952

A cat chews up and rolls around in the leaves of the silver vine plant.

When Cats Chew Catnip, It Works as a Bug Spray

Plant leaves that repel mosquitoes release a more effective repellant after being crushed up by felines

Zeolite, a clay material found in kitty litter, may be the next tool to help reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. 

Innovation for Good

Minerals Used in Kitty Litter Could Help Fight Climate Change

A MIT study shows how, when treated with copper, a clay called zeolite can convert methane to carbon dioxide, a less powerful greenhouse gas

After analyzing the DNA of 50 domestic cats, researchers identified regions along the two genes that code for Fel d 1 that the team could cut and edit with CRISPR.

Researchers Are Closer to Creating Hypoallergenic Cats Using CRISPR Technology

The allergen-causing protein Fel d 1 was removed from feline cells using the gene-editing tool

loading icon