Act for the animals

Use your voice to fight for animal rights.

While there are some sickos out there, I really believe that most of us do care about animals and their safety. Here are a few ways we can each take action for animals this week and help keep them safe.

Ensure the safety of animal habitat

Now that the elections are over, we must make sure that our elected officials make protecting our National Parks a priority. In addition to caring about animals, most Americans also care about these parks—but even more importantly, they provide a home to animals all across the nation. Click here to send a message to President Obama and Congress asking that they make protecting our National Parks a priority.

Help educate about puppy mills

Sheryl Crow has a special place in the heart of St. Louisans around where I live because she is from our area. So when I heard that she had made a PSA against puppy mills, I thought it was brilliant and I wanted to share it with all of my friends. Click here to check out Crow’s new public service announcement and to share it with everyone you know. You can also pledge to end puppy mills and help educate others about their horrors and how important it is to get puppies from rescue shelters instead of breeders.

Speak out for chimps

Chimps are so close to humans that I just don’t understand why people would want to keep them to use for entertainment purposes, which is what James Casey does. Casey is a known animal abuser, yet he is applying for a permit to keep primates to use in his for-profit business. I don’t approve this without the abuse record, let alone with it; why do we continue thinking that because we speak English and wear clothing we have the right to torture and exploit animals for money rather than allow them to live in peace? Click here to read more or to send a message to the town commissioner asking that Casey not be allowed to continue owning and using chimpanzees.

Ask Congress to save the environment

If the past summer told us anything, it’s that weather in the 100s for weeks on end is a dangerous, scary situation. It’s time to address climate change and other environmental concerns, not sacrifice the environment on the altar of the economy as many politicians would do. Click here to ask that our environment—our home as well as the home of the animals—is made a priority.


The Liger

Interesting Facts and Myths

To be honest, I never knew that a Liger was a real animal.  Silly me, I did not think it was possible for a Lion and a Tiger to mate.  Why would they not be if a domestic cat could mate with a wild cat?  The Liger is a cross between a male lion and a female tiger.  The liger is the largest cat in the world.  They stand at approximately 11 feet tall and weigh close to half a ton. 

The liger has the face of a lion and the stripes of a tiger on its body; however, their faces can have rosettes, which are markings seen on a leopard's body.  Their temperament boasts characteristics of both lions and tigers.  For example, they enjoy swimming and are very sociable.  Although it is not proven, it is possible that they inherit health issues relative to both species.

The first ligers date back to 1799.  A painting by Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire depicts that of offspring between a lion and a tiger.  The largest liger, named Hercules lives in Miami.  He is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest cat in the world, weighing in at 904 pounds.

A few myths pertaining to ligers are:

  • Ligers have short life spans.  This is untrue.  Most ligers live until their late teens or early twenties.  They tend to live longer while in captivity, just as lions and tigers.
  • Ligers are not genetically strong.  Simply look at the animals that made them.  They tend to be bigger and stronger than both.
  • Ligers have unique dietary needs, resulting in them not receiving adequate nutrition.  Although they are expensive to feed due to their size and vigor, they only need meats with essential vitamins and nutrients. 

Do you know of anything interesting about ligers which I have not shared?  It is neat to know they truly exist and are not simply an animal made up by Napoleon Dynamite. 

Mountain Lion Frightened by Dog

One Timid Big Kitty

Last week in Los Altos, California, a Mountain Lion was chased up a tree by a German Shepard.  Earlier in the day, a man in the neighborhood saw the cat and warned neighbors to be careful.  Little did he know that this one was not much of a threat.  It is believed that it was roaming around looking for food when it was frightened and chased 40 feet up a tree by an 85 pound German Shepard.  The California Fishing and Game Control came to the scene, but decided to leave the Mountain Lion alone.  It finally came down on its own a few hours later.

Mountain Lion spottings are becoming more and more common in this part of California.  Just last month, Mountain Lions were blamed for the death of two pet goats in the area.  The sightings have been making residents nervous, as you never know what to expect or what to do if you are approached by one of these large, intimidating cats.  This recent incident has residents worked up even though a biologist who monitored the animal said that he was not a threat to anyone or anyone's pets. 

I think that as we continue to build in more areas that were once wooded, we will continue to see more wild cats.  We are basically moving in on their territory and destroying their homes, so we should expect to see them more frequently, especially in the South and the West, which is where a large majority of them live. 

Most Americans have never seen a live, wild cat.  What would you do if you saw one roaming your neighborhood?  Would you be frightened?

Wilds Cats Fun Facts

Anything You Have Been Dying to Know?

Wild cats are superior animals that are close to the top of the food chain.  People and animals alike fear them because of their large, lean build and wild instincts.  There is so much more to these cats than being scary and hungry.  Below, I have listed some fun facts about wild cats so you can expand your horizons or maybe learn something you never thought you would know.  Enjoy!

  • There are 37 species of wild cats in the world.  While most prefer warm climates, some, such as the snow leopard, prefer the cold.
  • The Amur Tiger is the largest cat in the world.  It can grow up to 13 feet long.  
  • Cheetahs are the fastest animal in the world.
  • Cats have pupils that expand, which allows them to see clearly in the dark.
  • The only cats that roar are the lion, tiger, jaguar and leopard.
  • Lions survive for approximately 15 years in their natural habitat.
  • Jaguars have the most powerful teeth of all wild cats.
  • Although tigers are an endangered species, approximately 400 of them are killed each year.
  • Zoos and sanctuaries are extremely helpful in preserving big cats and their species.
  • A group or family of lions is called a "pride"
  • A lioness leaves her "pride" to have cubs and stays away until the cubs can walk.
  • A lion's roar can be heard up to 5 miles away.
  • A leopard can carry prey twice its weight up a tree.
  • Leopards can go a month without water.
  • One stride of a cheetah can cover 23 to 26 feet.
  • A cheetah cannot retract its claws.
  • There are 8 sub-species of tigers recognized today.
  • A tiger cub makes its first kill around 18 months of age.
  • A mountain lion's tail is used for balancing.
  • A mountain lion can drop 65 feet to the ground without being injured.
  • Jaguars spend the hottest part of the day in a stream.
  • The Jaguar has the most powerful bite of all big cats.
  • The snow leopard's tail is 90 percent of its body length.
  • The snow leopard is much smaller than a leopard, but its fur makes it look larger.
  • Clouded leopards have the longest canine teeth of all cats.
  • Cats use whiskers to determine if a space is too small to squeeze through.
  • Cats have 100 vocal sounds while dogs only have 10.


Wild Cats as Pets

The Truth about Raising Wild Cats

According to National Geographic, there are approximately 15,000 wild cats being kept as pets across America. There are probably more wild cats being kept as pets in America than there are in the Asian jungles.  That is quite a frightening fact.  All different classes own them, ranging from the wealthy to those with low incomes.  Some parents even go as far as to buy them as gifts for their teenagers.  People think of them as a status symbol, rather than a pet that is going to need extra care, which is going to cost a lot more money than an average pet.   

Wild cats are difficult to maintain.  Many people purchase these animals and do not realize how big their demands are.  For example, who would expect such a cuddly little cub to eat several pounds of raw meat per day?  People also do not think about how large the animals get.  For example, a tiger can grow up to 500 pounds, making it physically threatening, whether it is "trained" or not.  Look at Siegfried of Siegfried and Roy.  They always kept tigers that were well trained for their shows and one day one snapped, seriously injuring Siegfried.  According to veterinarian Kathy Quigley, if a tiger is in a situation that seems threatening to them, their natural instincts will take over, even if they are well trained, making them a threat to everybody in the household, even its "master".

Sadly, many big cats end up in orphanages.  When people buy them as cubs they do not realize how demanding and expensive it is going to be to properly take care of the cat.  Some owners release them into the "wild" or let them go out of the house to get rid of them, which poses a threat to the general public.  Many wild cat sightings across the country end up being sightings of cats that were once pets whose owners could no longer care for them.

The bottom line is that while it is perfectly legal in many states to have a wild cat as a pet, you must first do your research to find out of if it is right for you.  For example, if you have young children or plan to have children, you probably do not want to have a wild cat as a pet.  Also, if you cannot afford to feed your cat several pounds of meat a day,  then it is probably not a good idea.  Simply think before you purchase and you should be okay.


Wild Cats of the Prehistoric Era

"If you thought they were big now, you should have seen them back then."

 Although some people keep them as pets, wild cats are quite scary to most.  They are not something we would ever want to encounter on a day out.  They are strong and silent, with intimidating size, making them an exceptional predator.  If you thought they were big now, you should have seen them back then.  Yes, wild cats were around even when there were dinosaurs.  I have gathered some information on a few, so we can see how they are similar yet different to our wild cats today.  Proof that evolution is so real and amazing.
  1. Xenosmilus.  The Xenosmilus was quite the beast.  Of course, it was a carnivore, and boy it liked to make its victims suffer. Its general technique for eating was to take a bite out of its victim and let it bleed to death before eating it.  Alot more suffering was involved for those who fell prey to it, as opposed to today's cats who simply attack and eat.  The Xenosmilus was anywhere from 400-500 pounds with the same stature of today's lions.  The only difference was that it was more muscular and had a more powerful neck.  Remains for this cat have been found in Florida.  It is unknown when it went extinct.
  2. Giant Jaguar.  The Giant Jaguar was a bit smaller than other cats, as it weighed in at approximately 130 pounds, but could reach weights of up to 300.  It was very similar to today's jaguar, only much larger, stronger and more intimidating.  There were two species of this Jaguar.  One was the Panthera onca augusta, which was in North America.  The other is Panthera onca messembrina.  It is believed that the Giant Jaguar went extinct approximately 11,000 years ago.
  3. Cave Lion.  The Cave Lion was about twice the size of the modern lion, weighing in at approximately 660 pounds.  It was one of the most dangerous predators during the Ice Age.  It is believed that it may have been worshipped by some humans, due to cave paintings and statues that were discovered.  Studies were done by scientists to determine which species the Cave Lion was, because some thought it could be an ancestor of tigers; however, all tests show that this predator was all Lion.
  4. American Lion.  The American Lion is one of the most well known prehistoric cats, as well as one of the all time largest.  It roamed North and South America, and weighed a whopping 1,000 pounds, sometimes more.  It coexisted for years with the Smildon, also known as the Sabertooth Tiger, which leaves us to believe that it was a lone hunter.  This enabled it to prey on different animals than the other animals, making competition scarce.  It is believed that the American Lion went extinct approximately 11,000 years ago.
  5. Smildon (Sabertooth Tiger).  The Smildon is also known as the Sabertooth Tiger.  It is by far the most well known and talked about big cat of the prehistoric era.  This tiger was found in North and South America.  There is another species of this tiger found in South America that was much smaller, so weights varied from 600 pounds all of the way up to 1100 pounds.  It had thick, long limbs as well as sharp claws, perfect for catching prey.  It also had fangs which it is famous for, that were up to 12 inches long, enabling it to kill anything it wanted. It is believed that the Smildon went extinct approximately 30,000 years ago.

The Legend of the Black Panther

Panthers Across America

The Black Panther is a beautiful cat, which is also very dangerous.  Over the years, there have been many black Panther sightings across the country, with very few actually confirmed.  Below, I have shared a few from across the country, which I found to be of particular interest to myself.

Back in 2009, there were several sightings in Pallisades, NJ.  In the first instance, a woman reported seeing two in her yard.  At first, she did not believe her eyes, but then confirmed her sighting with binoculars.  She was sure of what she was seeing, so she called police, who did not believe her claim.  A couple of days later, her neighbor reported seeing something similar, and the police did not take her claim too seriously either.  Aside from these two sightings, there were several others in the area that were similar.  It is believed that the large cats may have originated in Alpine, New Jersey where residents are wealthy and more likely to have exotic cats as pets. 

In 2009, in Neosho, Missouri, there was a confirmed panther sighting.  The panther was killed by police when they arrived.  It began when a woman called 9-1-1 to report a panther trying to force its way into her house.  Police went to her home, not expecting to meet trouble.  When they arrived, they in fact found a panther and had to kill it.  The police officer said that adrenaline took over when he saw the cat and was forced to shoot it twice in order to keep him and the woman who reported the big cat safe.  After examination, they found that the cat was tiny, only 3 feet tall and weighing in at 60 pounds. It was determined to be a cub, which had not quite reached maturity yet.  It had also been de-clawed, and was therefore, most likely somebody's pet.

More recently, in November of 2010, a large cat was reported in La Quinta, CA, which is golf resort in the Riverside Mountains.  A woman called the sheriff and reported a large, panther sized cat on a neighbor's roof.  The sheriff believed her, because the community is known to have a significant mountain lion population.  There was also a similar sighting earlier in the week, which was confirmed.  The California Gaming Commission was called in to investigate the situation. 

As we can see, Panther sightings are not happening everyday, but they do occur across the country, in places where they are known to live and those that they are very unlikely to live, such as New Jersey. 

Do you have any panther sightings to share?

Mountain Lions in Pennsylvania?

Are you a believer?

Mountain Lions are wild cats, which are also known by the names, Puma, Cougar and Catamount.  Mountain Lions most famously roam Florida,  the Western United States, South America and Canada.  They used to be common throughout the United States; however, the love of hunting in the Eastern United States has caused them to migrate in order to preserve themselves. 

I, myself, believe that Mountain Lions are still somewhat present in Pennsylvania, and probably other states as well.  I live in Pennsylvania and I never would have imagined having a Mountain Lion in town until recently.  I live in a home with woods out in the backyard.  They are thick and I am sure there is wildlife in them.  It is not uncommon to see deer, domestic cats and groundhogs in my yard from time to time.  However, one evening I was in my kitchen cooking and I caught a glimpse of something out back which appeared to be a huge cat.  I never told my husband, because he would for sure think I was crazy.  It looked to large to be a deer and the tail was different from that of a deer.  As soon as I saw it, that was how fast it ran, so I can only speculate that it was  a Mountain Lion or other large cat.  I went on to learn about this topic and did not find much, but I am glad to share what I did find. 

According to the Pocono Mountain Record, there are people who say they have seen them, but there is no concrete evidence, such as photos, videos or carcasses.  For example, a park ranger at a Pennsylvania State Park claims to have had a sighting in the early 1990's.  Hikers have also reported sightings while trekking through the mountains.  On the other hand, the mayor of East Stroudsburg believes that if Mountain Lions were present, there would be reports of attacks like there are out West.  He also said, there would be an increasing population because it is only natural that they would pro-create. 

A group known as a the Eastern Puma Research Network investigates claims into Mountain Lion Sightings on the East Coast.  In 2005, they were called to an Amish Farm, at which the farmer claimed that a Mountain Lion was slaughtering his sheep.  Upon investigation, they found evidence that it was in fact Mountain Lions killing the sheep.  About a week later, the farmer shot the Mountain Lion, which had a Pennsylvania Gaming Commission (PGC) tag on its ear, which made it look as though there was a cover-up at hand, since the PGC denies the existence of Mountain Lions in Pennsylvania. 

So, what do you believe? 


What You Need to Know About Cross-Breeding Wild Cats with Domestics

Many lovers of exotic animals have found cross-breeding wild cats with domestic cats to be a God send.  They get the beautiful and unique look of a wild cat with the friendly and loving personality of a domestic cat.  Many owners of these cross breeds say that the cats are like dogs and make for excellent companions.

The most common and in-demand type of cross breed is the Savannah Cat.  This cat is a result of mating an African Serval Cat with a domestic cat.  Breeding these animals is tough because of size challenges.  The Serval cat is very long and lean, while the domestic cats are much smaller.  The first Savannah cat was bred in the 1980's by Judy Frank in Pennsylvania.  There is still much to be learned about the cats, but according to HDW Enterprises, the cats are alert,  loving, dependable, talkative, playful and curious. 


Aside from the Savannah Cat, there are several other types of cross breeds that exist, which include:

  • Pixie Bob: Cross between a Bobcat and domestic cat;
  • The Bristol:  Cross between a Margay and domestic cat;
  • The Chausie:  Cross between a Jungle Cat and domestic cat;
  • The Jambi:  Cross between an Asian Fishing Cat and domestic cat
  • The Machbagral: Cross between a Fishing Cat and domestic cat;
  • The Punjabi:  Cross between an Indian Wild Cat and a domestic cat;
  • The Safari:  Cross between Geoffrey's Cat and domestic cat; and
  • The Usurri:  Cross between a Leopard and domestic cat.


Many lovers of big cats and exotic animals will tell you a few of the following reasons to cross-breed these cats, which include:

  • The cats are beautiful;
  • They are friendly and loving;
  • They are protective
  • They are as good of a companion as dogs;and
  • They are playful;


Listed above, there are very few positives; however, there are many negatives and things to be wary of when cross-breeding, which include:

  • The cats have a wild genetic make-up, which makes them somewhat predatory.  The chances of them turning on you are higher than those of a dog;
  • They cannot be trusted around children;
  • Cross-breeding is adding to the feral cat problem in America;
  • Cross-breeding is taking animals that are already at-risk of becoming extinct and increasing their odds for extinction;
  • Many domestic cats are killed by the wild cats during the mating process.

There you have it, I personally do think that cross-breeding is intriguing and produces gorgeous cats; however, I am against it.  The cons are far more serious and clearly outweigh the positive. If you are considering cross-breeding or purchasing a cross-bred cat, then please know the facts and make your decision wisely.