Wild Cat FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions About Wild Cats

What is the smallest wild cat species?

The rusty spotted cat of India and Sri Lanka, by a whisker! Males weigh an average of 1.5-1.6 kg and females weigh an average of 1.1 kg. Running a close second though, is the tiny black footed cat of Africa.

Why does the lion have a mane?

Their mane serves a number of purposes: a) it identifies him as a mature male to other lions, even at a distance b) it gives an appearance of increased size with little weight cost c) the condition of the mane conveys the level of health and vigour to female lions d) it can help protect the head and neck area in fights with other lions

How fast can cats run?

The fastest land animal that has been reliably clocked is the cheetah. It has been clocked at 103 km/h(64 mph) over very short distances.

Which cats can swim?

All cats can swim if they have to. Tigers, jaguars, fishing cats and flat-headed cats are known to be around water most often. Bobcats have been observed swimming to off-shore islands.

Which cats can purr, and which ones can roar?

All cats are able to purr. Purring is thought to have a primary function of being an “all’s well” signal between a nursing mother and her young, and may help form the original bond between them. When the kittens become active, purring takes on the function of communication between littermates. In adult courtship, purring appears to be used as a “kitten-like” invitation to playful interaction. Roaring, in a way, is the opposite of purring. Only four cats can roar – tiger, lion, leopard and jaguar. The ability to roar depends on the structure of the hyoid bones supporting the larynx in the throat. The roaring cats have an elastic ligament connecting two of the bones that allows for the production of a loud, resonant roar. The rest of the cat species do not have this structure.

Which cat is the most dangerous if encountered in the wild?

Bengal tigers have killed more human beings than any other cat. Other large cats, such as lions, leopards, jaguars and cougars have also killed humans, but the numbers are small, especially compared with the countless numbers of cats killed by humans.

If a lion and tiger got into a fight, who would win?

This is a difficult question to answer. Overall, the Siberian tiger is the largest of all cats, so it might have a bit of a size and weight advantage over a lion. However, both are very large, powerful and aggresive predators that are capable of killing one another in a fight.

How many pounds of food do they eat each day?

This can vary widely, because a wild cat may eat a lot one day and nothing the next. As a general rule of thumb:

Lion males can consume over 40 kg at one meal. They are fed 3-5 kg per day in captivity, and are calculated to need an average of 5-7 kg per day in the wild.
Tiger males can consume up to 40 kg at one meal, and are fed 5-6 kg per day in captivity
Jaguar will average 5-10 kg per day where prey is available
Snow leopard fed 2-3 kg per day in captivity
Cougar will kill an average of one deer every 10 days for a solitary adult; one deer every 3 days for an adult female with three large cubs. Fed 2-4 kg per day in captivity.
Lynx consume an average of 591 to 960 grams per day in captivity
Ocelot consume an average of 558 to 837 grams per day in captivity
Margay consume an average of 286 grams per day in captivity
Jaguarundi consume an average of 205 grams per day in captivity


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