Cats - Austin Zoo

Cats

Categories: Big Cats,Meet The Animals

The Big Cat family includes lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, cheetahs and cougars. Only the lion, tiger, and jaguar can roar. These are sometimes called the Great Cats. All Big Cats are categorized as mammals as well as carnivores, which means that they eat meat.

All of the Big Cats are either threatened or endangered, which means that there are very few of them left in the world and if we don’t do something to protect them in the wild, then they may disappear entirely.

Tiger


Lifespan: 8 to 20 years in the wild and up to 26 years in captivity
Weight: Up to 570 lbs
Size: Up to 10 feet long
Status: Endangered
Habitat: The Bengal tiger is most numerous in the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans in eastern India and Bangladesh where the River Ganges meets the Bay of Bengal. They are also found in other areas of India, Nepal and Burma.

Did you know?

  • In 1900 the tiger population of India was estimated at 40,000-50,000. By 1972, this number had dropped to 1,850
  • No two tigers have exactly the same stripes
  • A tiger’s roar can be heard as far as two miles away
  • A hungry tiger can eat as much as 65 pounds in one night
  • Once there were eight tiger subspecies, but three became extinct in the 20th century

Lion


Lifespan: 10-14 years in the wild and 20 years or more in captivity
Weight: Up to 550 lbs
Size: Up to 10 1/2 feet long
Status: Threatened
Habitat: Open savannah and desert areas of Africa south of the Sahara; also in the Gir Forest National Park in northwest India.

Did you know?

  • A lion’s roar can be heard up to five miles away
  • Only male lions have the large mane, but they can lose it after being neutered.
  • Lions are the only cats that live in groups. These groups are called prides.
  • Lionesses do most of the hunting and the males defend the territory.
  • Like most cats, lions are nocturnal, sleeping around 21 hours a day.

Cougar


Lifespan: 8-13 years in the wild and up to 20 years in captivity
Weight: up to 220 pounds
Size: up to 7 1/2 feet long
Status: Least Concern
Habitat: Widely spread in North, Central and South America in a variety of habitats including deserts, swamps and forests.

Did you know?

  • Cougars are the 4th largest cat on our planet.
  • Cougars are also known as pumas, mountain lions, mountain cats, catamounts and many more names depending on the region. They hold the Guinness record for the animal with the highest number of names, with over 40 in English alone!
  • They are also known as the “ghost cat” because cougars are so illusive in the wild.
  • Cougars are crepuscular, which means they are usually active around dawn and dusk.
  • Reaching speeds of 35 to 45 mph, cougars are best adapted for short, powerful sprints rather than long chases.
  • They can leap vertically 15-20 feet in a single bound, 40 feet horizontally.
  • Being unable to roar, cougars instead make purr, squeak and hiss sounds.

Serval


Diet: Carnivore
Lifespan: Up to 20 years
Weight: Up to 41 lbs.
Size: Up to four feet long
Status: Least Concerned
Habitat: Servals are found in many parts of Africa, but not in the equatorial jungles or the Sahara. They are most commonly found in East African savannas, usually near water.

Did you know?

  • This cat has a number of different vocalizations which include snarling, growling, spitting, purring and a high-pitched cry used to call other servals
  • Servals have an excellent sense of hearing and can locate prey that is moving around
  • A serious threat to servals is the fur trade, which continues to demand large numbers of their beautifully marked skins

Bobcat


Lifespan: 10 – 12yrs
Weight: 11 – 30lbs
Size: Length: Head and Body, 26 – 41in; tail, 4 to 7in Height: 17 – 23in

Status: Least Concern (Population stable)

Did you know?

  • Bobcats are excellent swimmers.
  • Their home ranges can be as big as 20 square miles.
  • Bobcats get their name from their tail, which appears to be cut or ‘bobbed’
  • The females are called ‘queens’ and males ‘toms’
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