Jan 12 2017

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Cat Updates

Today is “The Changing of The Cats”  The cats on vacations go home and the next cats go on vacation.

Seth and Andy figured it out.  Mac Cougar is still trying to decide if he wants to go to the FunCation or just taunt Cheetaro, who had to give up half his cage for Mac to walk through on the way there.  We’ve called Mac’s favorite Keeper, Matt, to see if he can lure him over, so Cheetaro can get his bedroom back.

PROJECT:  Gale asked for some of the volunteers to work on some cage changes and updates so we can move some cats around because Dryden and Kewlona are acting as if they would make good use of some additional space.  It will take our amazing volunteers a few days to get it all accomplished as it is a big task but there will be two very happy bobcats when it is done.

Charaka is eating quite well.  In fact, he is eating from his pan and we are no longer having to hand fed him from the feeding stick.  He is taking his meds like a good boy, too.  He still looks bloated and his belly is still red, so the vets are changing up some of his meds.  They are carefully monitoring what goes in and what comes out to be sure he’s doing well.  He’s been playing with his toys, and feeding dish, so he seems to be feeling better.  We have been working closely with the other sanctuaries who rescued cats from Serenity Springs and even have a closed FB group for sharing medical findings so that we are all aware of the nasty infections, cancers, metabolic bone disease and other issues that have been common to these poor cats.

Hoover is eating and taking his meds although the keepers are still having to feed him by hand using the feeding stick.


 Announcing Facebook Live Winner

Each day that Carole does a Facebook Live video she asks a question and someone who answers it correctly wins a prize.  So, go to Facebook and Like our Facebook Page and choose to get notifications of our live videos.  Then participate in the contests, join in conversations in the comments area, too.  In the future, in order to make it easier to find the winner, without having to scroll through hundreds of comments, we will send people to a form to post their correct answer.  The form is time stamped, so we will be able to find the winner, and let them know more quickly.  The form will be at BigCatRescue.org/win

1/11/2017 Question:  Joseph was born in 1998.   He was rescued and came to Big Cat Rescue in 2007.  There was one lion and four tigers rescued with him.  Two of the tigers and one lion can here came here with Joseph.  What are the names of the other cats who came here with Joseph?

Winner:  Tammy Weiss-Ameis

Answer: Nikita & Simba Tigers as well as Sasha Lioness

Find the answer on Joseph’s page:  http://bigcatrescue.org/joseph/


 Facebook Live Videos

VIDEO:  Carole’s Afternoon Walkabout 1/11/2017

Cameron, Zabu, Gale, Amanda & her brothers, Joseph,

Carole talks about where Cameron and Zabu came from and also about why Cameron has no mane.  Off and on through the video you can hear some funny sounds coming from Zabu.  She talks about captive cat boredom, pacing, and enrichment, etc.  Carole also talks about the cats’ vacation areas etc.  Carole talks about how to save big cats in the wild, where they belong.


VIDEO:  Walkabout Cats Getting Sicles 1/10/2017

Keisha& More


VIDEO:  Andy & The Birds 1/8/2017

VIDEO:  Mac Won’t Go on Vacation 1/12/17

VIDEO:  Meds Time w/ Keeper Kathryn

 Big Cat Gift Shop

Sabre Leopard was born in 1992 and came to Big Cat Rescue in 1995.  He is 24 years old.  He loves vacations, playing watermelons, guarding pumpkins, and playing perfume tubes.

Show your love for Sabre the leopard with the purchase of this custom made tote. 100% spun polyester weather resistant fabric, dual handles 100% natural cotton bull denim, bag 15″ x 15″, made in America.  http://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/products/bag-sabre-leopard


 2017 Big Cat Calendars Back in Stock

13-month glossy color calendar features the big cats who call Big Cat Rescue home.  Each month you will enjoy a fabulous big cat image to go wild over! Only a limited number will be printed, so to ensure you receive your 2017 Big Cat Rescue calendar order it today! The calendar is approximately 8.5″ x 11″ when closed, 17″ x 11″ when fully open.  Get yours at: http://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/products/calendar-big-cat-rescue

2017 Calendar, big cat photos


 People Often Ask

I mentioned that I wanted to help big cats and someone at Big Cat Rescue suggested I become an Advocat.  

What is an “Advocat?”

We use the term “Advocat” to describe people who care enough about the plight of big cats to add their voice to help stop abuse of big cats. The seven easy ways you can do this are listed below. Our successes prove the power of many people expressing their opinion. You are not helpless – your voice CAN make a real difference!

In this video the first 10 minutes is an overview of how Big Cat Rescue got started.  This is very informative, even if you already know how we got started this 10 minutes is still interesting.

The rest of the video talks about what an Advocat is and what an Advocat does.


 Big Cat Challenge

Put your answers in the comments area at the bottom of this page.  Today’s challenge has two questions.

QUESTION ONE:  What are the three key issues that every Advocat should know about?  HINT:  You can find the exact answer stated in the video above in the “People Often Ask” section.

QUESTION TWO:  After watching the video above, in your own words, what is an Advocat?


You can find out more interesting and helpful info about being an Advocat on this page:  http://bigcatrescue.org/get-involved/volunteer/advocats/


Prize Info:  Everyone who correctly completes this challenge between 3:00 PM 1/12/2017 and 3:00 PM 1/13/2017 will get a printable hi-resolution photo file of one of Amanda Tiger.


 BigCatTV.com Videos


VIDEO:  Do Wild Cats Like Toilet Paper?

This FUNNY video was original posted on BigCatTV.com in April 2014


 Viewer Videos From Explore.org/bigcatrescue

VIDEO:  Nikita’s Bathtime 1/11/2017

Have a good day! I love the end when she gets angry at her own foot. By Shawna


VIDEO:  Coaxing Charaka to Eat More 1/9/2017

By Shawna

NOTE From BCR:  The rod that you see being used is a back scratcher and she is not poking him but is giving him little scratches/rubs to distract his attention so he leaves his surgical area alone.  The other rod loking thing is a wood stick with a rounded end (called a feeding stick) to hold meat treats on it.


VIDEO:  Dr. Justin Visits Charaka 1/9/2017

By Shawna


VIDEO:  Karma With Luke & Leia in Kitten Cabana 1/11/2017

By Ruxandra


VIDEO:  Andy Enjoying His Evening 1/11/2017

By Susann


VIDEO:  TJ’s Breakfast Walk 1/12/2017

By Susann


VIDEO:  Handsome Tiger Incoming 1/12/2017

By Susann


VIDEO:  Big Yellow Ball Needs a Little TLC 1/12/2017

By Susann


VIDEO:  Nikita Up Close & Personal 1/12/2017

By Susann


VIDEO:  Luke & Leia Playtime 1/12/2017

By Susann


VIDEO:  Nikita, Keeping It Clean 1/12/2017

By Susann


VIDEO:  Bobcat Stretch in the Sunrise 1/12/2017

By Susann


VIDEO:  Andy in Stalker Mode 1/12/2017

By Susann



 Big Cat Facts – Black Footed Cat

Common Name: Black Footed Cat
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata (Vertebrata)
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Felinae (Felis)
Species: nigripes

Life Span: Captive black footed cats have lived up to 13 years.

Sub-Species: Some sources list a southern subspecies, Felis nigripes thomasi, but today many authorities question the validity of this subspecies.

Size and Appearance:  The black-footed cat is perhaps the smallest species of wild cat in Africa, black-footed cats average only 2.4 lb. to 4.2 lb. when fully grown. As with many other animals the females are usually smaller than the males.


Head and body length (not counting tails): The males are around 14 to 17 inches long. Their tails are about 6 to 8 inches long. Again females are normally smaller than the males.

Height: The males are usually around 8 to 10 inches tall when measuring that the shoulder.

Coloration: Overall they are buff-colored with heavy black oblong spots, and the legs have thick dark stripes or “ring bars” on the legs, the tails and the neck of this fascinating little wild cat.

Paw Coloration: The underside of the paw and the paw pads are black. That is where their name comes from.

Skin Coloration: The skin of these cats are different from other wild cats because their skin is pink.

Ear Coloration: The back of their ears are has the coloration as the background of their coats do.

Eyes: The have really big eyes.

Habitat: Black-footed cats are nocturnal inhabitants of the arid lands of southern Africa, and are typically associated with open, sandy grassy habitats with sparse scrub and tree cover. Although poorly studied in the wild, optimal habitat seems to be savannah areas having long grass with high rodent and bird densities. During the day, they live in abandoned burrows dug or in holes in termite mounds.

During the course of a year males will travel up to 8.5 sq. mi. while females travel up to 4 sq. mi. A male’s territory overlaps the territories of one to four females.

Distribution: Black-footed cats are native to arid regions of the southern parts of Africa like Nambia, Zimbabwe, Angola but not is the driest or sandiest parts of the Namib or Kalahari deserts. Before its numbers decreased so much it had once been known to inhabit Botswana. Sadly, none have been seen in Botswana for a long time.

Reproduction: Females reach sexual maturity at about 8 to 12 months. They are in estrus for only a day to two at a time during which on a few hours of that are they receptive to mating. They can have two litters a year.

Offspring: Females usually have 2 kittens but sometimes have three kitten or just 1 kitten. It is quite rare but it happened that there were four kittens in a litter. Gestation is about 63-68 days. Kitten weigh about 2 to 3 ounces at birth. Kittens are blind and totally dependent on their mothers.

Black-footed kitten develop more quickly than domestic kittens. They have to because the environment they live in can be dangerous. They start walking at about two weeks of age. When they are about a month old they start eating solid food and are weaned at about two months of age.

Kittens are born and raised is a burrow type den. Mothers will often move the kittens to new locations after they are about a week old.

They are independent when they are four or five months old. They may remain in their mother’s territory for a while after becoming independent.

Social System Behavior and Communication: Little is known about this species but like most other small cats, black-footed cats are solitary and come together only for breeding. Black footed cats are extreme unsocial. These cats are rarely ever seen. They will flee and take cover at the smallest hint of something or someone coming.

Their calls are louder than those of other cats of their size, presumably to allow them to call over relatively large distances. However, when close to each other, they use quieter purrs or gurgles. If they feel threatened they will hiss and even growl.

It is believed they are strictly nocturnal being active between sunset and sunrise. During the daylight hours they rest is densely covered areas. They have been known to spend the daytime hours in unoccupied burrows of springhares, porcupines and aardvarks. They will dig in the sand to adjust those burrow and dens to get them just the way they want them. They have also been found resting in hollow termite mounds during the day.

If a black footed cat is cornered they can be quite fierce. Because of that behavior they are sometimes called miershooptier when translated means ‘anthill tigers’.

They mark their territories with scent by spraying urine. Males may spray up to a dozen times in an hour. They also scent mark by clawing and rubbing on things. They will also mark their territories by leaving their poop where others can easily see it.

Hunting and Diet: In nature, their diet consists mainly of small mammals and birds, insects, arachnids, and reptiles. In captivity many cats are fed commercial feline diets and mice, and further investigation into their nutritional requirements is warranted. They hunt by a stalk, run and pounce method, or they wait outside of rodent holes for their prey. They can travel up to 5 miles a night while hunting.

They have higher energy requirements than the other African cats because of this they may kill and eat 14 small prey animals in a night.

They usually hunt rodents and small birds. Although it is not their preferred prey they are capable to taking down white quilled bustards. Even though the Cape hare is larger than the black footed cat it can take one down.

They will occasionally hide some of their dinner for later.

These cats hunt by stalking and sneaking up on their prey. Sometimes, instead of stalking they will flush their prey out of their cover and pounce on it.

They have been observed waiting quietly with their eyes closed outside of rodent dens and burrows. Their eyes may be closed but they are not sleeping. Every sense is awake and alert just waiting for the slighted sound or movement of the emerging prey animal.

Interesting Notes:

Something that is different about black-footed cat is that they are poor climbers. They are not interested in tree branches. The reason for that is their stocky bodies and short tails make tree-climbing awkward.

They get all the moisture they need from their prey, but will drink water when it’s available.

The black footed cat is known for its bravery and tenacity.

Principal Threats: Little is known about their real status in the wild, and farmers seldom report capturing black-footed cats in problem animal surveys. Indiscriminate methods of predator control may be a significant threat as poison baits and traps set for African wildcat and jackal could easily be a threat because black-footed cats readily scavenge. A similar threat is poisoning locusts which are a preferred food. They have few natural enemies in agricultural areas except jackals and caracal, and may be more common than originally suspected. The loss of grassland due to overgrazing by livestock is prevalent throughout the species’ range may well be their biggest threat, as may be habitat deterioration that led to reductions of the cat’s small vertebrate prey base.

Status: Is listed as Vulnerable by IUCN since 2002. The black-footed cat is one of the lesser studied wild cats of Africa. Felis nigripes is included on CITES Appendix I and protected by national legislation across most of its range. Hunting is banned in Botswana and South Africa.

Felid TAG 2003 recommendation: Black-footed cat (Felis nigripes). One of the most popular small-sized felids, the black-footed cat has unique renal concerns that may be stress or diet- related. These problems may be detrimental to longevity in zoos. Recent research holds promise for this species, and additional importations are possible. With both a regional and international studbook in place, an SSP is recommended with a target population of 80 individuals.

How rare is this cat ? The International Species Information Service lists 21 worldwide in cages, with 21 being in the U.S.

Information taken from IUCN Status Survey and Feline Facts (SOS Care)


 Captioned Photo To Share On Social Sites


 Global Cat News


Poachers killed more tigers in the forests of India in 2016 than any year in the last 15. The spike is linked to demand for tiger parts in China, where the endangered animal’s bones and skins are regarded as exotic luxury items.  http://e360.yale.edu/feature/as_chinese_luxury_market_grows_upsurge_in_tiger_poaching_india/3069/


 Big Cat Kids

Each day you have been getting two new pages from the coloring book made by Michele Katz ( CreationsByMit.com ) for an event we did a few years ago called “March For Lions.”  Each day you will get two new pages.

a-playballQuick Link Reminders

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