Saturday 31 October 2020

Cat heads follow the action through 'cat television'

This is a particularly good example of cats following action with their heads. You will see a lot of videos on the Internet like this but they won't be as good as this one. I really like this example especially the middle cat. Watch his or her head. He's really intrigued about what is going on. They seem to be full-time indoor cats and they are watching cat television as the experts call it. This means looking out through a window at the activities taking place outside. Cat TV is a great way for a full-time indoor cat to be entertained and stimulated. Make the area by the window comfortable so a cat can spend long hours there if they want to. And notice how the sun passes through windows to find the best spots to place cat beds to give them as much time as possible in the warmth of the sun.

Friday 30 October 2020

My cat catches a rat but doesn't want to eat it

In the video I ask whether my cat has caught a large mouse or a rat. I am now convinced that it was a rat because not soon afterwards my neighbour started to poison rats because they were chewing at the roots of her roses. In doing so she threatened the lives of a number of cats who walk along a right of way behind her house including mine. She also threatened the lives of two foxes and two badgers. Why were they threatened? Because it takes about three days for a rat poisoned by the poison used to die and in that time they can be caught and eaten and thereby poison the predator which eats it.

So my cat caught a rat and he didn't want to eat it. This happened later on as well. In contrast, he eats mice very quickly once he has caught them. So is there something about a rat which is unappetising to cats in general or my cat in particular? There may well be. It may be something to do with the way the carcass smells. Perhaps this rat was poisoned and my cat could smell the poison. Who knows? 

The important point, though, to make is that domestic cats and stray cats can be a deterrent to the presence of rats. A lot of people say that domestic and stray cats don't have the stomach to fight and compete with a big rat. There is some truth in this but it depends upon the individual cat by the way. 

This said, rats tend to stay away when a domestic cat is occupying a particular place or space. A brewery in New York City keeps a couple of feral cats which had been socialised. The cats have transformed their business because their grain is no longer being gnawed at by rats. Once a bag of grain has been attacked by a rat they have to throw that bag away which is expensive. Apparently each bag of grain produces about 120 pints of beer. That's real money. In addition the presence of a cat in a workplace such as a brewery makes the place more pleasant to work in. There you go. Sometimes domestic cats are not very good with rats but they deter them and in my case my cat caught one but wouldn't eat it.

Thursday 15 October 2020

More than one tonne of plastic produced per person since 1950

The amount of plastic sloshing around the planet is equivalent to one tonne of plastic being produced by every person alive on the planet since 1950 (8.3 billion tonnes produced over the past 70 years). And clearly not enough is being done to rectify the problem. It's getting worse and worse annually. The problem is exponential. Dame Ellen MacArthur's foundation has called for an international treaty. Such a treaty would obtain the agreement of signatories to commit to doing something substantive about plastic production. Others say that it is too late to mess around with treaties. It can take years to get countries to agree to treaties and when they are signed they don't stick to the agreement. This happens all the time.

Of the 8.3 billion tons of plastic produced in the past 70 years, three quarters has become waste and a third of that has been mismanaged which includes being dumped or dropped as litter. There is 150 million tonnes of it in the oceans already and every year another 11 million tonnes ends up in the oceans. You'll find plastic in all parts of all the oceans.

Plastic pollution of the oceans
Plastic pollution of the oceans. Picture in the public domain.

Urgent action is needed. It is believed that the amount of plastic in the oceans will treble over the next 20 years. The foundation's report refers to the 1987 Montréal protocol which has helped to protect the ozone layer. There is, therefore, some history in the success of treaties such as this. Germany, the Philippines and Vietnam are three countries who have called for a treaty but other countries such as Britain, the US, Japan, Australia and Canada don't support it, including the WWF.

A treaty (to be clear this is an international agreement) would place limitations on certain single-use plastic products such as straws and set targets on recycling and how to stop the products getting into the oceans.

The problem, as reported, is that although 115 countries have set up regulations regarding single-use plastic and how to limit its damage on the environment it's having little impact. Most of the restrictions concern plastic bag usage and disposal. It's a small part of the overall problem. Beach clean ups report that only 7% of items found are plastic bags.

Some major companies support the initiative such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Mars, Tesco, Unilever and Nestlé. It is not enough. There needs to be a high level of commitment by governments. A campaign group, Changing Markets Foundation, said that calls for a global treaty were "just another delaying tactic by the plastic industry". They argue that the world needs "proven legislative solutions, like deposit systems and reuse targets".

Comment: I shop at Sainsbury's in the UK. I see little, very little commitment by this large company to limiting plastic usage. They still sell bottled water when it could be dispensed in a machine and the customer brings a non-plastic container to the shop and buys it by the litre. That's just my idea but the point I'm making is that I see almost no change in the attitude of Sainsbury's with respect to limiting plastic usage over the many years that this has been discussed. 

Other supermarkets have a similar attitude in my view. The big problem with humankind is that unless individuals are personally impacted by pollution of this kind and only if it affects their health and welfare do they lobby for change. If people can't see it they don't react to it even if it is killing them or harming them in some way or other.

Plastics are certainly killing wildlife but then again people don't see wildlife so in general people don't care about it. It's like trying to turn a juggernaut around. It just doesn't happen or it takes tens of years and which point it is too late.

What has this got to do with cats? A hell of a lot because micro-plastic particles find their way into all areas of our lives. They are in the food chain. They are in marine wildlife which humans and cats eat. Cat food I'm sure contains micro-plastic particles. It affects the health of us all both the human-animal, the domestic animal and the wild species particularly marine wildlife. It is all pervasive and you cannot dissociate the domestic cat from the problem.

Scotland's first Minister, Nicola Sturgeon says that the coronavirus is no one's fault

How can it be that the coronavirus pandemic is no one's fault? This is what Nicola Sturgeon believes or it is what she stated before the cameras at one of her coronavirus updates to the nation. There is no rhyme nor reason why she should say this. Does she believe that the coronavirus pandemic is no one's fault? Surely it must be someone's fault? It would not have happened if the relationship between people and wild animals had been better regulated in China. This catastrophic disease would not have jumped from animals to people.

Go to 13:23 on the video:

The experts state that the cause of it is abuses of nature and that abuse or mishandling to put it more kindly of nature took place in the more than 20,000 wet markets of China. These are places where wild animals are slaughtered in unhygienic places and under circumstances where the killing of animals was and probably is not properly regulated.

All the evidence points to fault being placed at the feet of the authorities who regulate how the wet food markets operate, in this case in the city of Wuhan. Clearly more evidence is needed and we may never get it because the Chinese will hide the evidence but what we have points to Covid-19, as it is now called, because transmitting from a wild animal possibly a pangolin in one of these wet markets to the human who was killing it. This released the virus to the person and other people in the wet market where it was then transmitted to other people rapidly. The disease is a zoonotic disease which is one which can be transmitted from animal to person and person to animal.

I put the blame at the feet of the Chinese government. I don't want to sound xenophobic or racist but that is where it happened and I think the world would agree with me. I will allege, and this is strictly an allegation, that Nicola Sturgeon was asked to make this very strange statement in her speech to the nation by the Chinese ambassador because he promised her investments and a possible deal if and when Scotland becomes independent or even before that. Scotland's economy is in a bad way. It was in a bad way before the pandemic and it will be worse afterward. They need help. They spend more money than they make which is what Nicola Sturgeon describes as progressive government. I'm afraid that she cannot face reality. I read somewhere that more than half the nation in Scotland do not contribute to the wealth of the nation. In other words they are takers rather than givers to the nation in terms of tax contributions. Scotland is running a big deficit year-on-year, the worst in the EU. Although they blame the UK as a whole. They are given billions under the Barnett formula which was meant to be temporary.

What has this got to do with cats? Well a lot. Cats get coronavirus. Wildcats get coronavirus. The trillions of dollars poured into trying to protect people because of the coronavirus would have been better used in conservation of the wild cat species and it would have been better used in combating climate change and many other issues regarding the natural world. Now that money will never be available. It is devastating for conservation never mind the effect that it is having on human lives.

Wednesday 14 October 2020

Sainsbury's expansion versus hedgehog conservation

Sainsbury's, in Guildford, Surrey, UK, want to expand their facilities because they need to expand their online presence having discovered that Britain is moving towards an online purchasing world. Online purchasing has been spurred on by the coronavirus pandemic as we probably all realise by now. 

Sainsbury's Guildford surrounded by hedgehogs where there are hedgehogs. Map: Google Maps.

In order to accommodate a vastly increased online delivery service, Sainsbury's have placed an application with the local authority to demolish 67 trees in a designated green space next to its superstore. The place where these trees live is important for hedgehog conservation. And as the UK hedgehog population has fallen from 1.5 million in 1995 to 500,000 in 2018 there is added pressure on conservationist to protect this much love species of wild animal.

One of those people is Brian May, the Queen guitarist. He has accused Sainsbury's of chasing profits at the expense of wildlife conservation. Their plan includes tripling their capacity for online orders and groceries. Brian May said that the site was home to threatened hedgehogs, bats, bird species and insects. He argues that Sainsbury's have made enough profits during the pandemic and to approve such a planning application would have a devastating impact upon wildlife in the area. The supermarket chain is prosperous, surely they can find an alternative place to expand in to? That is part of Brian May's submission. Also, when Sainsbury's built the superstore at Guildford their planning application contained a mitigating argument that they would leave the woodland secure. Presumably they knocked down some of the woodland in order to build the superstore. This historical aspect of the application must go against them in their fresh application.

Andy Clapham, chairman of the local Burpham Community Association said that the area was one of the few locally where hedgehogs are often seen. And the land helps to shield houses from the superstore and its car park. Sainsbury's promised to replace the 67 trees with 300 plants and install stacked timber for wildlife to hibernate and supply bird-nesting and roosting boxes. They have commissioned a comprehensive ecological appraisal and taken steps to mitigate the wildlife damage that would be incurred if their application were approved. They argue that the application benefits the local community.

Comment: I have to comment. If you take this planning application in context of a world issue with respect to deforestation and the destruction of wildlife habitat by businesses across the planet, you have to be against Sainsbury's' application. As Brian May asks, why can't they find somewhere else? Okay, it will be less convenient but businesses will have to start accepting inconvenience in the interests of wildlife conservation and creating a better world for people to live in. There's going to be mass inconvenience by businesses going forward for the next hundred years if we are to curb global warming and take genuine steps and show genuine commitment towards the conservation of wild species. It is time that businesses took a far more ethical and sustainable approach when focusing on profits. Profits should not be at the expense of the natural world. Businesses should work with the natural world because there is money to be made from that attitude.

Watching television nature programmes improves mental health

In an extension of the well-known benefits of walking in the natural environment as a means to improve mental health, researchers also believe that simply watching television nature programmes can lift your mood and spirits, reduce negative emotions and help alleviate boredom during isolation, which is particularly prevalent at the moment during this nasty coronavirus pandemic.

Watching nature TV programs benefits mental health. Picture in public domain.

If you want to go further you can buy into virtual reality and buy a headset which apparently may bring even greater benefits so say the scientists from the University of Exeter. They studied 96 participants who were subjected to short videos. They first subjected to the participants to a very boring video to try and get them bored. They were then shown video footage supplied by the BBC Natural History Unit film for Blue Planet II. It showed colourful underwater scenes of fish and corals. Some of the participants used VR headsets with 360-degree video. Others wore VR headsets using interactive graphics. All the participants reported reduced negative feelings and levels of boredom.

Those using interactive VR headsets reported increased positive feelings i.e. happiness. They also felt better connected to nature. The researchers felt that the results might benefit people who are forced to spend extended periods at home. This of course must include the elderly, infirm and those who are considered vulnerable during the pandemic in particular. It is probably true to say that there are many more people who are confined to their homes than people realise.

The lead researcher, Nicky Yeo, said that the results show that "watching nature on TV can help to lift people's mood and combat boredom".

A co-author of the study, Matthew White, which was published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology said: "We Are particularly excited by the additional benefits immersive experiences of nature might provide. Virtual reality could help us to boost the well-being of people who can't readily access the natural world, such as those in hospital or in long-term care. But it might also help to encourage a deeper connection to nature in healthy populations, a mechanism which can foster more pro--environmental behaviours and prompt people to protect and preserve nature in the real world".

The reason? Perhaps the obvious reason is that humans come from nature and therefore we are innately connected to it. If we immerse ourselves in nature we make a connection to our ancient roots which is healing to us. Perhaps it reassures us and grounds us. That is my personal theory. Another possible reason is that the unthreatening natural world triggers the parasympathetic nervous system which helps to restore the body to a calm state. And the third theory suggests that modern life over-stimulates the human which depletes attentional resources causing cognitive fatigue and a negative mood. Watching nature programmes help to restore a balance in the human being.

Monday 12 October 2020

My cat is dying. How long will it take?

People actually asked this question. What does the question tell us about the person? If the question is genuine and I have to say right away that it is Google which presents this question to me. Google  auto-completes questions for people conducting searches. Google bases its auto-completions on actual searches. Therefore, I have to conclude that somebody has asked this question and it implies that this cat owner is negligent.


If your cat is dying you should know through your veterinarian. Your vet will tell you well before your cat is entering that very last phase of their life when they are seriously ill and the question of euthanasia should be discussed. Nowadays, in a well organised home with a decent cat owner, a dying cat should be euthanised to allow their passing to be as calm and as pleasant as possible. You do not watch your cat dying because of a chronic disease and ask the internet how long it will take! Note: you should be present when the vet euthanises your cat.

The question reminds me that tens of millions of people in the West do not take their cat to their veterinarian when they should. The reason? Money is normally the reason because a lot of people who own a cat or cats do not, if they are really honest with themselves, have sufficient funds to do a good job in caring for their cat. It can be quite expensive but too many people brush that aspect of cat ownership under the carpet when they adopt. They take a chance but they will never be a really good cat caretaker no matter how much they love their cat if they do not have sufficient funds to seek the advice and the services of a veterinarian when they are required.

One last point is worth making. Nobody can answer the question in the title. You can only answer the question if you know what diseases are killing the cat. Or perhaps their cat is dying of old age. We don't know and therefore we can't assess how long it will take the cat to die. Also, we don't know the cat's symptoms so the question is pointless and frankly idiotic. This supports my original assessment about this owner being negligent. They are also stupid.

Is it true that cats only meow at humans?

I am referring to domestic and feral cats. It is not 100% true that cats only meow at humans but you will find that feral cats do not meow at each other very often. This is because the meow is a learned request by the domestic cat living in the human home for something such as food or interaction.  It's been learned over thousands of years. That's what the experts say. It is quite rare for the average person to mingle with feral cats in a colony to check this advice. But it makes sense.

Feral cat colony. All shorthairs. Photo: in public domain.

In fact the domestic cat has refined the meow sometimes so that it sounds a little bit like a baby crying. Some cats have learned that this slightly modified meow is more effective in getting their way.

Long-haired feral cats?

As an aside, you will also rarely see long-haired feral cats. Why is this? It must depend upon how long-standing the colony is. You will get new cats coming into a colony and some of them may be strays having been abandoned and these cats may have long hair. But if feral cats have had time to evolve their family over several generations, within a colony, it is argued they will normally be shorthaired cats because shorthair is more effective when living in the wild.

This, though, must only apply to countries where the climate allows it. Arguably, in very cold climates you should see long-haired feral cats. Perhaps the argument about feral cats normally being shorthaired relates to most parts of the USA, particular the south, where the climate is amenable to a shorthaired coat which requires less maintenance by the cat to keep it in good condition.

Excessively long hair, we know, is beyond the means of a domestic cat to maintain themselves. This is why owners of Persian cats have to support their cat by grooming him or her. This is an anomaly and it would never have happened under normal evolutionary pressure.

Sunday 11 October 2020

Tabby cat sits on a ledger during evacuation of Bank of England from London during WW2

Picture in the public domain at this time (deemed).

Conservation is about protecting communities of wild animals and their habitat

Sir (double Sir by the way as he has 2 knighthoods) David Attenborough explains some fundamentals of wildlife conservation. He explains too that the world leaders must work together otherwise we are sunk. Conservation is about commitment by world leaders and international cooperation. Fortunately the young are pressurising the middle-aged leaders of the world. Sir David Attenborough supports the World Land Trust because if you're going to protect wildlife you have to protect the land on which they live as a community. He explains this in this five minute video. Please watch it if you want to learn a bit more about conservation.

Friday 9 October 2020

Do cats get dementia?

Yes, as you may well know, domestic cats can suffer from dementia but we are unsure how commonplace it is because not enough studies have been carried out on domestic cats (although see below). It can be quite difficult to tell whether a cat is suffering from dementia because they compensate so well for disabilities. Vets call this condition Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS).

My beloved cat who suffered from mild dementia when at the end of her life. Photo: Michael

One reason why we might be seeing it more often nowadays than before is because domestic cats live longer lives thanks to better nutrition and health care. Spotting behavioural changes is the way to detect feline dementia symptoms. You may see CDC in cats older than 10 years of age.

Domestic cats with CDC can become disorientated, interact with people in different ways than normal, have alterations to their sleep-wake cycle, urinate and defecate inappropriately, have lower activity levels, and they may howl at night due to confusion.

Domestic cats with early-stage dementia may show confusion, anxiety and restlessness, irritability, a decreased desire to play, forget their usual routines with which you will no doubt be familiar, groom less often, have a loss of appetite leading to anorexia, vocalise more often including as mentioned above howling at night and changes in their sleep cycle.

A study found that almost 1/3 of cats between the ages of 11 and 14 showed one behavioural symptom caused by CDS. For domestic cats in the age bracket 15 over, it is believed that 50% will suffer to some degree from cognitive dysfunction.

The observant and conscientious cat owner will be able to deal with their cat if they do have dementia. It simply requires greater sensitivity and awareness of their cat's needs and to meet those needs. A diet supplemented with omega-three and antioxidants such as vitamin E and C, selenium, flavonoids, carotenoids like beta-carotene and carnitine may be recommended by your veterinarian.

Thursday 8 October 2020

Modern prefabricated homes should have a catio option

Modern prefabrication techniques for the building of homes is far superior than the way it was after the Second World War. Even some of those small prefabs, that were put up quickly, still stand today so I think we can expect good things about modern factory built homes. It goes without saying, when you think about it, that if a house is built in segments and those segments are manufactured within an enclosed space where conditions are warm and stable and where machinery is used to cut the parts accurately, that the homes are going to be of a higher quality than if they are built piecemeal by possibly unskilled or semi-skilled people in all weathers using old-fashioned techniques.

Timber prefab home which should have the catio option. Photo in public domain.

Perhaps a problem with prefab homes is their image because in the UK people perceive the prefab home as the Second World War version. Times have changed dramatically. I would expect factory built, prefabricated homes to be of substantially superior quality than conventionally built homes. And they will be cheaper and they can be erected far more quickly, perhaps in days.

The government of the UK has to build homes rapidly to accommodate a rapidly increasing population in part due to mass immigration over the preceding 20 years.

The government is considering using some of its £3 billion housebuilding fund to support this new generation of prefabs to ease the housing crisis. It is reported that the government wants to see 100,000 new homes constructed off-site in a factory in a rush to build new homes. In November, the UK government is going to publish a White Paper on this project.

With that background in mind, and knowing how beneficial some outside space is to a domestic cat if they are confined to the home, modern prefab homes should come with a catio option. What I mean is this: the manufacturers should build into their designs the option to tack on to the side of the building a catio. I would not expect this to be hugely complicated because these are, after all, kit houses built in sections.

There are very many cat owners in the UK. And the British people need to be encouraged to keep their cats inside. There is a default culture in the UK that the domestic cat is allowed to go outside no matter how dangerous it might be because of road traffic, for instance. Providing an option of a catio would encourage them to consider keeping their cats full-time indoors. In America this is an option which is often taken up partly because in that grand country they have predators such as the coyote which preys upon domestic cats.

In the UK we don't have the same animal predators of the domestic cat but we do have human activity in a much more compressed urban environment than in the USA. There's more traffic on more roads presenting an ongoing danger. I want to see Britons encouraged to consider keeping their cats inside and in this regard a catio option on prefab houses for the future would be beneficial.

Looking very long-term into the future there will come a time that even in the UK there will be calls to keep cats indoors in the interest of wildlife predation. There is talk today about domestic cats preying upon wildlife. Wildlife is under huge pressure from human activity. The domestic cat contributes to this and there is a general decline in biodiversity in the UK. I foresee a change in attitude perhaps in 20 to 30 years time. In preparation for that moment, let's consider the catio option for prefab homes.

Wednesday 7 October 2020

Are domestic cats native to North America?

No, domestic cats are not native to North America. In other words, the domestic cat does not originate from a wild cat species in North America. You can tell that because the only small wildcat that could possibly have been the precursor to the domestic cat is the ocelot which at one time lived in North America but no longer (although some people claim it still exists in America). The domestic cat could not have originated from the ocelot because it's too large. The domestic cat is a domesticated and socialised North African wildcat. So the domestic cat is native to Africa and the Middle East. The domestic cat exists in North America because they were imported by Europeans to the east coast in the 1600s.

The cat hating fraternity like to remind the cat loving fraternity that the domestic cat is an invasive species in North America. And because the cat is an invasive species and because they prey on birds there are some people who think that the domestic cat should be exterminated in North America. These are ornithologists and bird lovers! The problem with the idea that the domestic cat is non-native and an invasive species is; when do you start considering a cat to be part of the country? If a domestic cat has been in the country for 400 years I think you can say that the cat is no longer non-native. Well technically you can't say that but over such a long period of time the concept of "non-native" becomes a bit pointless.

Investing in ethical companies with a concern for the environment

The public has demonstrated a changing culture or let's say it's an ongoing process and we are perhaps at the beginning of it. People with money to invest see the advantages of investing in funds which support businesses which are run ethically and which have a concern for the environment and sustainability. It is dawning on people that you can make a profit out of sustainability and environmental concerns. There was a time many years ago when the modus operandi in the West was to abuse and use nature as much as you could get away with to enhance profits. Developing countries still have that mentality by-and-large. They state this because the West abused nature in their pursuit of economic wealth then they can do the same until they have caught up. China is an example of this.

But the West has moved on and certainly in the UK there are signs that ethical investing i.e. sustainable funds are outperforming mainstream funds for the first time. As people see that they can make decent returns from these funds a barrier to investing in them has been removed. Perhaps there was a time when you had to trade off good returns for ethical investing but that isn't the case anymore.

If the big fund managers now see the advantages of investing in good corporate governance and ethical corporate cultures might not this drive businesses into behaving more ethically? Perhaps we are creating a virtuous cycle: investors buy shares in the better companies which are concerned for the environment and in turn the companies adjust their cultures to attract investments by becoming more environmentally concerned. A virtuous cycle or circle.

There's no doubt that there was a great movement perhaps beginning with the Greta Thunberg movement and reinforced by the coronavirus pandemic, in my view. The pandemic crisis has given people time to think and they can see that abuses of nature can produce this sort of devastating catastrophe. 

It's fair to say that most people see that the pandemic started in China in a wet food market where wild animals were slaughtered in uncontrolled conditions which allowed a zoonotic disease to transmit from possibly a pangolin to a worker. It is thought that the pangolin was infected by a bat. The point is that wet markets are considered to be an abuse of nature, a careless approach to interacting with wild animals and it's come back to bite people on the bum. It is Karma if you believe in that sort of thing. I foresee a big shift in attitude within humankind for the future and soaring business in investments in companies concerned with protecting nature.

Monday 5 October 2020

Why do domestic cats have vertical pupils?

Domestic cats have vertical pupils for two reasons:

  1. On a scientific level it is said that a vertical pupil provides better depth perception which allows a domestic cat to measure distance better and/or focus on prey better. A scientific study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, decided that with vertical slits, predators see vertical lines behind the point of focus quite sharply but horizontal lines at the same distance are blurred. This allows them to have a greater ability to pinpoint prey animals.
  2. The vertical pupil in conjunction with the eyelid allows the cat to restrict light to the retina more effectively than a circular pupil under bright light conditions. The eyelid passes down the vertical pupil like a blind which, to use a photographic term, stops down the lens to a smaller aperture than normal. This is needed to protect the retina which has a mirror-like film behind it (the Tapetum lucidum), which reflects light back to magnify the capture of light so that they can see better under dark conditions.

Photo in public domain.

Saturday 3 October 2020

Pronouncing "felidae" and "carnivora"

These are two words which are often used when you're discussing cats. Some people aren't sure how to pronounce these word so I thought I would have a go myself. I made the video a long time ago. It was done very quickly as you can tell and spontaneously. The scientists like to use Latin in taxonomy i.e. the classification of the species. And they like to use Latin when sounding important! "Felidae" refers to the family of cats which are mammals in the taxonomic order called "carnivora". Taxonomy is still slightly unsettled. It has changed a lot because of DNA analysis of the species which is far more precise. Over 100 years ago the classification of the species was all done through observation and even the best scientists got mixed up sometimes. Because one species of cat can look different in different places the scientists thought they were looking at two different species. Some small wild cat species' coats look quite different depending on their location so they can be forgiven for getting mixed up. 

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