White Tigers are a large and powerful animal that can weigh up to 300kg and reaches more than 3 meters in length. Unlike the white variations found in other animal species, white tigers are not an albino, as they carry some form of pigment that creates their fur color. Like other tiger species, white tigers have black or dark brown stripes that run vertically along its body, the pattern of which is unique to both the Tiger species and the individual. Along with the change in fur colour, the gene carried by the White Tiger's parents also means that they have blue eyes rather than the green or yellow coloured eyes of normal Bengal Tigers. Despite the beauty of the White Tiger's fur, it does in fact give these individuals a disadvantage as they are not so easily camouflaged into the surrounding jungle.
Cheetahs have exceptional eyesight, so it hunts using sight by first stalking it's prey (from between 10 to 30 meters away), and then chasing it when the time is right. Cheetahs often kill their prey in vast open spaces but tend to drag it into a hiding place to prevent it from being scavenged by other animals. Cheetahs have to do this as it cannot eat it's prey straight away, due to the fact that they are immensely hot after the chase and need time to cool down before they can feast. Cheetahs are carnivorous animals, meaning that they only hunt and kill other animals in order to get the nutrition that they need to survive.
The Ocelot is a medium-sized small cat that is native to the jungles of South America. The Ocelot is also known as the Painted Leopard due to the beautifully distinctive markings on it's fur as it displays dark rosettes, along with spots and stripes. Similar in colouration to the much smaller but closely related margays, ocelots were nearly driven to extinction in the 20th century as they were commonly hunted for their fur. Today however, national protection throughout much of their natural range has meant that the ocelot population has been able to recover somewhat. Ocelots are a strong and agile cat that can not only climb and run well but they are also good swimmers as they are not afraid of water like numerous other cat species.
Leopards are not only the widest ranging of all Big Cats but are actually one of the most adaptable and are found in a variety of different habitats. Commonly found throughout sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia, there are also small and isolated populations of leopard inhabiting remote geographic locations in the Far East, Northern Africa and Arabia. Leopards can be found inhabiting numerous different areas providing that there is a good source of cover and an ample supply of food including tropical rainforests, tree-lined savannah, barren deserts and mountain highlands. One of the reasons why they are thought to be still surviving successfully throughout much of their natural range is that leopards have adapted to the growing presence of people and are known to both live and hunt in areas close to urban activity. However, in some parts of their natural range populations are threatened by loss of their natural habitats to both deforestation and growing settlements.
Despite the fact that most jaguar cubs are generally born between the months of December and March, it is not not common for them to be born at other times of the year. During the mating season, female jaguars will use loud vocal calls to attract a male into her territory. Female jaguars typically give birth to two or three cubs. Once their cubs are born however, the female jaguar will not tolerate the male in her territory as she becomes very protective of her young at this stage. Jaguar cubs are born blind and gain their sight after about two weeks. At 6 months, the Jaguar cubs will then start to accompany the female jaguar on hunts but will not venture out on their own until they are one or two years old and have established a territory for themselves.
The lynx tends to inhabit dense shrub and grasslands in the forests of North America and parts of Eurasia. The lynx hunt small mammals, birds and fish, and the lynx are prey to few predators. Although the lynx is a ground mammal, lynx are often known to climb trees or swim in order to catch their prey. Lynx hunt small mammals, birds and fish but prefer to hunt larger mammals like reindeer, deer and elk if the lynx can find and catch them. The lynx has large paws which help the lynx to balance and also give the lynx more power when pursuing potential meals. The lynx also has extremely acute hearing which allows the lynx to hear oncoming prey and predators over long distances, and the lynx also has a strong jaw and sharp teeth which the lynx uses to bite down on its prey.
Lions are unique among cats as they live together in strong social groups. A pride is made up of 5-15 related females and their cubs along with a generally single male (small groups of 2 or 3 though are not uncommon). Male Lions patrol a territory of around 100m² marking trees and rocks with urine and roaring to warn off intruders. Despite their enormous size, male lions actually do hardly any of the hunting as they are often slower and more easily seen than their female counterparts. The lionesses in the pride hunt together meaning that they are not only more successful on their trips, but they are also able to catch and kill animals that are both faster than them and much bigger.
Cougars are the fourth biggest feline in the world behind the lion, tiger and jaguar. The cougar, which is also commonly referred to as a puma, mountain lion or panther, is the second largest cat in North America. Unlike other big cats, however, the cougar cannot roar. Instead, the large feline purrs like a house cat. Cougars prey on large mammals such as moose, deer, elk and stray wolves, and can often go for long periods of time without food. Cougars are also well known for their amazing ability to jump up to 30ft. Cougars tend to have between 1 and 4 cubs, generally during the spring and summer time when the adult cougars are hunting well again after the harsh winters. A cougar typically lives until it is about 20 years old.
A margay coat is brownish yellow through tan, with black spots, stripes and blotches running along their body. Their long, heavy tail helps in balancing while moving from tree to tree. In some areas, Margays hunt, sleep, and even have their young in trees. They are nocturnal, due to their big eyes, and most of their hunting is done above the ground. Their broad, soft feet and toes allow them to hang from tree limbs by one hind foot, and flexible ankles can rotate the foot 180 degrees outward. They are exceedingly quick, and even during a fall they can grab hold of a branch with one front or hind paw and climb up again. In some areas, Margays hunt, sleep, and even have their young in trees. A kitten's eyes open at about two weeks of age.
The serval is a medium-sized species of cat that is found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, mainly in covered areas that are close to water. Thought to be most closely related to the African Golden Cat and the Caracal, the serval is one of the most distinctive felines on the African continent with its spotted fur and long limbs giving it the appearance of a small Cheetah. Servals have excellent smell, sight and hearing. This helps them to detect prey both in the long grass and even underground, with their large and rounded ears being able to rotate independently to find small animals nearby. Although the serval is not considered to be at any great risk in the wild, they are being subjected to increasing levels of the loss of their wetland habitats which has led to population declines in certain areas along with having been extensively hunted for their fur.