White cats are not limited to small to medium size felines you could cuddle at home. There are also big white cats, which you should also consider family to your pets. These big cat counterparts are termed wild cats for they commonly thrive in the forest. They are not usually adopted as pets due to their high or violent temperament.
Different species are referring to wild white cats. Conclusively, the cats are considered part of the Felidae family, which is a biological classification. There are sub-classifications under the Felidae family, which are feline and pantherine. The former is inclusive of wild cats present 25 million years ago.
White Cheetah: Still the World’s Fastest Animal
The white cheetah is just a variation of the normal Cheetah, which comes in a distinctive pattern. The fastest animal could run as fast as 70 mph. They could also swim, but they do not prefer doing so.
For over 5,000 years, this big cat has been in captivity. Sumerians were the first to tame this animal. According to experts, it is the easiest to domesticate among exotic cats. History showed that it served as a hunting partner in Asia before Libya’s Assyrian Dynasty.
Snow Leopard: The Endangered Species in Central and South Asia
White Leopards are called Ounce or Snow Leopards. The animal is one of the threatened species in Central and South Asia. As of 2003, the population of adult Snow Leopards is just 4,080 to 6,590. Only 2,500 adults may be reproducing in their habitats.
The wild cat is usually found at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 meters. They inhabit alpine and subalpine areas. Nonetheless, you could also find them in lower elevations in northern countries.
White Cougar: America’s Mountain Lion
White Cougar is also called White Panther. There are several species under this big cat breed. In some parts of North America, it is named Cougar. Alternatively, in South America, it is called Jaguar.
The big white cats are the results of leucism, albinism, or chinchilla mutation. They are not selectively bred, which makes them more aggressive than an average big cat.
White Tigers: The Popular Bred of Bengal Tigers
In contrary to popular belief, White Tiger is not a result of albinism. It occurs when two Bengal tigers have recessive genes, which produce the coat color of the big cat. This is the reason why it is considered a sub-species of Tiger.
The White Tigers are rare, but could still be found in animal sanctuaries and zoos. These beautiful felines attract visitors the most. It could weigh up to 300 kg and may grow up to three meters in length.
White Lion: The Species Animal Welfares Aim to Reintroduce
Similar to White Tiger, White Lion is not a result of albinism. It is a rarity in genes, particularly in Kruger Park/ Greater Timbavati Region. At present, the lions are classified under Panthera leo species according to Convention for the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
In 2006, after its technical extinction, the White Lions continued to reproduce in Timbavati and nature reserves near the areas. This further proved that its gene still exists.
Similar to normal white cats, big cat species are extra special. They also need care and attention to survive. At present, more and more animal welfare organizations are pursuing big cats protection programs.