Shelter Cat Saturday

Eeeee look at this pretty girl! Its not often I start my blog posts with 'eeeee' :) This is Maple and she is in care with Melbourne Animal Rescue in Victoria.

She's a friendly young lady who loves a smooch and a snooze in the window. She is quite relaxed and is enjoying being in foster care with another adult cat. She had three kittens in tow when she first came into foster care a few months ago, and now that they're all grown up (and so cute!) and not needing mum's milk she is ready to find her own home.

If you'd like to get to know Maple you can find more about her here or get in touch with Melbourne Animal Rescue here

Lions and cheetahs and dogs - oh my! by Erin Rainey

I am under no illusions that the lifestyle to which I became accustomed to in Africa is not the norm. On one hand, it was liberating to find out just how little of the 'mod cons' I really needed to survive. I didn't know what Instagram was until I came home in 2013, I still have no idea who won or played in any AFL Grand Final from 2008-2012 and I'm sure I'd still have no idea who One Direction are if I'd stayed in Africa (#thirdworldbenefits). On the other hand, I did have to constantly stop and remind myself that the activities that became part of my job were beyond the scope of anything I would probably ever get the chance to do again. Although the most incredible experiences I had were a result of a lot of trust and a light sprinkle of insanity, there was a lot of hindsight in my job, like "in hindsight, I'm surprised that didn't end in disaster".

Teaching a pissed off, fully grown lioness to walk again after a lower back injury following a fight with another lion is definitely a unique experience. After complicated back surgery, the decision to start some sort of rehab was made. We had to get quite creative as the rehab had to rely on her motivation to move. At 180kg, I wasn't keen on allowing her to use me as structural support. And yes, she had teeth and claws and was in a lot of pain which made her rightfully cranky, so there was that. It took several months to gain Elsa's trust. At first, just the sound of my voice pissed her off, so we'd just sit in silence on either side of the fence. As her pained eased and the rehab started to show results, she would allow me closer. The pinnacle of trust was sitting along side her and brushing her coat. She LOVED to be brushed. At one stage, we had a visiting German Vet who specialized in alternative therapies and he suggested trialling acupuncture as well. All well and good for him because it took many months to gain a good relationship with Elsa so it wasn't possible for the vet to administer the treatment so my instruction consisted of the vet describing what I should feel for and just a "quick, hard flick of the needle." Although Elsa has since passed at the ripe age of 23, she did learn to walk again even if it was only short lived. I remember trying to coax her to get up and getting frustrated because it didn't matter what I waved under her nose, she wasn't having a bar of it. Then she started to move, pushing herself up from her front legs and then her hind legs lifted and she started staggering towards me at quite a pace. "Oh shit! Elsa can walk! Oh f*#%!" I forgot all my training, instinct kicked in and I ran. Elsa eventually lost her balance and fell to her side but she looked so confused and heartbroken that I had run from her.

Elsa received acupuncture 3 times/week and was rather relaxed about the whole thing

Elsa received acupuncture 3 times/week and was rather relaxed about the whole thing

We had a lot of film crews visit the foundation. And they had a lot of strange requests. I've stood in my bright yellow Tweety Pie pj's at 6am in an enclosure with nothing but a large (but nowhere near adequate) stick to defend myself and a cameraman from a pack of wild dogs that'd been riled up 'for effect.' Wild dogs have been well studied for their social and hunting habits. I'll leave those details for Sir David Attenborough to fill you in on but I will just let you know that the scientific name for the African wild dog is lycaon pictus. Lycaon is a character of Greek mythology who was punished after 'acquiring' and then offering human entrails to Zeus. It's this desire to 'acquire' that always makes me nervous around these dogs.

African wild dog (lycaon pictus). Lycaon is for the way they disembowel their prey. Pictus is because their coat looks painted (like a picture) #themoreyouknow

African wild dog (lycaon pictus). Lycaon is for the way they disembowel their prey. Pictus is because their coat looks painted (like a picture) #themoreyouknow

A large but essentially useless stick wasn't the most ridiculous form of self defense utilized to protect the welfare of high paying film crews with expensive equipment either. How about a wheelbarrow with a few rocks thrown into it? Our lions were terrified of it. "You stand there and if he come, you run at him, shaking and yelling. You got it, lady?" Frikkie casually instructed me as he let said fully grown lion out of the truck. Aaaaaand action!

Wheelbarrow? Check. They seemed more preoccupied with the cow they captured anyway.

Wheelbarrow? Check. They seemed more preoccupied with the cow they captured anyway.

The most bizarre was probably when we had a Japanese TV crew visit to film a segment for what was apparently one of the most popular 'light entertainment' shows in Japan. Now these are the people that blessed the world with Takeshi's Castle so when they came to us and said the host wanted to race a cheetah like it was the 100m final at the Olympics, all you can do is say, "Sure. Seems legit." 

When I first visited Africa as a volunteer, sleep outs were a huge highlight. You'd take a a pee stained sleeping bag (although hand raised, none of these animals were house trained), lay down in the dirt and wait. If you were lucky, the furry object of your affection would saunter over and throw all of its weight onto you and that's how they (but most likely not you) sleep for the night. When there's a fully grown cheetah perched on your chest, purring loudly and nuzzled into your neck or you're being spooned by a couple of pre-adolescent lions, sleep becomes quite counter productive to the whole experience. Plus there's the pee. When you're pinned down by 50kg of cat, you just have to grin and bare it. Then it goes cold. Mint. You try to slowly slide your leg or arm out from under the cat and reposition yourself but this is of much discomfort for your furry bedfellow and you cop a paw to the face and instead just accept the fact you're now marinating in (what feels like) several litres of cat pee.

Shelter Cat Sunday

Meet Mera, a pretty young lady currently looking for the one with Sydney's Cat Protection Society

Mera loves to smooch. She’s a confident and curious feline so will be a great addition to a busy household or a quiet home with anyone who appreciates kitty kisses. Mera would prefer to be your only pet so you can shower her with all of your attention and love.

If this smoochy tortie looks like the right kitty for you, click here to find out more or give CPS a call on (02) 9557 4818.

And while I'm at it, let me give a shout out to some dogs you've probably seen in the media this week. Greyhounds. I have been beyond disgusted at the live baiting scandal that has just come out, as I'm sure you all are too. Please sign this petition to shut down greyhound racing once and for all, and if you're looking for a dog to call your own as well, please consider adopting an ex-race dog.

Shelter Cat Sunday

This gorgeous kitty reminds me of my Bosco. His name is Marty and he is located in Victoria with Robyn's Nest Animal Rescue.

Marty is an adorable cat who's cuddly and well behaved. He has the most beautiful and hypnotising eyes that you can just stare at for ages. He's very chatty, he'll always let out a meow or a purr, when he wants food, when you pick him up, when you wake him up, or when he stares out the window. 

If you'd like to know more about this handsome boy, visit his profile or call Lorraine on 0403 143 009. Purring for Marty!

Shelter Cat Sunday

I love this guy! Look at that face! This is Tigger, located in Victoria with Maneki Neko Cat Rescue.

Tigger is a very special boy with soft tabby fur who just wants his very own person(s) to love. He's a very calm and relaxed cat who enjoys his food and games, but most of all he wants to hang out with YOU!

If you're looking for a kitty then I think Tigger sounds like the purrfect one for you! To find out more about him check out his profile or send an email enquiry.

The Feline Foundation Welcomes Susa Talan

I came across Susa Talan's beautiful work last year and knew we had to have her join The Feline Team. Luckily she agreed! Susa is a mostly self-taught artist (though she has spent time studying drawing and painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston) and she has a book coming out this year. Wear Gratitude (Like a Sweater) has a kitty on the cover and is available for pre-order now, more info here.

Susa very kindly donated her lioness in the rain drawing to us for the month of February, and it is available on tees, hoodies, phone covers and more in our shop now. 100% of all profits goes to saving cats, big and small, as always. Thank you Susa!

WINNERS! New Year GIVEAWAY

Thanks so much to everyone who entered our new year giveaway! We had a lot of entries from all you lovely people, so I'm glad I didn't have to choose the winners myself (Rafflecopter does it for me)! 

Before I announce the winners let me remind you that if you weren't one of the lucky two, but have your eye on a tee or tote etc, please hop on over to our shop and treat yourself! I'm asking on behalf of the cats of course, because every cent of every profit we make goes to them.

Huge congrats to Helen Tyack and Deedee Warner! You will both get to choose anything you like from our online merch shops. Please email me to claim your prize! hello@felinefoundation.org

Shelter Cat Sunday

Today you get to meet a king! This is King Louis, a regal young man looking for his forever home with Sydney's Cat Protection Society.

King Louis proclaims that his subjects show your devotion through head rubs – lots and lots of head rubs! He is a kind and gentle ruler. He takes a genuine interest in his lands by thoroughly surveying all of your paddocks and castles but requests that any adventures be completed by sundown and return to your castle for his sumptuous banquet by nightfall where he is to be entertained by jesters and games. He cares not for furry creatures; they hold no interest for young King Louis as he is only interested in his human subjects and their happiness.

If you're looking to add a bit of royalty to your family, you can find out more about King Louis here or call CPS on 9557 4818.

New Year GIVEAWAY!

Happy new year! We have some new products and new feline-saving projects on the horizon this year so we're celebrating with a giveaway!

We're giving TWO lucky winners the chance to win ANYTHING from any of our online merchandise shops (wine not included, sorry).

This giveaway is open to everyone around the world and starts today, Monday 19th January and will run until Australia Day, Monday 26th January. There are several entries up for grabs, some you can do every day, just enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

Shelter Cat Sunday

This is Alice in Wonderland! A pretty name for a pretty girl. She is looking for love via Sydney Animal Second Chance Inc.

Alice is a sweet loving girl who was abandoned by her owner when her owner moved out of an apartment block. Alice was rescued by one of our fabulous foster carers and has now had all of her vet work done so is ready to go to her second-chance home where she will not be abandoned again. 

If you would like to know more about this kitty, and can give her the loving FOREVER home she deserves, check out her profile or call Patricia on 0404 690 014.

Nambia? No, Namibia. Where the hell is that?! PART 2 by Erin Rainey

Read PART 1 of Erin's adventure as a volunteer in Africa here.


If Harnas was a game show I would've walked away with the million dollars AND the entire showcase. I trawled and read through every volunteer based Facebook page, every review and even ordered a book called For The Love of Wildlife. I was ready to ace this Africa thing. What I wasn't prepared for was missing my connecting flight in Johannesburg, a volunteer agency that wasn't interested in helping a hysterical and stranded tourist (what the hell did I pay these people for then?!) and 4 hours of sleep in 36 hours. How smug that the Harnas volunteer motto is: "Expect the Unexpected."

When I finally got on the shuttle bus for the final (3 hour) leg of trip, everyone was so excited and already making friends. I, however, was sleep deprived and was no doubt emitting a smell that had been carefully crafted over 2 days sans shower with undertones of stress sweating and that subtle tang that only comes from being soaked in 14 hours of recycled airplane air. I also sufferer from chronic resting bitch face. A few of the girls later told me, obviously after they got to experience my sparkling and witty personality, that they thought I was a stuck up bitch when I crawled onto that bus and were all quietly hoping I wasn't going to be sharing a cabin with them.

We were greeted at the volunteer village by the program coordinator, Frikkie. A 60-something, quite thin, almost frail-like man, unshaven with a face suitable weathered by a harsh Africa sun. You'd be forgiven for underestimating his capabilities. As a retired High School superindentant, he had a unique (and very rarely understood) way of pushing you so far beyond your breaking point and then just like that, he'd pull you back in and rebuild you. You know those boot camps they send juvenile delinquents to? Yeah, like that. Only difference was I was stupid enough to pay a lot of money and fly half way across the world to voluntarily enrol in such a program. I'm not a particularly religious person, but the amount of risks that man took, it's hard not to think that there wasn't some sort of higher power keeping watch.

Frikkie - "I will kill you, but you will learn."

Frikkie - "I will kill you, but you will learn."

I'd been on the farm for 3 days so I had received my introductory lessons in the Frikkie School of Life. I was in the office, trying to send an email and I was already late for the afternoon meeting. "Hurry up, you are late!" I heard Frikkie's voice boom behind me. Part of his whole old school thing was that any sort of technology was a waste of time. I think this was the second time that day I'd pissed him off with my new world advances. I rushed out of the office but was stopped dead in my tracks by Frikkie, who was leaning casually against a large pot plant with a lit cigarette hanging from the corner of his mouth. He looked me straight in the eyes, removed the cigarette from his mouth and said, "Come with me." The only thing worse than getting eaten alive by a lion was being reprimanded by Frikkie. A lion wants to take you out as quickly as possible, one swift 600psi blow and you'll fold like a deck of cards. Frikkie liked to play with his prey before deciding what do to with it. He lead me into the kitchen of the family home. My heart was beating. What kind of serve was I going to receive if it warranted him taking me into the house away from witnesses?! He lead me over to a large wicker basket with a blanket draped over it. I knew exactly what was in there. Four perfect little 3 day old orphan lion cubs. Barely able to muster a stumble, falling over themselves and each other, ears and eyes still closed, the only identifying feature was a piece of different colored string around each their necks. I was utterly dumbstruck and Frikkie was beaming like a proud father. "Ok." he whispered "Let's go before the others come looking for us!"

One of the cubs (Brad) at 10 days old

One of the cubs (Brad) at 10 days old

The cubs were now about 2-3 weeks old and volunteers were allowed to interact with them but they were suffering from constant diarrhea and dehydration. I thought it might be a good idea to write a 'clean hands' check list so I went into the main office to see if I could use one of the computers. When I entered the office, the only person in their was Schalk, the owner's son. Now, if I only had one word to describe Schalk, it would be "Tarzan". He is also a man of few words but can have quite an intimidating presence about him. I made a few pathetic noises and pointed at the computer. Schalk gave me a pitied look and said "ok?".

The signs went up and I quickly heard along the Harnas grapevine that Frikkie was on the prowl for the person responsible for the signs. It was late in the afternoon and I had gone over the bar to get a cold drink. Frikkie appeared on the far side of the bar and I could feel him staring at me.

"So you are the one who write the signs for my lions?" "Yes...?" "Hmmm...and what is your name?" "Erin..?" "Hmmm." He grunted as he looked me up and down. "Good." Then he got up and left.

I still maintain it was that one act of initiative that started my obsession with Africa.

The volunteers wanted a pool. 'Ok, but you will dig it out and cement it yourselves'. 2 weeks at 6 hours a day in 35 degree heat later...management took pity on us and bought a pool insert for our terribly excavated hole.

The volunteers wanted a pool. 'Ok, but you will dig it out and cement it yourselves'. 2 weeks at 6 hours a day in 35 degree heat later...management took pity on us and bought a pool insert for our terribly excavated hole.

*I must stress that none of the organisations I have been affiliated with have ever sold any lions to a third party. Although my opinions and values regarding conservation practices have changed over the years, I know without these early experiences I wouldn't be anywhere near as passionate about conserving African wildlife as what I am today. I am thankful each and every day for every single opportunity I was given whilst living in Africa. I strongly encourage anyone thinking about conservation tourism to do their research before booking, especially if traveling to South Africa as canned hunting is highly prevalent.

Do you know how to butcher a donkey. No? I do. (Food for the carnivores)

Do you know how to butcher a donkey. No? I do. (Food for the carnivores)

Shelter Cat Sunday

Meet young Bessie, a female DSH in care with the Riverina and District Animal Rescue in NSW.

Bessie came into care from a local pound as a small kitten. This poor little girl had a bit of a rough start, within a couple of weeks her and her sibling developed a horrible case of ringworm that has taken many months for fur to grow back completely. This girl now looks stunning, she has the most amazing personality, probably from all the treatment and washing she had to put up with. Bessie is in care with other cats and dogs with no problems, this beautiful easy going girl would be right at home in any situation.

If you'd like to know more about this pretty young lady, click here or call Kris on 0429 684 233.

Hissy Fits by Jessica McColl

There is roughly an eight-month gap between our two cats. We introduced Mr. Bean slowly after a two-week transition. When we first let them loose together; they played like maniacs for four hours straight. We rejoiced in the thought of kitties cuddling each other blissfully on the couch of an evening when we returned home from work. Macy even extended her fastidious grooming session to include a tidy up of Bean’s face; this is nice, we thought.

But feline relationships are complicated.

They are not like dogs. They do not ‘think’ in packs, however they certainly have a sense of hierarchy and despite the hype, they are also social creatures. Gasp. Yes, cats do enjoy the company of other cats. But it is complicated, isn’t that why we love them?

One of the reasons people assume cats are antisocial is because they hunt alone. In the world of hunting mammals, cats are pretty small – their prey is smaller still. Therefore there is not advantage to hunting together, what are they going to do, share a lizard? Now let’s turn to our vagabond friends, the street cats. They will band together to form groups. Within that group there is a structure, some cats dominate, some seem content to never vie for the position of top cat. Although, ‘top cat’ may be the wrong title, as there are often several cats in a large colony who could be classed as top cat, their position in the hierarchy often shifts subtly.

So it will come as no surprise when I tell you that occasionally I see these seemingly fearless street cats creep out of my exclusively indoor, lap cats.

Yes. It is not all roses between my cats. Sometimes they will be cuddled up on the couch together, will play with toys together and will hide together when that dreaded, life sucking monster that is the vacuum cleaner, rears it’s ugly head.

Other times, not so much.

Sometimes it turns into a hissing wrestle attack. The triggers are many; recently there was an in-house gangland war over who would get to sit in the new armchair. Yesterday they both sat happily on it. Whilst many cats are territorial over the litter box, mine will only share one. We had four at one point; they would both only go to the same one, leaving three completely clean. It is a situation that is both simple and complex.

They are not unhappy. They are exhibiting a very normal feline behavior. I am pleased to announce that, as you can see, the couch is currently being treated as shared property.

I have put into place some strategies for building their relationship. I engage both of them at the same time for mutual play. I do this by purchasing two of the same toy (usually two matching pole toys) and with one toy in each hand, play with them at the same time. Did I mention I am ambidextrous? (Well mostly when I draw or paint, I favor my right hand out of habit for writing) This may or may not make it easier to twirl both poles at once. You will have to test that one out for yourself. I also aim to get them both involved when playing with a laser pointer.

If, however, you find that your cats are not getting along at all after a recent tiff, it may be worthwhile re-introducing them. You do this in a similar way as you would when introducing a new cat for the very first time; confine one and slowly let them re-meet each other. I personally haven’t had to do this, but I keep it in my back pocket in case I ever have to.

I have considered re-introducing Macy to my husband.  Not sure which one I would confine.

Now you tell me, how do you keep the peace in your multi cat household?

Shelter Cat Sunday

This blue-eyed beauty is Mandy, and she is in care with Purrfect Match Cat Adoptions in Taree, NSW.

Carer favourite "Mandy" is a petite sweet shy seal torty point girl with gorgeous blue eyes and white socks. She takes a short while to warm to you after her terrifying ordeal of being in a pound but once she gains your trust she is warmly affectionate. Suit a quiet home with an understanding that she will need time to adapt and she will love you forever when she does come around. She needs to feel safe and secure in a home that will possibly have another gentle cat for company.

If you'd like to give Mandy the chance she deserves, click here for more info or call Lesley on 0415 222 289. Purring for sweet Mandy!

Shelter Cat Sunday

The Lost Dog's Home in Melbourne has waived its adoption fee for all cats over 3 years old until the end of the year. What better time to adopt an adult feline?!

Meet Venus, a smokey 5 year old young lady who is in desperate need of a loving home.

Beautiful Venusis an attractive cat with a sweet disposition. She simply adores being given pats and she will generally happily accept all of the pats you are willing to bestow upon her. Although Venus sometimes likes to be cuddled (especially if a simultaneous chin rub is involved) she has a preference for not being picked up and carried around a lot. It is imperative that Venus's new owners regularly brush her thick, extremely fluffy coat to keep it knot/tangle free and looking its best.

Venus is located at the North Melbourne shelter. More info can be found here or by calling (03) 9329 2755. Please share.

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to extend my Christmas wishes and heartfelt thanks for all the support this year. Its been a huge year, we have not only been able to assist in the rehoming of many needy cats, we've also been able to fund Trap-Neuter-Return projects, pay for medical needs for cats waiting to be adopted, and our biggest triumph yet - we saved the life of a leopard in Africa by funding a GPS tracking collar. THANK YOU so much to everyone who has bought merchandise, donated or participated in our raffles and fundraisers this year. We hope to do even more next year! Happy holidays to you and your loved ones, from Sarah, Bosco, Ollie, Duma and Dexter. xo

Shelter Cat Sunday

Are you looking for a furry gift to give a loved one (or yourself!) this Christmas? If so, let me please first remind you that a pet is for life, and a cat can be a 20+ year commitment. Secondly, please visit your local rescue or shelter when bringing a new cat or dog into your life. This is Tippi, and she is in need of a forever home and is located in Queensland.

Tippi was sent to the local pound in a suitcase with her 5 beautiful 4 week old baby boys after being found dumped in the local area. She also arrived there in amazingly good health and not a flea to be seen on her or her bubs. Tippi is such an impressionable young lady who quickly adapted to her foster home and was and still is friendly with everybody she meets. Tippi has also been the best Mum to her boys, taking care of them and making sure they are always fed, clean and safe.

Can you give this young mum the love she deserves? Find out more about her here or call her carer Rebecca on 0402 588 267. Hoping Tippi finds a home for Christmas!

Shelter Cat Sunday

Look at this pretty little face! This is Keeva, looking for a home with Sydney's CatRescue.

Keeva was a street kitten and got rescued from an industrial yard at approximately 12 weeks old. She is very shy and her natural instinct is to run and hide from people when they enter where she is, however, she now comes out to investigate or when called a lot sooner than she used to. She is cheeky, playful and extremely curious.

If you're looking to give this sweetie the love and patience she deserves, have a look at her online profile for more information or call her carer Kristen on 0416 922 195. 

The Cafe Crowd by Lisa Brennan

If I told you that the moment after I booked my plane ticket to Melbourne, I booked my ticket to Melbourne’s Cat Cafe – you wouldn’t think I was crazy right?

Cat Cafe Melbourne opened in July and was launched through a crowd funding campaign by Melbourne locals - Anita and Myles Loughran. Cat cafes are very popular in Japan and throughout Europe and offer a solution for people who want a pet but are unable to have them, in addition to travellers and international students seeking pet companionship. During my time with the cats, I met a guy who was on a working visa for 3 months and missing his cat at home. He was quietly delighted to spend time with these residents. There was also a group of girls who are unable to own their own cats and sat in a huddle admiring a sleeping feline, speaking in hushed tones, while they listened to him gently snore. I witnessed their happiness at being able to spend time with a furry companion – even for just a little while.

The Cat Cafe is located in a beautiful federation building at 375 Queen Street, close to the Queen Victoria Markets. On entering, you feel like you are visiting a friend’s house. Downstairs is a dedicated cafe and shop full of kitty collectables and enrichment items to Catify your home. But its upstairs you want to be – where the cats live.

To visit the cats you are required to pre book a time for your hourly visit (easily made through the Cat Cafe Website). Before going upstairs the rules are explained to you. These are pretty simple to follow and are based on Animal Welfare guidelines.

Cat Cafe Melbourne has four rambling rooms upstairs that are open to visitors and each of which are filled with comfy couches, books, cat-related decor, climbing trees, scratching furniture and loads of cat toys. The 12 residents have all been adopted from the Geelong Animal Welfare Society and The Lost Dogs Home and offered the purfect home at the Cat Cafe. They were all brought in together and seemed pretty relaxed with their environment. When it all gets too much – they have their own ‘chill out’ private room to relax/eat/wash and do all manner of cat like things.

The cats themselves are not bothered by the coming and goings of their visitors. They are obviously used to being adored and admired and, in typical cat fashion, go about their daily activities seeking out their needs. So what do you actually do? If you like the idea of having coffee and cake, sitting on a comfy couch and interacting with the cats – then this is the place for you. Only 15 visitors are allowed at any one time and there is a staff member wandering around checking on the cats, offering drinks/snacks and answering your every question. You can sit in a room where the main group of people tend to sit (the first room) or find another quieter room. My favourite was a smaller room where Lynx resided – a beautiful cuddly snoring boy who loves a tummy rub. You will find the cats wander in and out, chasing, stalking and generally being nosy about what everyone else is doing with ‘the fear of missing out’.

Apart from being a beautiful place to visit and spend some time with the cats, the Cat Cafe raises awareness for Animal Rescue groups, by not only providing a home for these rescue cats but by raising funds to donate to local shelters. They are currently running the ‘Meowy Christmas Campaign’ and are accepting food donations in store which will be given to animal shelters in the New Year. All food donated is matched by Hill's Pet Nutrition.

So my thoughts? You like cats? You like supporting local enterprises? Then you are already there.

International Cheetah Day – December 4 by Alison Lee Rubie - Part 2

Cheetahs are excellent hunters. Their eyesight is strong and they can spot prey up to five kilometres away from a mound or other vantage point. Stalking their prey until the right moment to make the chase, cheetahs will use their speed to catch and then their claws to ultimately drag the prey to the ground before biting its throat or nuzzle to suffocate it and finish it off. Though cheetahs are strong hunters, they compete with lions and hyenas that are threats to the cheetah and will often scare the cheetah away from its kill to finish off their meal. This can lead to starvation and often cheetahs will go days without food. Cheetahs only eat animals they have killed themselves. (Chinery p 294). 

Cheetahs have long been held in captivity dating back to Ancient Egyptians and Assyrians who kept tame cheetahs. These animals would be used for hunting. People in power such as emperors or kings in India were known to keep thousands of cheetahs during the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries. As cheetahs do not breed successfully in captivity, most of these cheetahs were caught in the wild and trained to hunt.

Cheetahs are now a protected species listed under Appendix I of Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). (IUCN Red List) They are protected under national legislations throughout their existing range and parts of their previous range. Unfortunately though, some countries still allow cheetahs to be killed if they are threatening livestock or endangering life.

So what can you do to help? The best way to help is to spread awareness about their plight. The more people that know the more people can help. Share this blog post on your Facebook, talk about International Cheetah Day and The Feline Foundation and their causes. Sign petitions and encourage your friends to do so as well. It’s all about being proactive. Together we can change the world.