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This cheetah may have spotted us.

This cheetah may have spotted us.

Celebrate National Cat Day with Mpala’s Wild Kitties

Since 2005, National Cat Day has been celebrated – internationally even! – as a way to recognize the animals that give us unconditional love and/or ignore us. Mpala Live has shared photos of some of the larger, more exotic, and less domesticated cats seen around the Mpala Research Center in Laikipia County, Kenya. Let’s take a look!

Leopard (by Rob Pringle)

Leopard (by Rob Pringle)

Cat Fact: Leopards eat small hoofstock such as gazelle, impala, deer and wildebeast.

African Wild Cat (from a camera trap)

African Wild Cat (from a camera trap)

Cat Fact: The African Wildcat is a bit larger and stockier than its domesticated descendants, and is basically a pale striped tabby.

Lions (by Tui De Roy)

Lions (by Tui De Roy)

Cat Fact: The lion population in Africa has been reduced by half since the early 1950s. Today, fewer than 21,000 remain in all of Africa.

Genet at night.

Genet at night from the camera trap.

Cat Fact: The common genet is primarily a nocturnal animal. A camera trap is a device equipped with a motion sensor-activated camera used to capture photos of wild animals without the presence of researchers. The images can keep track of animal populations and study behaviors previously unseen. The images above are just a few of the thousands taken at Mpala. To learn more about the cats seen here, take a look at Mpala’s Field Guide. And then give your cat a loving squeeze if it’ll allow. EXPLORE The Complete – African Lookout Live Camera Experience