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Turns Out There’s A Species Of Wild Cat Whose Adults Look Like Kittens Their Entire Lives

These adorable faces belong to the soon-to-be-world-famous sand cat. Calling the deserts of North Africa, Arabia, and Central Asia home, these felines have been conquering the Internet lately. And it’s all for one very good reason…
See, over countless generations, these sand cats have evolved to be able to thrive in dry climates. More importantly, however, is that they’ve developed a skill that is enough to make even the least-vain house cat jealous.

That skill? Well, as you might have noticed by now, the sand cat is essentially a permanent kitten! These wild cats seem to have located some sort of fountain of youth, and it’s one of the reasons why people are absolutely head-over-heels for them!
That’s not the only thing that’s special about them, however. Complete with adorably oversized ears—which let them hear possible prey scuttle across the sand—and the ability to survive in temperatures ranging from 23 to 126 degrees Fahrenheit, these tiny cats are seriously awesome.

While their massive ears serve a pretty critical function, it’s hard to ignore the fact that they’re one of these animals’ most distinct features. They make sand cats look like the cutest darn creatures on the planet, don’t they?
Still, it’s their agelessness that truly makes them stand out. The adults look like large kittens. Obviously, these cats do age, but they’ve somehow figured out how to avoid showing it! What’s their secret?
While these creatures are undeniably adorable, life isn’t as easy and carefree for them as it should be. Due to factors like the illegal pet trade, hunting, and loss of habitat, sand cats are now a threatened species.

While admiring their cuteness is all well and good, there’s something else that we can do to help them and that’s to spread the word about their predicament. If more people know about their plight, then these fine felines might start receiving the love they deserve…
Sand cats have lived in relative obscurity for centuries, and this has kept them safe—until recently. Though plenty of organizations work night and day to protect the sand cats, they hope that sharing pictures like these will help inspire others to join the cause.

Thanks to the attention they’re receiving these days, things are looking up! Who could ever look at this goofy face and not want to do everything possible in order to protect this species?
Looking at these sleepy sand cats, it’s tough to imagine there was ever a time when they weren’t on our radar. While sand cats might not live in your particular corner of the world, there’s no excuse for not knowing about them.
Hopefully, animal rescue organizations such as Big Cat Rescue can use the power of the Internet to ensure that the sand cat is around for generations to come. Until sand cats are no longer in danger, you can be sure they will be fighting this fight with their claws out!

After all, the sand cat has so much to offer. Despite weighing between three and seven-and-a-half pounds, these tiny felines aren’t to be trifled with. In fact, they’re incredibly talented hunters of snakes—including the venomous kind!
That’s not all that’s unique about these eternally young cats. For example, did you know that the sand cats’ extra-wide paws are designed to help keep them from sinking into the sand when they walk?
Sadly, sand cats are exceptionally difficult to breed in captivity. While efforts have been made to bolster their numbers, they usually don’t live beyond the age of 10 when kept in captivity. This is yet another reason why protecting their natural habitat is so essential.
Given their hunting skills, the sand cat’s diet is clearly a little bit less than conventional. In addition to eating venomous snakes like the sand viper, they’re known for chowing down on rodents and small lizards.
While their diet may be a bit different from the kibbles your house cat eats, there are some amazing similarities. Have you ever noticed your cat scratching around his bowl after a meal? The sand cat does this, too—except they actually cover their leftovers with sand to save them for later!

However, your cat is probably not featured in any holy books! The sand cat, meanwhile, is listed in the Quran as a fine companion to the prophet Mohammed and his daughter during their trip in the desert, which gives you a hint about their historical significance.
Furthermore, some ancient legends claimed that sand cats didn’t need water to survive, but the truth is more complicated. Sand cats don’t require a lot of water to survive, but they do need it. In tough times, they can survive on the fluids found inside their prey.
There’s no doubt about it: sand cats are truly exceptional creatures! From the tips of their ears to the pads of their big paws, there’s no other feline out there quite like them. Let’s all do our part to help keep them around for years to come!

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