Tigers

Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Species: Panthera tigris
Status:  Endangered

There are currently 6 living subspecies of Tigers, including the Sumatran (smallest and darkest in color), Siberian (also called Amur and are the biggest and lightest in color), Indian (also called Bengal), South China, Malayan, and Indo-Chinese.  Three subspecies of Tigers have become extinct and they are the Java, Bali, and Caspian tigers.   All of Catty Shack’s current resident tigers are Siberian.

Life Span:  up to 15 years in the wild;  20-25 years in captivity

Diet:  Wild tigers average a large kill about once per week and in a single night can eat as much as 60 lb of meat (though the average meal is 33-40 lbs)!  Wild tigers often bury the remains of their prey in an attempt to hide it from scavengers and will then come back to it later for another meal.  Catty Shack tigers eat roughly 10-15 pounds of food five to six nights a week.  The Catty Shack Ranch follows the USDA guidelines and feeds according to their body weight. They also follow strict nutrition requirements from their veterinarians and also add vitamins and minerals to all their food.  Their menu is primarily chicken and red meat. Catty Shack only feeds processed meat, never live.

Size:  Siberian tigers are the largest tigers in the world and can grow to almost 11 feet from nose to tail tip.  Females typically run from 300 to 400 pounds, while males average anywhere from 400 to 600 pounds.  At Catty Shack, the weight of our tigers is strictly monitored to ensure that our residents maintain a healthy weight.

Reproduction:  Mating can occur throughout the year and typically lasts for several days before the male and female go their separate ways.  Females deliver cubs after a gestation period of 100-112 days and bear litters of two to six cubs.  The cubs weigh just over two pounds at birth and nurse until they are six months old. Cubs gradually become more and more independent and at about two years of age strike out alone to find their own territory.  Adult females generally produce a litter every two years.  In the wild, roughly 50% of cubs survive to independence; however, only 20% of cubs live to establish their own territories.

Habitat and Numbers:  In the wild, female Siberian tiger territories average 200 square miles, while male Siberian territories are proportionately larger. Siberian tigers prefer coniferous, scrub oak, and birch woodlands. Wild tigers have lost approximately 93% of their historic range with a 45% loss in just the past 10 years.  As few as 3200 tigers still exist in the wild and populations are at a growing risk due to human encroachment, habitat loss, and poaching. In captivity there are an estimated 5,000 tigers in the U.S. alone, though only a small portion of that 5,000 exist in zoos or other sanctuaries.

Other fun Tiger facts:
– Tigers don’t like getting water in their eyes, to the point that they’ll actually enter the water backwards to prevent this from happening.

–  Tigers are also powerful swimmers, and have been known to cover up to 20 miles in a single outing!

–  A tigers most developed sense is hearing, but they also have excellent binocular and color vision, including the ability to see six times greater at night than a human can.

–  A tiger’s canine tooth can grow up to three inches!

–   A chomp of a tiger’s jaws can generate pressures of up to 1,000 pounds per square inch, which is enough to crunch through the vertebrae of any animal!

–  Most tigers have over 100 stripes!

–  A tiger can run at speeds up to 35-40 mph and can leap distances up to 10 meters.

–  Though tigers are solitary, if any are found in groups the proper term for multiple tigers is a “streak” of tigers.

All About Golden Tabby’s!
Catty Shack has one lovely “Golden Tabby” tiger in residence named Topaz.  Golden Tabby’s (also known as Strawberry Tigers) are very rare, with only 40-50 remaining in entire world.  The golden color variation is caused by a genetic recessive gene mutation know as Erythrism, where all black on the tiger is replaced by orange or brown.  Golden Tabby’s tend to be softer with thicker fur than the normal color tiger.  Like white tigers, all Golden Tabby’s have a Bengal parentage, though through massive interbreeding through the Bengal and Siberian species, most Golden’s, Topaz included, have a lot of Siberian in them.  Though possible in the wild, it is believed that all living Golden Tabby’s are in captivity.

All About White Tigers!
Catty Shack has two beautiful white tigers in residence, and they are Hercules and Nokia.  White tigers are produced when both parents carry the heterozygous recessive gene for it, though the gene itself occurs in only one out of 10,000 births.  White tigers are not albino, since they have dark stripes, but they do have blue eyes and pink noses.  Like Golden Tabby’s, all white tigers have a Bengal parentage, though through massive interbreeding between Bengal and Siberian species, a lot of white tigers have a good amount of Siberian in them.  Our two white tigers, Hercules and Nokia, have a lot of Siberian in their lineage.