World’s smallest wild cats are born in wildlife sanctuary

We usually call wild animals like lions and tigers “big cats,” because while they’re all part of the cat family, we need to distinguish them from our household pets.

But some “big” cats are actually very tiny—you could easily mistake them for the housecats and kittens in your own backyard.

The rusty-spotted cat, for instance, is known to be one of the smallest members of the cat family, growing to be only 14-19 inches long. They’re also incredibly rare endangered species.

So it’s a big deal that two new rusty-spotted cats were just born… not to mention they’re pretty adorable, too:

The cats were born at the Porfell Wildlife Park and Sanctuary in Cornwall, England.

While the sanctuary does not normally breed animals, they got to take in a pair of rusty-spotted cats last summer.

It was a rare opportunity to care for the species: these were only 2 of 40 in captivity around the world. The cats are native to India and Sri Lanka, but has been affected by a loss of habitat, as well as occasional hunting.

But eight weeks ago, the at-risk species got two new members when the cats gave birth to two cubs in the sanctuary.

Their mother is so protective that they don’t know the gender of the cubs, but the sanctuary is thrilled with the development.

“She has done a fabulous job at raising them and continues to be very protective of them,” Porfell Wildlife wrote on Facebook. “We are over the moon with the new babies as the majority of our animals are old and here for retirement.”

Like every other zoo and wildlife park, Porfell has reduced operations during the coronavirus pandemic, but wanted to break the happy news to their followers and thank them for their support.

What great news! We’re so glad this species has two new members… and adorable ones at that. Share this story!