Learning Curve

Scientists around the world are racing to understand how cat populations are affected by habitat loss, illness, and other factors pushing them toward extinction. The more we understand, the better we can protect the resources they need to survive and thrive. Help us learn more, so we can help more.


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Wild cats are found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica.

Black-footed cat

The black-footed cat is Africa’s smallest cat species, weighing a maximum of 6 pounds. They are only found in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa.



A Lot to Learn

Tigers, cheetahs, leopards, and lions are iconic, and most people are familiar with the big cats of the world. Smaller cats are just as vital to their ecosystems, but are vastly understudied by comparison.

Small cats tend to adapt more easily to manmade environments than big cats are able to, but because they are small and elusive, they can be easily missed. While we understand some of the threats that small cats face, there’s still a lot that we don’t know. What we do know is that many small cats are now considered endangered or vulnerable, and we have to act quickly if we’re going to save them.



Pallas' cat, also called a manul

The Pallas' cat, also called the manul, is a small wild cat found in the high altitude grasslands and steppes of Central Asia.


Small cat species.

Living in the Shadows

Small cats are found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica, but many species remain just as mysterious today as when they were first discovered by science, hundreds of years ago. In some cases, small cats are overshadowed by the well-known big cats with whom they share habitat. This is the case for the little-studied Pallas’ cat in the mountains of Central Asia, whose territory overlaps the iconic snow leopard’s.

We know small cats are adaptable—they’ve been seen sharing habitat with other cat species, big and small. But in many cases, we don’t know what they eat, how they hunt, or when they breed. Such an incomplete understanding of a species makes it hard to protect. Now it’s a race against time to learn as much as possible.

To protect wild cats and ensure their survival, we’ve launched the Global Cat Conservancy™. Help us kick off this lifesaving effort.

Your tax-deductible gift to the Global Cat Conservancy™ will help fight poaching and wildlife trafficking, protect humans and wild cats from deadly clashes with each other, and help scientists find cures for life-threatening diseases that are devastating wild cat populations.



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A cheetah in the wild