The big cats found in the Cat House at Niabi Zoo aren’t your typical house cat. These beautiful creatures are some of the most powerful in the animal kingdom.
Leopards are the smallest of the big cats. Compared to others, the African leopard has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. They are becoming increasingly rare outside protected areas.
The jaguar most closely resembles the leopard physically, although it is usually larger and of sturdier build. Jaguars are the third-largest cat in the world behind the tiger and lion. The jaguar is a near threatened species and its numbers are declining. Jaguars are found mainly in Mexico and Central and South America, but they have also been spotted in the Southwestern United States.
Snow leopards have long thick fur, and their base color varies from smoky gray to yellowish tan, with whitish underparts. They have dark grey to black open rosettes on their body with small spots of the same color on their heads and larger spots on their legs and tail. Unusual among cats, their eyes are pale green or grey in color.