Small Tigers?: Cats Share 95.6 % of their DNA with Tigers

Small tigers, you may be able to call cats that way. A new study reveals cats and tigers share 95.6 % of DNA. So now it’s eligible for cat owners to claim their cat as almost a real tiger. Roughly 11 million years ago, DNA of big cats and domestic cats from common ancestor diverged, yet researchers found few big difference. With these pieces of evidence, how do King Johnny feels about the fact?

Small Tigers?: Cats Share 95.6 % of their DNA with Tigers


 Servant Y is at his desk working on something. Johnny comes in.

What are you up to, Y?

Y is so focused on his thing, he couldn’t hear Johnny.

Hey! King’s here! Tell me what you are up to, Y!

Y finally looked up his face from the desk, turned to Johnny.

Ohhh, I apologize for my absent-minded status. I am drawing out wild animal’s frames and figures.

Drawing? Let’s see.

Said Johnny, jumped up onto the desk and saw what’s been drawn on the sketchbook.

Hmm? Looks like me…

Servant H comes in. H looked into what is on Y’s sketchbook.

They are tigers, right?

Yeah. I’m studying structure of their limbs now.

Flying Tiger

Flying Tiger (Vexing Point)

Oh, tigers! Our brothers. They are much bigger and look cooler though…

Look at this robust body! Hmm, prey can’t be escaped by him once he was caught…

Did you know you and tigers are almost the same? You share 95.6 % of DNA with tigers.

Do we?

Johnny looks so proud of himself now.
 Servant Y shows Johnny some research papers.

Translate it.

Sure. There’s this conducted study and it reveals some interesting things. Most of behaviors resemble one another. Just like cats, tigers like boxes, groom a lot, rub up against stuff, talk and are so into catnip… such sort of stuff.

Tiger in a box

Tiger in a box (NARNIA)

Interesting. I guess those rest 5 % difference must be derived from their habitat. They have to adapt themselves to survive and thrive in their surroundings.

That’s an excellent point of view, H! I wanna know in what circumstances my brothers live! Especially this good looking fellow with the unique spotted tubby. If I could wear this pattern and this big body, I’d look much cooler…

Wow, you wanna be like him? Even you have to leave here? Are you serious, your majesty?

If I had a chance, why not? From one of the small tigers to be a real big tiger… not a bad concept. Life is an adventure.

Well, let’s see hot it goes. Let us delve into your big sturdy brothers in details, how they survive in their habitat.

Snow Leopard face

Snow Leopard (WallpapersCraft)

Snow Leopard

Mutations allow the snow leopard to thrive at high altitudes in the mountains of Central Asia. Cold and dry climate dominate this rugged mountains. Their thick hair and wide fur-covered feet protect their body from this harsh cold climate. In the Himalayas, snow leopards are usually found between 3,000 and 5,400 meters above sea level, and only grasses and small shrubs can grow on the steep mountain slopes. Snow leopards like rugged terrain of cliffs, rocky outcrops and gorges. When they sneak up on their prey, this type of terrain works in their advance since it gives clear views for their hunting.

How do you like those apples, your majesty?

Johnny remains silent.

Snow Leopard standing in the snow

Snow Leopard standing in the snow (DESKTOPIMAGES)

To be look like them, you need to survive in those circumstances, your majesty.

Johnny still keeps his silence.

Oh I forgot to mention that where there is less prey, you need to expand your range up to 1000km2.

You still wanna be like them?

Johnny finally speaks up.

Well, I have to protect my kingdom and this is something not other cats can do. This is my mission. Rest assured, Y and H, I’m going nowhere. I am here to stay!


abyssinian johnny, as a small tiger

Johnny, as a small tiger


As their DNA shows, cats and tigers have a lot in common in their appearance and behaviors. Roughly their difference is their size as we can call cats small tigers.. What we can say about them is both cats big and domestic are well adapted in each habitats and circumstances and successful enough to survive to this day. One thing about cats, it’s said cats in general have low levels of diversity have some risk in itself.

By sequencing the genomes of tigers and other endangered cats like snow leopards, “we can find whether they are inbreeding,” Bhak told LiveScience. “If their population diversity is very low, then one flu virus can kill a lot of them quickly, because they have the same genetic makeup.”

So how can we maintain cats diversity? That’s our assignment to keep this mischievous, willful and lovable creatures to have more diversity as well as to keep their species and to keep us humans happy.


Evolution of a Predator: How Big Cats Became Carnivores (livescience)
 Tiger, lion and domestic cat genes not so different (THE WILD CAT SANCTUARY)
 Cat Facts (Snow Leopard Trust)

Related Articles

Cat Loves Box: A Hunter’s Hollow?
 Wild Cats: Leopard Ecology and Behavior

Originally published at Johnny Times.

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