Well-Hidden Sand Kittens

These three little kittens don’t need any mittens, because they live in the Sahara Desert. They’re sand cats captured on video for the first time by a team of scientists who waited all night for this perfect moment. Blending in perfectly with the desert brush, sand cats are hard to spot, and the scientific team believes this is the first-ever documentation of wild sand cat kittens in their African range.

Spotted in the wild Internet by Faye.

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22 thoughts on “Well-Hidden Sand Kittens

  1. Gigi the cat lady October 10, 2017 / 10:20 am

    When the kitten in front goes back into the brush he absolutely disappears, no wonder they never had footage of the kittens in the wild before! I must say that loud rumbling noise you hear all through it was quite annoying.

    • fkaWaldenPond October 10, 2017 / 11:39 am

      That’s them purring Gigi! 😉

      • Gigi the cat lady October 10, 2017 / 11:52 am

        Nice idea but I don’t think so. Purring has a rhythm, it goes up and down with the breathing of the cat, doesn’t matter if it’s a big or a small cat. The noise in the video sounds mechanical, just a one note rumbling.


        • Mariana October 10, 2017 / 12:39 pm

          agreed. not purring in my opinion

          • Ricky's Mom October 10, 2017 / 1:47 pm

            Yes, not purring; possibly the sound of the camera, and may not something the photo team could help. You can always mute the sound if it bugs you. I do that frequently with canned-sounding copyright-free music, which gets on my nerves more than this rumbling does. (To each his own, she said as she kissed her cow.)

            • Smartypants October 10, 2017 / 8:01 pm

              Oh, stock music and sound effects drive me nuts! Once you notice them, you can’t un-hear them.

              The TV show ‘Inside Edition’ seems to have exactly two sound effects, which they use for every story – the ‘boing’ (for anything funny or cute) and the ‘screech’ (for anything shocking or gross). They really need to expand their library of sounds!

              • Michael October 11, 2017 / 5:11 am

                It sounded like a generator to me. I kept thinking, “Their equipment should all be battery operated, why is there a generator running?” It didn’t sound like a vehicle engine (and if it had, I’d be wondering why they didn’t turn THAT off). I’m amazed the noise didn’t scare the kittens away.

                Here’s the source https://www.panthera.org/blog/2017/09/20/sand-cat-kittens-spotted-wild-first-time but if anything in all that text explains the noise, I didn’t see it. It was at night, the lighting was artificial, and they were there an hour; lights take a lot of power; maybe it WAS a generator.

                • kodalai October 11, 2017 / 10:56 am

                  I suspect the photographer and his noisy equipment was much further away from the nest than the close up focus would suggest. If he was a hundred feet away and zoomed in reeeal close, then they would neither hear nor see him.

                  • Michael October 12, 2017 / 3:33 am

                    You MUST be right — because the kittens weren’t spooked — but at night, in the desert, I’d think the sound would carry — especially given their ears (not fennec fox scale, but still pretty big). Also, they may not have seen the photographer, but they had to see the light, didn’t they? Unless it wasn’t nearly as bright as the video makes it look.

  2. debg October 10, 2017 / 10:24 am

    I love their wider-than-they-are-tall faces.

  3. allein 🐾 October 10, 2017 / 11:15 am

    The stripey tail as he climbs over his siblings and disappears!

    Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think I spied a fourth face peeking out on the right, just at the very end of the video.

    • kodalai October 11, 2017 / 11:22 am

      I saw that too — around 1:05? But I think it is just the stripey back haunch of the third kitten.

  4. Caz October 10, 2017 / 11:42 am

    I have a feeling if a ball of wool was rolled in front of them it would be shredded to nothing in .5 secs!

  5. Ricky's Mom October 10, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    That is just amazing. And my gosh, they are the very definition of cute!

  6. Kar October 10, 2017 / 3:20 pm

    I sense a plushy version coming out for Easter.

  7. Astrolabe11 October 10, 2017 / 5:04 pm

    I just had a cute-aggression moment while watching that.
    The leetle stripes next to their eyes look like spectacle arms.

  8. AB October 10, 2017 / 6:29 pm

    Had I been one of the team, I would have attempted to experimentally determine the feasibility of carrying a sand kitten home in my pocket. You know, for science.

    • 6rabbits October 10, 2017 / 10:25 pm


    • Faye October 11, 2017 / 6:01 pm

      Nomination for Nobel Prize: Somebody’s Got To Do It Zoological Sacrifice Level Five.

  9. allein 🐾 October 10, 2017 / 10:41 pm

    The best part about sand kittens is that even when they grow up they still look like kittens.

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