Rare Footage Captures Sand Cat Kittens Being Cute in the Wild

Sand cats are adorable desert felines. They have big ears and big eyes, and their desert-camouflaging fur makes their look even more distinct. Like domestic cats, sand cat kittens are even more adorable than their grown-up counterparts since they still have all the species' trademark features but in a teeny tiny package!

Spotting sand cat kittens in the wild has been tricky, however. Sand cats tend to only venture out after dusk, they move quietly, and blend in well to their surroundings. But a group of researchers from Panthera stumbled into a small litter of kittens in the Moroccan Sahara in April, and they managed to film the trio in the wild. The Panthera researchers believe this to be the first such footage ever recorded.

One of the kitten seems a little more eager than the others, cautious, but still eager, about being photographed. But it eventually gets tired of the paparazzi and skulks back into the brush, hiding even more than its siblings.

According to one of the Panthera researchers, the kittens were likely too young for collaring — maybe six to eight weeks — but they did spot a collared adult female prowling around the area while they filmed. The researchers hope to follow her with camera traps and and to track her for a long period of time. Doing so could give us brand new insights into the sand cat's "reproduction cycle and offspring dispersal" methods.