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Your morning adorable: Young sand cats make their debut at the Cincinnati Zoo

January 21, 2010 | 11:57 am

Sandcat

An adorable brother-and-sister duo recently made their public debut at the Cincinnati Zoo; Najah and Fath, young sand cats, were born at the zoo in late October and officially became part of its Cat House exhibit Wednesday.

Sand cats, of which there are six subspecies, are desert dwellers native to North Africa and parts of Asia, including Iran and Pakistan.  (Najah and Fath's parents were brought to the U.S. from a wildlife preserve in Qatar, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.)  Despite their house cat-like appearance, sand cats are actually well adapted to life in the desert; Their paws, for instance, are covered with thick hair, which helps them walk on hot surfaces and prevents them from sinking into the sand.  They can survive in temperatures as high as 126 degrees Fahrenheit!

Adult sand cats typically weigh about 4 to 8 pounds and measure around 20 inches in length (not including their tails).  At present, little Najah and Fath weigh just 2 pounds each!

See video of the kittens after the jump.

-- Lindsay Barnett

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Photo: Ernest Coleman / Associated Press
Video: CincinnatiZooTube via YouTube

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