Tats 4 Cats:
Wear your Passion with Pride

Big cats need our help to survive.

Photo of a leopard tattoo in progress

Big cats have been immortalised in tattoos for generations, whether as symbols of strength, speed, playfulness, beauty or grace. Their images transcend artistic boundaries of style and culture with ease—photorealistic, Japanese traditional, watercolour, abstract, greyscale, cartoon-like, neotraditional—and from a skilled professional are the subjects of artwork to be “worn” with pride for years to come.

Maybe you have a big cat tattoo already—or you’re planning to get one.

But around the world, big cats are in decline, many on the verge of extinction (some even wiped out in the past century).

Human-animal conflict, habitat destruction or encroachment, loss of prey species, and illegal hunting and poaching are common factors in the dramatic drop of big cat populations worldwide, with all 8 “big cat” families (tiger, lion, cheetah, leopard, jaguar, snow leopard, mountain lion, and clouded leopard) severely impacted.

Lion populations have decreased by 40% in 3 generations, we've lost 95% of wild tigers since the beginning of the 20th century, snow leopards have decreased by 20% in just 16 years.

WWF UK, 26 Jan 2018, via Twitter

At this rate, that tiger tattoo you’re getting next week might even outlast tigers themselves without intervention.

Wear your passion with pride.

Photo of a lion

Thankfully, there are a number of reputable big cat conservation groups, with projects worldwide and decades-long histories of researching and protecting big cats’ lives and habitats. They often work in some of the harshest or most remote regions of the world, hand in hand with local communities, to understand more about these amazing animals, help those around them live in harmony with them, and fight to protect them and their ecosystems.

Our team has grown from 4 to 38 in 10 years - warriors, women, scouts. Dedicated to protecting lions in Samburu! #10yearsin10days

Ewaso Lions, 10 Nov 2017, via Twitter

Here’s the challenge to you:

Love your big cat tattoo (or excited about the one you’re getting), and want to show how much big cats mean to you? You’ve put your body on the line, now put your money where your mouth is.

Make a difference, and donate to an organisation dedicated to helping big cats survive and thrive. Then, tell others about what you’ve done using #Tats4Cats on Twitter (or Instagram), and encourage them to donate too… so you can really wear your passion with pride.

This is Tats 4 Cats.

Get a big cat tattoo. Give big cats a future.

Photo of Xander’s tiger tattoo, 1 year on

"Failure is not acceptable. In a world where all the #tigers are dying off, this a war," Panthera Chief Scientist @DrRabinowitz declares in the #GoProForACause film about the endangered species & our partner @TamblingID's conservation work. #tigertuesday http://bit.ly/2AYXLYf

Panthera, 10 Jan 2018, via Twitter

Tats 4 Cats isn’t itself a charity. It doesn’t even handle or accept your donations—although this website is a great way to find a local big cat conservation group you can donate to.

More than anything, Tats 4 Cats is an idea, a public statement of your support for the protection of the world’s big cats—both financially and publicly—and a challenge to be proud of what we can achieve for them.

Tats 4 Cats: A donation. A fundraiser. And a permanent reminder.

Photo of Xander’s tiger tattoo in progress

In 2016, an Aussie named Xander decided to show his love for big cats in a couple of ways: he would donate to a group dedicated to their ongoing conservation in financial support, and also work up the courage to get his first tattoo (a tiger of course!) as a permanent reminder of how much they mean to him. These goals would mark International Tiger Day (29 July), at the halfway point of Tx2—a global effort to double the world’s wild tiger populations by 2020 (after all, what better moment—and cause—to commemorate with his first tattoo?!).

Alongside these goals of personally donating and getting a tattoo in honour of big cats, recognising an opportunity to get the word out and build even more support, he created a fundraiser page at CrowdRise. This gave his friends, family, colleagues, and followers a way to easily support his crazy endeavour and also donate to help big cats through Panthera, a leading big cat conservation group with projects worldwide and a decade-long history of both researching and protecting big cats’ lives and habitats.

#GlobalTigerDay in just 8 WEEKS… don’t wait to save #tigers; #Donate to @PantheraCats via my #Tats4Cats fundraiser! […]

— Xander Plooy, 10 Jan 2018, via Twitter

2016: The challenge. 2017: The commitment.

Photo of Xander’s cheetah tattoo, brand new

Thanks to the generosity of supporters far and wide, Tats 4 Cats raised a figure of over AUD $2,300 in just 4 months, with the proceeds donated to Panthera. And, by the afternoon of Global Tiger Day 2016, Xander’s tiger tattoo had been fully realised—a permanent reminder, worn proudly, of the impact just one person’s passion can have for big cats.

Almost 16 months later, he decided to try this again—surely getting a second tattoo would be easier than the first?! In 2017, he targeted International Cheetah Day (4 December), again making his own donation and raising proceeds to benefit cheetah conservation projects led by the Cheetah Conservation Fund, specifically donating via their local arm CCF Australia. In only 5 weeks Tats 4 Cats raised about AUD $800 for critical cheetah conservation and research programs.

I’m making a donation… and getting a #cheetah #tattoo to really “mark” the occasion! 😺 #Tats4Cats […] #IntlCheetahDay

— Xander Plooy, 4 Nov 2017, via Twitter

From great artists, for big cats.

Photo of a cheetah tattoo in progress

If you’re a tattoo artist (either sole operator or in a larger studio) and want to get involved through holding fundraiser events like flash days or “donation drive” months (or if you already are!), please get in touchTats 4 Cats would love to hear from you and see this idea spread even further.

Did this tiger on Xander today for his first tattoo and for international tiger day! Cheers man! […]

Adam Miller (Millhaus Tattoo), 29 Jul 2016, via Instagram

The majestic #BigCats are facing many & varied threats including #HabitatLoss, #HumanWildlifeConflict, #poaching, #wildlifetrafficking & #ClimateChange which are all caused by human activities. […]

CITES, 19 Feb 2018, via Twitter

Tats 4 Cats: Wear your passion with pride. Donate now!