Guidelines for Authors

Cat News, the IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group‘s biannual newsletter, covers Original Contributions, Observations and News related to the conservation of cat species across the world. In addition to the two regular spring and fall issues, the series Cat News Special Issue, typically realised together with partner institutions, covers specific themes relevant to cat conservation or research. Original Contributions are peer reviewed. Manuscript submitted to Cat News must be organised according to these Guidelines.

Arabian Caracal (Caracal caracal)

Cat News - guidelines to authors

Christine Breitenmoser-Würsten and Urs Breitenmoser 

Cat Specialist Group, c/o KORA, Thunstrasse 31, CH-3074 Muri, Switzerland;

ch.breitenmoser(at); urs.breitenmoser(at)

Type of articles

Cat News, the newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, publishes short articles relevant to cat conservation and research contributing to the understanding and conservation of all members of the family of the Felidae. Cat News is published twice a year, in spring and fall. “Special Issues” follow the same policy and rules, but may deviate from these Guidelines depending on the theme. Articles published in Cat News fall into the following categories:

Original Contributions

Original Contributions present new findings, approaches, or concepts relevant to cat conservation. This is the most data-oriented section of Cat News, typically presenting original information, analysis or discussions that will be subject to peer review. Short review papers on a specific topic are welcome. Original contributions should not be longer than 4 printed pages in Cat News. Depending on illustrations, the length of a manuscript is 2500–3000 words. Original articles are exemplified by colour photos, diagrams and maps. After publication, Original Contributions are integrated into the Digital Cat Library as Portable Document Format file (PDF/Adobe Acrobat).

Short Communications

Short Communications mainly report new discoveries regarding distribution, behaviour, or ecology of cats. Length is 1, exceptionally 2 printed pages (500–750 words). Short Communications are illustrated by at least one colour photo, possibly diagrams and maps. They also need an abstract. New discoveries or interesting confirmations of presence of cats in a specific place are described with longitude, latitude and altitude, and must provide evidence for the presence of the cats (photo, genetic analysis or any other robust proof). Short Communications are editor reviewed, exceptionally peer reviewed. After publication, Short Communications are integrated into the Digital Cat Library as Portable Document Format file (PDF/Adobe Acrobat).


News articles cover the following topics: (1) updates and information from partner institutions or working groups of the Cat Specialist Group, (2) brief reports on events such as conferences or workshops, (3) short articles covering news relevant to cat conservation from other sources, and (4) reviews of new publications. News articles are generally short, 0.5–1 printed page, and illustrated with colour pictures if possible and relevant. News articles are edited, but not peer reviewed.


Letters to the editors launch discussions on important aspects in cat conservation and research. If a controversial topic is addressed, the editors may invite a competent peer to write a reply to be published in the same issue of Cat News. 

Preparation of Manuscripts

Manuscripts submitted to Cat News must follow these Guidelines, the PDF of which also serves as an example for the format of the manuscript, including the Abstract and the format of the reference list! All articles must be submitted as a MS Word file or a compatible text file format (*.doc, *.docx, *.rtf). Typeface and size is Times New Roman 12 pt, left aligned without word division (hyphenation), paragraphs separated by an empty line throughout the manuscript. Pages and lines must be numbered. Title and chapter headings are formatted boldface, subchapter titles italic. Scientific names of all species are added after the vernacular name when mentioned first, without brackets, author and year – for instance Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx – but are not given in the title of the article. Articles in Cat News should be organised like any other scientific paper – introduction, methods, results, discussion – but it is not mandatory to use these terms as chapter headings.

Tables and illustrations

Tables are organised and formatted as presented in Table 1. The width of a table should not exceed the page width of Cat News (see Marker et al. 2008 for an example). Tables are headed and consecutively numbered. In a submitted manuscript, tables are inserted after the text, before captions to figures.
Illustrations are line drawings, maps or photographs, referred to in the text as Fig. 1, Fig. 2, etc. Captions are mandatory for all illustrations and must be added in chronological order at the end of the manuscript. Photo credits are mentioned in the caption, but not integrated into the picture. All photos and colour figures have to be submitted as Joint Photographic Experts Group (*.jpg) files, size 15 x ~10 cm and a resolution of 300 dpi (1772 x 1350 pixel). For MS Excel figures, the original files (*.xls or *.xlsx) must be submitted. Filenames must indicate the number of the illustration as used in the manuscript.
Tables and figures are mentioned in the text in consecutive order.

Citations of references

Cat News articles are fully referenced. References can be journal articles of one, two or several authors cited in the text as follows: Karanth (2003), Wegge & Stooras (2009), Perovic et al. (2003). The full reference is given in the reference list in alphabetic order at the end of the text. For the correct citations of books or book chapters (Malbrant & Maclatchy 1949, Hamilton 1988) see reference list of this manuscript. Authors are requested to prepare the reference list very carefully and to refer to these Guidelines or any recent issue of Cat News for citations and preparation of the reference list.

Submission, review and revision process

Authors are invited to submit articles for any of the four categories to Cat News. Manuscripts including tables and captions to figures should be submitted in electronic form to the editors (authors of these Guidelines) or to catsg(at) The editors decide whether an article is suited for publication in Cat News. Manuscripts of Original Contributions and exceptionally Short Communications prepared according to these Guidelines will be submitted to a peer review process. Considering the judgement of the reviewers, the editors then decide whether a paper is refused or accepted with or without revision. Forum papers are only editor reviewed. Depending on the topic, the editors may invite another author to respond to the letter or to present an alternative view.


Hamilton A. C. 1988. Guenon evolution and forest history. In A Primate Radiation: Evolutionary Biology of the African Guenons. Gautier-Hion A., Bourliere F., Gantier J. P. and Kingdon J. (Eds). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom, pp. 13-34.

Karanth K. U. 2003. Debating conservation as if reality matters. Conservation and Society 1, 65-68.

Malbrant R. & Maclatchy A. 1949. Faune de l’Equateur Africain Francais. Tome II. Mammifères. Paul Lechevalier, Paris. 320 pp.

Marker L. L., Fabiano E. & Nghikembua M. 2008. The use of remote camera traps to estimate density of free-ranging cheetahs in north-central Namibia. Cat News 49, 22-24.

Perovic P., Walker S. & Novaro A. 2003. New records of the endangered Andean mountain cat in northern Argentina. Oryx 37, 374-377.

Wegge P. & Storaas T. 2009. Sampling tiger ungulate prey by the distance method: lessons learned in Bardia National Park, Nepal. Animal Conservation 12, 78-84.

Tables and Captions to figures

Table 1. Types and length of articles submitted for publication of Cat News

Type of article

          Maximum length

Review process

Printed pages


Characters w. space

Original contribution




Peer reviewed

Short communication




Editor or peer reviewed





Editor reviewed





Editor reviewed/respond

Captions to figures

(Add here captions to figures (photos, diagrams or maps) in chronological order).