Nature

40 types of Cat (Tiger) Breeds

The cat family called Felidae family contains 40 species of wild cats and one additional species. The classification of wild cats is mainly on their physical characteristics of evolution to follow in the animal kingdom. The oldest split between all remaining extant species of cat which has occurred more than 10 million years ago when Pantherinae contained the Big 5 and split from the Felinae kingdom family containing the rest of the felids. Since then the Felinae subfamily continued to diverge until around 1-3 million years ago, producing among others, Lynx, Puma, Ocelot, the Caracal, & Domestic Cat lineages. 

Once upon a time, the earth was fulfilled with gigantic saber-tooth tigers. The subfamily of cats has driven to extinction around 10,000 years ago, the remaining extant members of the cat family with the Panthera Lineage which is known as Pantherinae contains the largest and most terrifying cats. There are 40 species of wild cats on this planet, and each of them is as beautiful as it is unique. Most of us know the known species are lions, tigers, jaguars, and leopards, but do you know what are all the other types of wild cats out there? Let’s meet the family. 

The total number of recognized species of wild cats varies, and the eight lineages that make up the Felidae family are widely accepted. As of November 2017, the Cat Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recognizes 41 species in the family Felidae including the domestic cat. The family Felidae is made up of two subfamilies first is Pantherinae which is constituted by the 7 big cats, and Felinae which represents the 33 small cats.

1. Big Cat Species – Panthera Lineage

2. Tiger (Panthera tigris)- 

  • Characteristics – The largest cat on earth and the only cat with bright orange fur
  • Maximum size – 3.9m / 13ft in length (including tail) and 300kg / 660lbs
  • The Average Lifespan in the wild – is 8-10 years
  • Habitat – Many different kinds of forest & grassland
  • Prey – Deer, wild cattle & pigs (will eat other cats and bears too)
  • Threats/Predators – Humans & occasionally bears
  • Conservation status – Endangered species, only 3000-4000 remains
Tiger Panthera tigris
Tiger Panthera tigris

3. Lion (Panthera leo)- 

  • Characteristics – A tuft at the end of the tail and males have a mane
  • Maximum size – 3m / 12ft (including tail) & 250kg / 550lbs
  • Average Lifespan in the wild – 15 years
  • Habitat – Grasslands & savannas 
  • Range – Sub-Saharan Africa & a small population in India
  • Conservation status – Vulnerable hardly 20,000 species are left
Lion Panthera leo
Lion Panthera leo

4. Leopard (Panthera pardus)- 

  • Characteristics – Black rosettes, generally with no inner spots
  • Maximum size – 3m / 12ft (including tail) & 90kg / 200lbs
  • Average Lifespan in the wild – 10-12 years
  • Habitat – Varied; forest, savannah, grassland, woodland
  • Range – Sub-saharan Africa & central/east Asia
  • Conservation status – Vulnerable, unknown but likely less than 100,000 left
Leopard (Panthera pardus)
Leopard (Panthera pardus)

5. Jaguar (Panthera onca)-

  • Characteristics – Spots on the inside of their rosettes (some appear grumpy!)
  • Maximum size – 2.7m / 9ft (including tail) & 160kg / 350lbs
  • Average Lifespan in the wild – 11-12 years
  • Habitat – All kinds of forests and wetlands/grasslands
  • Range – Central and South America
  • Conservation status – Near Threatened (64,000 remain)
Jaguar (Panthera onca)
Jaguar (Panthera onca)

6. Snow leopard (Panthera uncia)- 

  • Characteristics – Thick soft white/grey/black coat
  • Maximum size – 2.1m / 7ft in length (including tail) and 75kg / 165lbs
  • Habitat – High-altitude mountainous regions
  • Range – The mountain ranges of Central Asia
  • Conservation status – it is Vulnerable, now only 2,500 – 10,000 remain
Snow leopard (Panthera uncia)
Snow leopard (Panthera uncia)

7. Clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa)- 

  • Defining characteristics – Unique large black markings
  • Maximum size – 2m / 6ft (including tail) & 23kg / 50lbs
  • Average Lifespan in the wild – 11 years
  • Habitat – Woodlands & forests
  • Range – East and Southeast Asia
  • Conservation Status – Vulnerable less than 10,000 remaining
Clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa)
Clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa)

8. Sunda Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)-

  • Characteristics – Slightly darker and larger than the regular clouded leopard
  • Maximum size – 2m / 6ft (including tail) & 30kg / 66lbs
  • Habitat – Primarily forests
  • Range – Borneo & Sumatra
  • Conservation Status – Vulnerable
Sunda Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)
Sunda Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi)

9. Small Cat Species- 

10. Borneo Bay Cat (Catopuma badia)-

  • Characteristics – Chestnut-colored coat
  • Maximum size – 1m / 3ft (including tail) & 4kg / 9lbs
  • Habitat – Forests
  • Range – Borneo
  • Conservation status – Endangered (2,500 remain)

11. Asiatic Golden Cat (Catopuma temminckii)- 

  • Characteristics – Reddish coat with a beautiful marbled face
  • Maximum size – 1.6m / 5ft (including tail) & 16kg / 35lbs
  • Habitat – Different types of forest
  • Range – East and Southeast Asia
  • Conservation status – Near Threatened

12. Marbled Cat (Pardofelis marmorata)-

  • Characteristics – A mini clouded leopard!
  • Maximum size – 1.2m / 4ft (including 55cm tail) & 5kg / 11lbs
  • Habitat – Different types of forest
  • Range – South and Southeast Asia
  • Conservation status – Near Threatened (around 10,000 remain)

13. Serval (Leptailurus serval)-

  • Characteristics – Mini cheetah with large stripy ears
  • Maximum size – 1.3m / 4ft (including 30cm tail) & 18kg / 40lbs
  • Average Lifespan in the wild – 10 years
  • Habitat – Savanna, wetlands, grasslands, and forests
  • Range – Most of sub-Saharan Africa
  • Conservation status – Least Concern

14. African Golden cat (Caracal aurata)- 

  • Characteristics – Golden coat with spots on the belly
  • Maximum size – 1.5m / 4ft (including 46cm tail) & 16kg / 35lbs
  • Habitat – Mainly tropical forests
  • Range – Equatorial Africa
  • Conservation status – Vulnerable

15. Caracal (Caracal caracal)-

  • Characteristics – Mini cougar with black tufts on ears
  • Maximum size – 1.4m / 4ft (including tail) & 19kg / 42lbs
  • Average Lifespan in the wild – 12 years
  • Habitat – Forests, savannah & semi-desert
  • Range – Africa, the Middle East and the south Asia
  • Conservation status – started concerning about the species

16. Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis)- 

  • Characteristics – Stubby muzzle and beautiful markings
  • Maximum size – 1.5m / 4.5ft (including 45cm tail) & 15.5kg / 34lbs
  • Average Lifespan in the wild – 7 to 10 years
  • Habitat – Forests, savanna and mangrove swamps
  • Range – Central and South America
  • Conservation status – Least Concern
Ocelot
Ocelot

17. Margay (Leopardus wiedii)- 

  • Characteristics – A miniature ocelot!
  • Maximum size – 1.3m / 4ft (including 50cm tail) & 4kg / 8.8lbs
  • Habitat – Tropical evergreen & dry forest and cloud forest
  • Range – Central and South America
  • Conservation status – Near Threatened
Margay
Margay

17. Colocolo (Leopardus colocolo)- 

18. Northern Oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus)-

  • Characteristics – A miniature margay!
  • Maximum size – 1.2m / 3.6ft (including 35cm tail) & 3kg / 6.6lbs
  • Habitat – Different forest ecosystems
  • Range – Central and South America
  • Conservation status – Vulnerable

19. Southern Oncilla (Leopardus guttulus)-

  • Characteristics – A miniature margay!
  • Maximum size – 1.2m / 3.6ft (including 35cm tail) & 3kg / 6.6lbs
  • Habitat – Different forest ecosystems
  • Range – Central and South America
  • Conservation status – Vulnerable

20. Guina (Leopardus guigna)-

21. Geoffrey’s cat (Leopardus geoffroyi)-

  • Characteristics – Similar to a domestic cat but with big cat markings
  • Maximum size – 90cm / 3ft (including 30cm tail) & 7.8kg / 17lbs
  • Habitat – Grasslands, savannahs, wetlands & forests
  • Range – Southern South America
  • Conservation status – Least Concern

22. Andean Cat (Leopardus jacobita)-

  • Characteristics – A cross between a domestic cat and a snow leopard!
  • Maximum size – 1.3m / 4.5ft (including 1.5ft tail) & 5.5kg / 12lbs
  • Habitat – High-elevation, mountainous terrain
  • Range – Andes Mountain Range
  • Conservation status – Endangered

23. Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis)-

  • Characteristics – Often more greyish in color with a brown tinge
  • Maximum size – 1.2m/3.8ft (including 13cm tail) & 17kg/37lbs
  • Average Lifespan in the wild – 14 years
  • Habitat – Boreal forests
  • Range – Canada, Alaska and small parts of the contiguous US
  • Conservation status – Least Concern

24. Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus)-

  • Characteristics – Similar to the Eurasian Lynx but smaller
  • Maximum size – 1m/3ft (including 16cm tail) & 16kg/35lbs
  • Habitat – Mountainous terrain
  • Range – Only a very small range in southern Spain
  • Conservation status – Endangered, only 855 remain

25. Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx)-

  • Characteristics – Red or brown coat with stubby tail and tufts on ears
  • Maximum size – 1.6m/5ft (including 25cm tail) & 36kg/80lbs
  • Habitat – Temperate and boreal forests
  • Range – Mountainous regions of northern/eastern Europe and northern Asia
  • Conservation status – Least Concern

26. Bobcat (Lynx rufus)-

  • Characteristics – Tan/grey with spots and looks like it’s wearing eyeliner!
  • Maximum size – 1.4m/4.5ft (including 20cm tail) & 15kg/33lb
  • Average Lifespan in the wild – 12 years
  • Habitat – Woodlands, forests, mountainous terrain
  • Range – The contiguous US, Southern Canada & Mexico
  • Conservation status – Least Concern

27. Puma (Puma concolor)-

Wild cat species - Puma

28. Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)- 

  • Characteristics – Long, slender bodies for running super-fast
  • Maximum size – 2.3m/5ft (including 80cm tail) & 72kg/159lbs
  • Average Lifespan in the wild – 8 years
  • Habitat – Savannahs & mountain ranges surrounding deserts
  • Range – Mostly Africa with a small population in Iran
  • Conservation status – Vulnerable, only 7,100 remaining

29. Jaguarundi (Herpailurus yagouaroundi)-

  • Characteristics – Looks like a large weasel!
  • Maximum size – 1.4m/3ft (including 60cm tail) & 7kg/15.5lbs
  • Habitat – Different types of forest, shrubland, and desert
  • Range – Central and South America
  • Conservation status – Least Concern
odd type of wild cats - Jaguarundi

30. Pallas’s cat (Otocolobus manul)-

31. Rusty-spotted cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus)-

32. Flat-headed cat (Prionailurus planiceps)-

33. Fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus)-

34. Mainland Leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis)

35. Sunda Leopard cat (Prionailurus javanensis)-

  • Characteristics – Bands on its head/neck and rosettes/spots on its body
  • Maximum size – 1m/3ft (including 30cm tail) & 7kg/16lbs
  • Average Lifespan in the wild – up to 4 years
  • Habitat – Forests, shrubland, and grassland
  • Range – South, southeast, and east Asia
  • Conservation status – Least Concern

36. Jungle cat (Felis chaus)-

37. Black-footed cat (Felis nigripes)-

38. Sand cat (Felis margarita)-

39. Chinese Mountain cat (Felis bieti)-

40. African and Asiatic wildcat (Felis lybica)-

41. European wildcat (Felis silvestris)

Hope you like the article, stay tuned for more updates

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