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40 Wild Cat Breeds – Let’s Get Deep Into The Cat Wildlife

40 Wild Cat Breeds – Let’s Get Deep Into The Cat Wildlife

Welcome to the cat wildlife!

This article will cover 40 species of wild cats ever seen in the world. The beauty of the small Rusty-spotted cat from Sri Lanka, the African and Asiatic cat, and the massive Siberian tiger will leave you speechless.

We are all familiar with leopards, tigers, jaguars, and the king of the jungle – lions, but what about other wild cat breeds? If you are interested in seeing some of the most beautiful and interesting Felidae creatures, keep reading!

Wild Cat Breeds

First, we will see small wild cat breeds!

Small Wild Cat Breeds

1. Chinese Mountain Cat

beautiful Chinese Mountain Cat sitting in the field
Photo from: @sciencenewsmagazine

Felis Bieti

The Chinese mountain cat, also known as the Chinese desert cat and the Chinese steppe cat, is a small wild cat found in the mountains of western China. It is listed as a Vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as the total population is estimated to be fewer than 10,000 individuals, with a declining trend.

The Chinese mountain cat is adapted to living in rocky, arid environments and preys on small mammals such as pikas and rodents. It is a solitary cat that is primarily active at dawn and dusk. Little is known about the species behavior and ecology, as it is rare and elusive and has only been studied in a few isolated locations.

2. Jungle Cat

Black-footed Cat

Felis Chaus

The jungle cat (Felis chaus), also known as the reed cat or swamp cat, is a medium-sized wild cat found in a variety of habitats across a large part of Asia, including the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.

It is a versatile and adaptable species that can live in a range of habitats, including forests, grasslands, swamps, and agricultural areas. Jungle cats are solitary and territorial animals that hunt various prey, including small mammals, birds, and reptiles. They are active during the day and use vocalizations, scent marking, and visual displays to communicate with other cats.

3. Black-footed Cat

Black-footed Cat sits on the grass and looks around

Felis nigripes

The black-footed cat (Felis nigripes), also known as the small-footed cat or African black-footed cat, is a small wild cat native to the grasslands and savannas of southern Africa. It is the smallest wild cat on the continent and is known for its large ears, short legs, and black paws, which give it its distinctive appearance.

Black-footed cats are nocturnal and solitary animals that hunt mostly rodents and small birds. They are adaptable and can survive in a variety of habitats, including semi-arid regions, but they are found mainly in areas with a reliable source of water.

4. European Wildcat

European Wildcat stands on a tree in the forest

Felis Silvestris

The European wildcat is a small to medium-sized wild cat breed found in various European habitats, including forests, grasslands, and mountainous areas. It is a close relative of the domestic cat and is thought to be the ancestor of many domestic cat breeds.

European wildcats are solitary and territorial animals that hunt a variety of prey, including rodents, birds, and rabbits. They are active mainly at dawn and dusk and use vocalizations, scent marking, and visual displays to communicate with other cats.

5. African And Asiatic Cat

scowling Asiatic Cat

Felis Lybica

After some recent taxonomic changes, the wildcat species have been separated into the African Wildcat and Asiatic wildcat and the European wildcat.

6. Sand Cat

Sand Cat sits curled up on a rock

Felis margarita

The sand cat (Felis margarita), also known as the sand dune cat, is a small wild cat found in sandy and arid environments in North Africa and central Asia. It is adapted to living in harsh desert conditions and is able to withstand extreme temperatures.

Sand cats are nocturnal and solitary animals that hunt small mammals, birds, and reptiles. They are well-camouflaged in their sandy habitat and are difficult to spot, making them little-known and elusive.

7. Sunda Leopard Cat

Sunda Leopard Cat lies on a wooden base

Prionailurus Javanensis

The Sunda leopard cat, also known as the Javan leopard cat, is a small wild cat found in the forests of Java, Sumatra, and Borneo in Indonesia. It is a close relative of the domestic cat and is thought to be the ancestor of the Asian leopard cat, a popular breed of domestic cat.

Sunda leopard cats are agile climbers and nocturnal hunters that prey on small mammals, birds, and reptiles. They are shy and elusive animals that are rarely seen by humans.

8. Mainland Leopard Cat

Mainland Leopard Cat is sleeping hanging on a tree
Photo from: @sorani_tsuki

Prionailurus Bengalensis

The mainland leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) is a small wild cat breed found in a variety of habitats across much of Asia, including forests, grasslands, and agricultural areas. It is a close relative of the domestic cat and is thought to be the ancestor of several Asian domestic cat breeds.

9. Flat-headed cat

Flat-headed cat is sneaking around

Prionailurus Planiceps

The flat-headed cat (Prionailurus planiceps) is a small, rare wild cat found in the lowland forests of the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, and Sumatra. It is a semi-aquatic species that are adapted to living in wetland environments and is known for its unique body shape, with a flattened head and neck, short legs, and webbed toes. Flat-headed cats are nocturnal and solitary animals that feed mainly on fish.

10. Fishing Cat

beautiful fishing cat walks in the field

Prionailurus Viverrinus

The fishing cat is a medium-sized wild cat found in the wetlands of South and Southeast Asia. As its name suggests, it is an adept swimmer and fisherman, and it feeds mainly on fish and other aquatic prey. Fishing cats are adapted to living in wetland environments and are found in a variety of habitats, including marshes, swamps, and mangrove forests.

11. Pallas Cat

Pallas Cat walks in the tree

Otocolobus Manul

The Pallas’s cat (Otocolobus manul), also known as the manul, is a small wild cat found in the grasslands and montane steppes of central and eastern Asia. It is a stocky cat with a thick coat, short legs, and a round face, and it is adapted to living in cold, dry environments.

12. Rusty-spotted Cat

beautiful Rusty-spotted Cat sits and looks at the camera

Prionailurus Rubiginosus

The Pallas’s cat, also known as the manul, is a small wild cat found in the grasslands and montane steppes of central and eastern Asia. It is a stocky cat with a thick coat, short legs, and a round face, and it is adapted to living in cold and darting nature.

13. Jaguarundi

Jaguarundi cat sits in nature among greenery

Herpailurus Yagouaroundi

The jaguarundi (Herpailurus yagouaroundi) is a small wild cat found in the forests, grasslands, and wetlands of Central and South America. It is a slender, long-bodied cat with a short tail and a distinctive head shape, and it is adapted to living in a variety of habitats.

14. African Golden Cat

African Golden Cat sitting on a pillow

Caracal Aurata

The African golden cat is a medium-sized wild cat found in the rainforests of West and Central Africa. It is a solitary and secretive cat that is primarily active at dawn and dusk. African golden cats are adapted to living in forested environments and are skilled climbers and hunters.

15. Cheetah

Cheetah cat walks

Acinonyx Jubatus

The cheetah is a large cat found in a variety of habitats across Africa and a small part of Iran. It is the fastest land animal in the world, capable of reaching speeds of up to 75 mph (120 km/h) in short bursts. Cheetahs are adapted to living in open, grassland environments and are known for their slender build, long legs, and distinctive black spots.

They are carnivorous and hunt a variety of prey, including antelopes and gazelles. Cheetahs are generally solitary and territorial animals, although females may live in small groups with their offspring.

16. Eurasian Lynx

Eurasian Lynx walks in the snow

Lynx Lynx

The Eurasian lynx is a medium-sized wild cat found in a variety of habitats across Europe and Asia, including forests, grasslands, and mountainous areas. It is the largest lynx species and is known for its long legs, tufted ears, and distinctive coat pattern. Eurasian lynxes are solitary and territorial animals that hunt a variety of prey, including rabbits, hares, and small mammals.

They are skilled climbers and have excellent eyesight, hearing, and smell, which they use to locate their prey. The Eurasian lynx is listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to habitat loss, poaching, and conflict with humans. Conservation efforts are underway to protect and preserve lynx populations in the wild.

17. Canada Lynx

Canada Lynx cat running in the snow

Lynx Canadensis

The Canada lynx is a medium-sized wild cat breed found in the forests of Canada, Alaska, and the northern United States. It is adapted to living in cold, snowy environments and is known for its long legs, tufted ears, and thick fur coat.

Canada lynxes are solitary and territorial animals that hunt mostly snowshoe hares, although they will also feed on other small mammals, birds, and carrion.

18. Iberian Lynx

Iberian Lynx cat sits on a stone rock

Lynx Pardinus

The Iberian lynx is a small wild cat found in the forests and scrublands of the Iberian Peninsula in Spain and Portugal. It is the most endangered feline species in the world, with fewer than 200 individuals remaining in the wild.

The Iberian lynx is adapted to living in Mediterranean habitats and is known for its long legs, tufted ears, and distinctive coat pattern. It is a solitary and territorial animal that feeds mainly on rabbits, although it will also prey on other small mammals and birds.

The Iberian lynx is listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to habitat loss, poaching, and a decline in its main prey, the European rabbit.

19. Kodkod

the beautiful Kodkod cat sits and rests
Photo from: @leopardusguigna

Leopardus Guigna

The kodkod (Leopardus guigna) is a small wild cat found in the forests of Chile and Argentina in South America. It is the smallest cat species in the Americas and is known for its small size, distinctive coat pattern that is brownish-yellow to grey-brown with dark spots., and tufted ears.

20. Andean Cat

Andean Cat standing on a beam

Leopardus Jacobita

The Andean cat is one of the world’s most rarely seen small wild cats, found in the high-altitude grasslands and rocky cliffs of the Andes Mountains in South America. It is a rare and elusive species that is adapted to living in harsh, arid environments and is known for its distinctive coat pattern, tufted ears, and long legs.

21. Geoffroy’s Cat

Geoffroy's Cat is standing on a tree and looking around

Leopardus Geoffroyi

Geoffroy’s cat is a small wild cat breed similar to Kodkod but a bit larger and found in the grasslands, forests, and wetlands of South America. It is a versatile and adaptable species that is able to survive in a variety of habitats and is known for its distinctive coat pattern.

22. Southern Oncilla

Southern Oncilla cat sits sad on a wooden surface
Photo from: @zootografiados

Leopardus Guttulus

The southern oncilla, also known as the tigrina, is a small wild cat found in the forests of South America. It is a close relative of the ocelot and is known for its distinctive coat pattern, tufted ears, and long legs. Southern oncillas are nocturnal and solitary animals that hunt small mammals, birds, and reptiles. They are skilled climbers and are able to swim and dive in search of prey.

The southern oncilla is listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to habitat loss and degradation, as well as hunting and trapping. There is still much to learn about the biology and behavior of this little-known and elusive cat.

23. Northern Oncilla

a beautiful Northern Oncilla cat is lying on a tree

Leopardus Tigrinus

The northern oncilla (, also known as the tigrillo, is a small wild cat found in the forests of Central America and South America. It is a close relative of the ocelot and quite similar to margay but smaller.

24. Ocelot

An ocelot walks in the meadow

Leopardus Pardalis

The ocelot is a medium-sized wild cat found in the forests, grasslands, and wetlands of Central and South America. It is a solitary and nocturnal animal.

25. Pampas Cat

A beautiful young pampas cat on an abandoned road

Leopardus Colocolo

The pampas cat (Leopardus colocolo) is a small wild cat found in the grasslands, savannas, and forests of South America. It is a close relative of the domestic cat.

26. Margay

a beautiful Margay cat

Leopardus Wiedii

The margay (Leopardus wiedii) is a small wild cat found in the forests of Central and South America. It is a close relative of the ocelot and is known for its distinctive coat pattern, tufted ears, and long legs.

Margays are nocturnal and solitary animals that hunt small mammals, birds, and reptiles. They are skilled climbers and are able to rotate their ankles 180 degrees, which allows them to descend trees headfirst.

27. Caracal

Caracal cat standing in nature

Caracal Caracal

The caracal (Caracal caracal) is a medium-sized wild cat found in a variety of habitats across Africa, the Middle East, and central and southern Asia. It is a solitary and nocturnal animal that is adapted to living in arid, grassland environments and is known for its distinctive long ears and black tufts of fur on the tips of its ears.

Caracals are carnivorous and hunt a variety of prey, including small mammals, birds, and reptiles. They are skilled climbers and are able to jump up to 9 feet (2.7 meters) in the air to catch birds in flight.

28. Serval

Serval in the grass

Leptailurus serval

The serval is a medium-sized wild cat found in the grasslands and wetlands of Africa. It is a slender and agile cat with long legs and a distinctive coat pattern, and it is known for its ability to jump up to 10 feet (3 meters) in the air to catch birds in flight.

29. Borneo Bay Cat

Borneo Bay Cat in the forest
Photo from: @arc_found

Catopuma Badia

The Borneo bay cat, also known as the Bornean marbled cat, is a small wild cat found in the forests of Borneo. It is a rare and elusive species that is known for its distinctive coat pattern and tufted ears. Borneo bay cats are nocturnal and solitary animals that hunt small mammals, birds, and reptiles.

They are adapted to living in forested environments and are skilled climbers. The Borneo bay cat is listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to habitat loss and degradation, as well as hunting and trapping.

30. Marbled Cat

cute Marbled Cat

Perdofelis Marmorata

The marbled cat is a small wild cat found in the forests of South and Southeast Asia. It is a rare and elusive species that is known for its distinctive coat pattern and tufted ears.

Marbled cats are nocturnal and solitary climbers that hunt small mammals, birds, and reptiles. They are adapted to living in forested environments and are skilled climbers. The marbled cat is listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to habitat loss and degradation.

31. Asiatic Golden Cat

Asiatic Golden Cat is standing and looking at the camera
Photo from: @big_wild_cats

Catopuma Temminckii

The Asiatic golden cat is a medium-sized wild cat, a great climber, found in the forests of South and Southeast Asia. It is a solitary and nocturnal animal that is adapted to living in a variety of habitats.

32. Puma

Puma cat walks in the forest

Puma Concolor

The puma is a large cat found in a variety of habitats across North and South America. It is also known as the mountain lion, cougar, and panther and is the second heaviest cat in the Americas after the jaguar.

Pumas are adaptable and solitary animals that are known for their powerful bodies, strong legs, and distinctive coat pattern. They are carnivorous and hunt a variety of prey, including deer, elk, and other small mammals. Pumas are skilled climbers and are able to jump up to 20 feet (6 meters) in the air to catch prey

33. Bobcat

A bobcat is lying on a rock

The bobcat is a medium-sized wild cat breed similar to the Canada Lynx found in a variety of habitats across North America, from southern Canada to Central Mexico. It is a solitary and nocturnal animal that is adapted to living in a variety of environments.

Bobcats are carnivorous and hunt a variety of prey, including rabbits, hares, and small mammals. They are skilled climbers and are able to swim and dive in search of prey. The bobcat is not considered threatened and is widely distributed across its range. It is protected by law in some areas but is also hunted for its fur in others.

Big Wild Cat Breeds

Now that we have dealt with small wild cat breeds, it is time to see which are the 7 big wild cat breeds. These big cats are large-bodied felids and some of the most endangered species.

34. Lion

a beautiful lion stands in the desert

Panthera Leo

The lion is a large cat species found in the grasslands and savannas of Africa. It is the largest cat species and is known for its mane, powerful body, and social behavior. Lions are carnivorous and hunt a variety of prey, including antelopes, zebras, and other large mammals.

They are social animals and live in groups called pride, which are led by a dominant male. Lions are not considered threatened, but their populations have declined due to habitat loss and conflict with humans. The lion is protected by law in many countries, but it is still hunted illegally for its skin, bones, and other body parts.

RELATED: Can Lions Be Domesticated?

35. Tiger

Tiger lies on the sand

Panthera Tigris

The tiger is the largest wild cat breed found in a variety of habitats across Asia, including forests, grasslands, and swamps. It is the largest cat species in Asia and is known for its distinctive orange and black coat, powerful body, and long tail. Tigers are carnivorous and hunt a variety of prey, including deer, wild boar, and other large mammals. They are solitary animals and defend large territories against other tigers.

Tigers are endangered, and their populations have declined dramatically due to habitat loss, poaching, and conflict with humans. There are several subspecies of tigers, including the Bengal tiger, Siberian tiger, Sumatran tiger, and South China tiger.

36. Leopard

A leopard lies on a tree and looks around

Panthera pardus

The leopard is a medium to large cat species found in a variety of habitats across Africa and Asia. It is known for its distinctive coat pattern, which is made up of circular spots called rosettes. Leopards are carnivorous and hunt a variety of prey, including antelopes, rodents, and other small mammals.

They are solitary animals and defend large territories against other leopards. Leopards are adaptable and are able to survive in a variety of environments, including forests, grasslands, and mountains. They are skilled climbers and are able to carry heavy prey up into trees to avoid competition with other predators. Leopards are not considered threatened, but their populations have declined in some areas due to habitat loss and conflict with humans.

37. Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard walks on a rock

Panthera Uncia

The snow leopard (the Ghost of the mountains) is a large cat species found in the mountains of central and south Asia, Nepal, and India. It is adapted to living in cold, snowy environments and is an excellent climber. Snow leopards are carnivorous and hunt a variety of prey, including ibex, blue sheep, and other small mammals.

They are solitary animals and defend large territories against other snow leopards. Snow leopards are endangered, and their populations have declined due to habitat loss, poaching, and conflict with humans. They are protected by law in many countries, but poaching for their fur and other body parts is still a significant threat. Snow leopards are also threatened by climate change, as the melting of glaciers and snowfields reduces their habitat.

38. Jaguar

A jaguar stands on the sand in the desert

Panthera Onca

The jaguar is a big cat species found in the forests, grasslands, and swamps of Central and South America. It is the largest cat species in the Americas and is known for its powerful body, strong jaw muscles, and distinctive coat pattern, which is made up of large, circular spots. Jaguars are carnivorous and hunt a variety of prey, including deer, wild pigs, and reptiles.

Jaguars are skilled swimmers and climbers and are able to kill prey much larger than themselves. Jaguars are not considered threatened, but their populations have declined in some areas due to habitat loss and conflict with humans. They are protected by law in many countries but are still hunted illegally for their skin, bones, and other body parts. There are no subspecies of jaguars.

39. Sunda Clouded Leopard

Sunda Clouded Leopard lies on a rock and looks at the camera

Neofelis Nebulosa

The Sunda clouded leopard is a medium-sized wild cat breed found in the forests of Borneo and Sumatra. It is a rare and elusive species that is known for its gorgeous coat pattern and tufted ears. Sunda clouded leopards are nocturnal and solitary animals that hunt a variety of prey, including small mammals, birds, and reptiles.

They are adapted to living in forested environments and are skilled climbers. The Sunda clouded leopard is listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to habitat loss and degradation, as well as hunting and trapping. There is still much to learn about the biology and behavior of this little-known and elusive cat.

40. Clouded Leopard

Clouded leopard walks in the desert

Neofelis Diardi

The clouded leopard is the smallest of the big wild cat breeds found in the forests of Southeast Asia.

Final Thoughts

Many wild cat breeds are found worldwide, each with its unique characteristics and behaviors.

Wild cats play essential roles in the ecosystems they inhabit, and many species are facing threats such as habitat loss, poaching, and conflict with humans. Protecting wild cat populations and their habitats is necessary to ensure their survival and the health of the ecosystems they depend on.

Many organizations and conservation efforts are working to protect wild cats and raise awareness about their importance.

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