Family Felidae

An overview of the great cats

Cats in the family Felidae are almost exclusively predators on mammals and birds (although some, like the Asian flat-headed cat and fishing cat, will eat fish, frogs, and mollusks). Most of these cats are also nocturnal predators, stalking their prey or pouncing from an ambush. These cats have fascinated humans for centuries. They are elusive and rarely seen. Yet, while humans may be intrigued by these predators, they are also the cause of their demise. Large cats are endangered all over the world from poaching and habitat loss.

The Largest and Smallest Cats

The largest cats are the Siberian Tigers, which can reach almost 700 pounds. The smallest are the black-footed cats of Africa, which are only about four pounds.


The following is a list of extant species in the family Felidae. This classification scheme represents traditional phylogeny. Modern genetic studies have grouped several genera together. However, that taxonomic scheme is not represented here.

Genus Felis

  • Chinese Mountain Cat
  • Domestic Cat
  • Jungle Cat
  • Sand Cat
  • Black-footed Cat
  • Wild Cat

Genus Otocolobus

Genus Prionailurus

  • Leopard Cat
  • Iriomote Cat
  • Flat-headed Cat
  • Rusty-spotted Cat
  • Fishing Cat

Genus Acinonyx

  • Cheetah

Genus Puma

  • Cougar
  • Jaguarundi
  • Genus Lynx
  • Canadian Lynx
  • Eurasian Lynx
  • Iberian Lynx
  • Bobcat

Genus Leopardus

  • Pantanal Cat
  • Colocolo
  • Geoffroy’s Cat
  • Kodkod
  • Andean Mountain Cat
  • Pampas Cat
  • Ocelot
  • Oncilla
  • Margay

Genus Leptailurus

  • Serval

Genus Caracal

  • Caracal

Genus Profelis

  • African Golden Cat

Genus Catopuma

  • Bay Cat
  • Asian Golden Cat

Genus Pardofelis

  • Marbled Cat

Genus Neofelis

  • Clouded Leopard
  • Bornean Clouded Leopard

Genus Panthera

  • Lion
  • Jaguar
  • Leopard
  • Tiger
  • Genus Uncia
  • Snow Leopard

Species listed under Felidae