13 Rare Wild Cat Breeds You’ve Never Seen Before

We all know big, powerful wild cats like tigers, leopards or lions. In nature, there are hundreds of cat breeds and there are friends who have a small, cute appearance like the cat you keep and hug every day. Cats evolved from the Fedidae family about 25 million years ago, since then they have expanded around the world and developed characteristics suitable for new habitats.


1. Sand cats (Felis margarita) live in desert regions of Africa and Asia. Sand cats are quite small in size with short legs, long tails and very large and pointed ears. The amount of water in the prey’s body is fully utilized by this cat. They can live for many months without drinking water.


2. The black-footed cat (Felis nigripes) is one of the smallest cats in the world. They have a solitary lifestyle, have little contact and often live in very quiet places so they are not disturbed.


3. Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) stands out with its thick gray-brown fur and long legs that help it move more nimbly in heavy snow.


4. Manul cat or Pallas cat (Otocolobus manul) is similar in size to a domestic cat. This cat species is currently negatively affected by habitat degradation and prey decline.


5. Black-eared caracal, also known as Caracal caracal, is a nocturnal predator. Although bobcats usually hunt on the ground, they can climb trees and swim quickly to catch fish.


6. Clouded leopard or clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) lives in trees and is very agile. They have a toned and well-proportioned body and the longest canine teeth among cats.


7. Pampas cat (Leopardus pajeros). Although the name Pampas means South American wilderness, this cat’s habitat is quite diverse, from grasslands to dry forests at altitudes of up to 5,000m.


8. Wild cat or leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) is distributed in South Asia and East Asia. It is called a leopard cat because its fur has spots like a leopard, but its “brotherly” relationship is quite far from that of a leopard.


9. The American Tree Cat or American Wildcat is closely related to the large puma. This is a small-sized wild cat that lives in Central America and South America.


10. Fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is distributed in South Asia and Southeast Asia. Fishing cats live along rivers, streams, and swamps and of course, they swim very well.


11. The African grassland cat (Leptailurus serval) is a medium-sized, slender cat with long legs and a fairly short tail. They can move 3 – 4km per night to find food. Their long legs help them reach a top speed of 80km per hour, and their large ears allow them to detect prey even underground.


12. Fire leopard or Asian yellow leopard (Pardofelis temminckii) prefers to live in forests adjacent to rocky mountain areas. The Karen people of Thailand believe that just carrying a fire leopard hair with them can keep tigers away, helping them hunt more safely.


13. Andean mountain cat (Leopardus jacobitus) lives at an altitude of about 3,500 – 4,800m. They are about the size of a house cat but look larger due to their long tail and thick fur.


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