If you ask 10 people the names of some wild cat species, you’ll likely get a list that includes lions, tigers, cheetahs, and jaguars. And while those are all incredible felines, they just aren’t the only kitties out there. Below are five species of wild cats you’ve likely never heard of before. Some may look more like big cats but all 5 of these shown below are about the same size as our beloved house cats.
1. THE PALLAS CAT
These cats look pretty sizable in photos but they’re all fur. This kitty weighs only between 5 and 10 pounds and has the longest and densest fur of any other feline. They appear much bigger and more dangerous than they actually are due to the amount of fluff covering them. In reality, they weigh about the same as a standard domestic cat. The Pallas’s cat, which is native to central Asia and countries including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, northern India, and southern Russia, likes cold arid, and rocky habitats such as those found in the alpine deserts. Their habitats in frigid climates are warm thanks to their thick, enormous fur coat.
Photo: Kjetil Kolbjornsrud/Shutterstock
2. THE IRIOMOTE CAT
Photo: Purplepumpkins/Wikimedia Commons
And now, the jaguarundi. These little felines only weigh between 6.6 and 15 pounds and are found in Central and South America. Instead of having obvious markings like stripes or spots, their fur gradually changes between shades of black, brown, grey, and rufous tones. The jaguarundi can be found in grasslands, forests, swamps, dry scrub, and also the savannah woodlands. They also, differ from other wild cats as they are quite active during the day.
Photo: Fábio Manfredini/flickr
And now, the jaguarundi. These little felines only weigh between 6.6 and 15 pounds and are found in Central and South America. Their fur gradually changes from black, brown, grey, and rufous tones rather than having any obvious markings like stripes or spots. The jaguarundi can be found in grasslands, forests, swamp, dry scrub and also the savannah woodlands. They also, differing from other wild cats as they are quite active during the day.
Photo: Jeff Grabert/Shutterstock
The margay might get the coolest strange talent award. This little cat is also roughly the same size as a domestic cat can hang from tree branches with one hind foot, and can also twist its hind feet 180 degrees helping the feline to run down trees (needless to say, its tail is very long) (needless to say, its tail is very long). With those abilities, it stands to reason that the margay spends most of its time and life in the trees. Only in Central and South America can you find this cat. The markings of these cats are highly different. From head to toe, you’ll witness stripes, spots, and blotches as well as dramatic changes in the color of the coat. The margay is light brown on the top and has
5. THE MARBLED CAT
Photo: Johan Embréus/Wikimedia Commons
This tiny cat, which only weighs 4.4 and 11 pounds, resembles a miniature clouded leopard. Much of the thick fur coat is marbled and has large, randomly shaped blotches, as well as lines down its back. This feline’s tail is very long and bushy, sometimes even longer than the body of the cat itself. When it walks, it holds the tail out into a straight line, parallel to the ground. The species is extremely solitary and has hardly been studied in the wild, with the exception of one female who was tracked in Thailand using a radio collar. It is believed to inhabit forested habitat based on its feet, long tail, and short limbs.
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