Discover 5 wild cat species

Often larger than their native counterparts, they are unknown to the public. But feral cats are found all over the world and have extraordinary physical abilities. Descriptions.

Whatever its origin, your cat is a mammal belonging to the order of carnivores. Meanwhile, we find lions, tigers, lynxes, panthers, jaguars, cougars, and domestic and wild cats.

What is a wild cat?

This wild cats They are carnivores that are little known to the public. However, they are found on most continents: Asia, America, Africa, Europe.

Wildcats are felines belonging to the Felidae family (or Felidae in Latin). This family is currently divided into three subfamilies:


This subfamily has been extinct for about 10,000 years. It represented big cats with particularly long canine teeth, such as the sand-toothed tiger.


Also called “big cats,” this subfamily is related to roaring animals. There we find the lion, the jaguar or the panther.


This subfamily includes all other felines. That is, those who can hum but not roar. They are often referred to as “little cats” and “Wild cats”. This subfamily is physically closest to our domestic cats.



most service (ETCervuslisten)) It is a large African wildcat used for the creation of the Savannah cat breed. This cat has some resemblance to the cheetah. He can indeed run at 80 km/h and has a mottled coat. It has a robust build, can live up to 20 years.

  • Height and weight : males and females average 12 kg to 26 kg and average 1.30 m long.
  • Physical properties: This cat has long legs, big round ears.
  • Fur : The serval’s feathers are short and cheetah-like.
  • Character: The serval is a solitary animal that lives in pairs only during the mating season.
  • The way of life: This wild cat lives in Africa and feeds only on small animals such as rodents, birds, amphibians and insects.



most caracal (caracal caracal), also known as the desert lynx, is easily recognized by the black hairs on its ears. Found in the African savannah, the caracal is a formidable carnivore that can jump 2 to 3 meters to catch its prey.

  • Height and weight :males and females average 6 kg to 19 kg and are 73 to 78 cm long.
  • Physical properties: Caracal ears have 20 different muscles, which allows him to move his ears easily and hear well.
  • Fur : This cat wears a tawny dress all over its body except for the belly, which remains white.
  • Character: A solitary nocturnal animal, this wildcat determines its territory by its urine and scratching marks on trees.
  • The way of life: Caracal has an area that can vary from 19 to 220 km². In general, this cat prefers open areas filled with bushes and rocks where its ambush lies.



most manul (Otocolobus guide), also called Pallas’s Cat, in honor of the German zoologist Peter Simon Pallas, who discovered it at the end of the 18th century, is a solitary wild cat mostly living in Asia, China, and Russia. This compact, stocky wildcat is very recognizable for its grumpy face and angry appearance.

  • Height and weight : males and females weigh an average of 3 kg to 5 kg and are 50 to 60 cm long.
  • Physical properties: Manul has a very long and very thick coat which makes him look big.
  • Fur : This wild cat is usually gray, white and brown.
  • Character: Manul is a solitary animal, very territorial and quite aggressive.
  • The way of life: With its thick fur, it can live in regions where the temperature drops to -50°C. It feeds mainly on small rodents and birds.



most margay (Leopardus wiedii) Also called the tiger cat, it is a very agile wild cat that lives in the forests of Central and South America. This cat has a small size close to that of a domestic cat. It is best known for its spotted coat that resembles that of a leopard.

  • Height and weight : males and females weigh an average of 2 kg to 4 kg and are 40 to 50 cm long.
  • Physical properties: This wild cat has large round eyes, a long tail and a slender body.
  • Fur : Margay has beautiful, short, soft fur with tawny spots surrounded by black.
  • Character: This very secretive wildcat lives mostly at night to avoid noise and bad encounters.
  • The way of life: Margay lives almost exclusively in trees and mimics the call of her prey to attract them.

sand cat

sand cat

most sand catUnlike the Serval, it is a small wildcat. A very good night hunter, it is perfectly adapted to life in the desert. It is found in arid and desert regions such as North Africa, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan.

  • Height and weight : males and females average 1.5 kg to 3.5 kg and are 45 to 57 cm long.
  • Physical properties: This cat is known for its triangular head and large pointed ears.
  • Fur : It is usually sand-colored and may be mottled, striped, or both.
  • Character: It is very solitary, visiting its brethren only during the breeding season.
  • The way of life: This little cat eats a little of everything, especially small rodents, insects and spiders.

See also: Wildlife: Is it absolutely necessary to save lynx in France?


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