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10 Rare Wild Cats (You've Never Heard Of!)

Rare Wild Cats

The cat is a being loved and adored in a large part of our planet; whole families and people, wherever they appreciate its character, appearance, and nature ...

Every time we observe it, we cannot think of all its wild ancestors, similar in movement, hunter nature and at the same time different in character; an aphorism says: "God created the cat to give man the joy of stroking the tiger", what prevents us from admiring wild cats with wonder?

Have a look at these 10 species of lesser known wild cats and remember, no cuddling!

  • 1. Mountain Lion (Cougar)
  • 2. Flat-headed cat
  • 3. Ocelot
  • 4. Pallas's cat
  • 5. Serval
  • 6. Pampas cat
  • 7. Clouded leopard
  • 8. Jaguarondi (Jaguarundi)
  • 9. Caracal
  • 10. Canada Lynx

10Canada Lynx

10 Rare Wild Cats: 10. Canada Lynx

Called the snow lynx, a solitary animal found in the remote northern forests of North America, Europe, and Asia. This arctic animal is covered in very thick fur which keeps it warm even during the coldest winters. It looks like a slightly larger version of your house cat, but actually very different: it's very ferocious!

Furthermore, it's a territorial animal and males live alone for most of their existence. It lives in wooded areas and creates real burrows under fallen trees, trunks, rocky ledges, or very thick bushes.

The snow lynx has a short body, a small tail, and long legs. Big eyes and highly developed hearing, excellent nocturnal predator despite not being great runners. In winter, it sports a very thick, long, and gray fur, while in summer, the coat becomes shorter, thinner, and light brown.


10 Rare Wild Cats: 9. Caracal

A sweet deceptive face... It lives in Africa, Asia, and the Indian subcontinent, it prefers arid and semi-arid areas as a habitat. These animals, once they reach adulthood, grow to about 50 cm tall and can weigh up to 20 kg.

The Caracal's a close relative of the Serval, known to cat lovers for being part of the genetic makeup of the magnificent Savannah.

Skilled hunters and specialists in running and above all in the "high jump" ... so much so that they have almost no equal, among land mammals, as regards the capture of birds, but they also love small antelopes, hares, and reptiles.

8Jaguarondi (Jaguarundi)

10 Rare Wild Cats: 8. Jaguarondi (Jaguarundi)

This kind of wild cat lives from the southern United States to South America, it immediately strikes for its long tail, which can reach up to 60 centimeters. It has a long body, short limbs, and a small head.

It feeds on all sorts of vertebrates such as rodents and birds, but also larger animals, including fish and amphibians that it skillfully captures in the water. Unlike most felines, it's not a good climber, and hunts its prey on the ground with long chases; after reaching them he grabs their neck between the jaws until death by suffocation occurs.

7Clouded leopard

10 Rare Wild Cats: 7. Clouded leopard

Very rare, it lives in Asia, from Nepal to Indochina, up to Sumatra, Borneo, and Taiwan. Its habitat consists of forests and swamps up to an altitude of 3000 meters. The distinctive features are the very long tail, up to 90 centimeters, and its coat with large patches.

On the ground it assumes an awkward gait due to the shortness of the limbs; on the other hand, it's very agile in climbing trees, able to move even hanging from the branches with the nails of the forelimbs.

The sturdy jaws and the long upper canines are the weapons with which it immobilizes and pierces squirrels and monkeys.

6Pampas cat

10 Rare Wild Cats: 6. Pampas cat

Smaller than a domestic cat, it has reddish fur marked with gray stripes or spots that resemble rusty-brown rosettes. It lives in Chile in the areas of orchards between 1800 and 4100 m of altitude.

The Pampas cat name and the scientific name designate two or three species of felines in South America resulting from a taxonomy still debated by the scientific community.

Originally, the Pampas cat denoted a species of feline, widespread throughout South America. In 1990, morphological studies, based on the color and texture of the coat, cranial measurements, and observation of their habitat, tend to the separation of the species into three distinct species.


10 Rare Wild Cats: 5. Serval

The Serval is a large, wild feline that looks like a panther, with characteristic long legs, an unmistakable yellowish coat, with black spots similar to cheetahs. Originating from the African savannah, but it's not a real cat: this species originated a breed currently not very widespread, called Savannah!

The Serval cat isn't a domestic cat but a wild cat, with a slender build, which almost looks like a close relative of the cheetah. The Serval has very long legs compared to its body. It can reach one meter in length, and males can weigh up to 18 kg.

Considered an "exotic" cat, with a wild appearance, which despite everything can be considered a domestic cat, even if it has a particular size.

4Pallas's cat

10 Rare Wild Cats: 4. Pallas's cat

A nice "sweet big cat" from Mongolia.

The Pallas's cat (Otocolobus manul), also known as the manul, has an extraordinary fur, thick and very long, with small and distant ears and around muzzle that lives in 14 countries all located in Central Asia. Among the felids, the Pallas cat remains one of the smallest with a length of about 60 centimeters, tail excluded because it measures 25 centimeters alone.

Unfortunately, he's still hunted and at risk. His beautiful coat certainly draws attention to him, but there are also those looking for him because it's used in traditional Chinese medicine. As of 2018, 60 zoos in Europe, Russia, North America and Japan participate in Pallas's cat captive breeding programmes.


10 Rare Wild Cats: 3. Ocelot

Also known as leopard-deer or wolf-deer, a very common wild feline in South America and Central America. The ocelot belongs to the genus Leopardus and its closest relatives are the tiger, oncilla cat, and the margay.

Similar in appearance and behavior to a domestic cat, but physically it differs from the cat for its characteristic fur reminiscent of a clouded leopard or a jaguar, it can appear at first sight such as a similar ferocious animal.

2Flat-headed cat

10 Rare Wild Cats: 2. Flat-headed cat

Its peculiarity? The head! A close relative of the fisher cat, this kind of kitty is one of the least known species in the world. Once thought to be extinct, it later reappeared in Malaysia in 1985.

It's more elongated and flattened than other felines, the skull is quite long while the skullcap is considerably flattened; the eyes are quite close together and give the animal a stereoscopic vision, both eyes frame the same image. The legs are webbed to help it move better on muddy ground and in the water.

1Mountain Lion (Cougar)

10 Rare Wild Cats: 1. Mountain Lion (Cougar)

This animal holds the Guinness world record for the largest number of names used for a particular animal: Puma, mountain lion, painter, mountain cat, catamount, cougar, and many other names. The interesting fact about the mountain lion's naming is that the different names are based on geographic locations.

They are the fourth largest of all felines but despite their large size, they are agile creatures and compete for the same type of food with other large predators such as jaguars. The mountain lion name is popular in North America, but the puma name is popular in Argentina and other South American regions.

The Bottom Line

There are around 40+ different species of wild cats, many of them are endangered, and although it’s never nice to see them in captivity it has contributed to stopping these beautiful animals from becoming extinct. Let us at Bright Side adore these graceful and majestic creatures!

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