1/15 African Golden Cat- The African Golden Cat is native to the rainforests of west and central Africa. It isn’t always golden, and has colors ranging from cinnamon to melanistic. It prefers moist, dense forests and is commonly found near rivers. It mainly hunts at night and like most other cats is a solitary creature. Its reclusive nature means it’s extremely hard to spot in the wild.
2/15 Black-footed Cats- These absolutely precious kitties are the smallest wild cat species in the world. The adult males weigh just over 4 pounds and the adult females weigh just under 3. Recently, the Philadelphia Zoo welcomed a litter of them and they are so cute you won’t be able to handle it.
3/15 Caracal- The name “caracal” comes from the Turkish word “karakulak,” meaning “black ears.” They hunt at night and often attack animals two or three times their size, such as antelope.
4/15 Fishing Cat- Native to south and southeast Asia, the fishing cat prefers to live near the water. It is the best swimmer in the cat family but is rapidly losing habitat due to human expansion.
5/15 Margay- The margay resembles the ocelot but is smaller. They are excellent climbers and inhabit a region that stretches from Central to Southern America. They live in rain forests and hunt at night, like many other cat species.
6/15 Bornean Bay Cat- This wild cat, listed as endangered, is native to the island of Borneo. Little is known about them because they are so rare. They are nocturnal and secretive, and from 2003 to 2006 scientists set up trap-cameras to spot the animals, and only came back with one photo.
7/15 Pallas’ Cat- These little fur-balls are also about the size of a domestic cat but have a whole lot more fur. Another thing that makes them unique is that they have round pupils instead of slits. Found in eastern Europe, this is believed to be the oldest species of cat, having evolved about 12 million years ago.
8/15 Sand Cat- The sand cat calls Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and western Asia home. They have fur that grows between their toes, a feature that’s usually reserved for arctic cats, that insulates their paws against the hot sand. They’re also arguably the cutest feline in history, although we must admit that is more of an observation than a scientific fact.
9/15 Andean Mountain Cat- This species of wild cat native to the Andes mountains in South America is rarely ever seen, let alone photographed. Scientists estimate there are only about 2,500 of them left. They are about the size of a large house-cat, and there are none currently in captivity.
10/15 Chinese Mountain Cat- The Chinese Mountain Cat is a wildcat subspecies that is listed as vulnerable. They live in areas of northwest China with high elevations (between 8,200 and 16,400 feet). They hunt small rodent, birds, and pikas.
11/15 Flat-Headed Cat- These nocturnal cats are native to the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Borneo, and Sumatra. They feed mainly on fish.
12/15 Jaguarundi- These small cats are comfortable in trees but prefer to hunt on the ground of their Central and South American homes. They have also been sighted in Florida and parts of coastal Alabama.
13/15 Kodkod- The Kodkod is the smallest cat in the Americas and primarily is found in central and southern Chile. The tiny animal weighs between 4.4 and 5.5 lbs as an adult, and is listed as vulnerable. They are excellent climbers who feed on rodents, birds, and lizards.
14/15 Pampas Cat- Named after the pampas of South America, the pampas cat is found in a variety of terrains, such as grasslands, shrublands, and dry forests at elevations up to 16,000 feet. Little is known about their hunting habits but these adorable guys have been seen eating rodents and birds, even going after domestic poultry at times.
15/15 Rusty-spotted Cat- This cat is only found in India and Sri Lanka and is pretty tiny. It typically only weighs about 2 to 3 and half pounds – yeah, that’s tiny. They spend a large amount of their day in trees but do their hunting on the ground.