Top 10 RAREST And Most Beautiful Wild Cats On Earth!
- Published on: 4/16/2020
- Hi, it’s Katrina! From small feline species that only seem cute and cuddly to some of the best hunters on the planet, here are 10 of the rarest and most beautiful wildcats on Earth!
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10. Amur Leopard
The Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis), also called the Far Eastern leopard, is one of eight leopard subspecies and lives at the northernmost part of the animal’s range, in the temperate forests of northeastern China and Russia’s Far East. It is not found anywhere else, and is both extremely rare and critically endangered, with an estimated remaining population of 100 or less.
The kodkod (Leopardus guigna) is the smallest feline species in the Americas and one of the three tiniest cats throughout the world. It also has the smallest distribution of any cat in the Americas, occurring mainly in central and southern Chile, with marginal populations next-door in Argentina.
8. Borneo Bay Cat
The Borneo bay cat (Catopuma badia) is a unique, highly-endangered species that only lives on the island of Borneo, with the bulk of the population likely residing in the extensive, contiguous forest of the island’s interior. This wild cat is roughly the size of a domestic cat. The bay cat has dark chestnut or bluish slate-gray fur with black markings, and melanistic (all black) cats have also been recorded.
7. Pallas’s Cat
Also called the manul, the Pallas’s cat (Otocolobus manul) is a small, fluffy, adorable, and elusive species endemic to the grasslands and steppes of Eurasia and Central Asia. Roughly the size of a domestic cat, the Pallas’s cat is 18 to 26 inches (46-65 cm) long, an has been described as looking like a grumpy old man! It weighs between 5.5 and 10 pounds (2.5-4.5 kg) with a stocky frame and long, thick, patterned fur.
6. Fishing Cat
Native to South and Southeast Asia, the fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is largely a mystery to experts. Here’s what they do know. It’s the largest of the 28 small wildcat species, with a body length of 33-45 inches (85-115 cm). Full-grown males weigh between 18 and 31 pounds (8-14 kg), while females weigh slightly less, at 11-20 pounds (5-9 kg).
5. Black-Footed Cat
Your typical household feline dwarfs the African black-footed cat (Felis nigripes), which stands at just eight to 10 inches (20.3-25.4 cm) tall. Weighing just 2.4 to 4.2 pounds (1-2 kg), this tiny, speckled species is Africa’s smallest wild cat.
4. Flat-Headed Cat
Found only in Borneo, Sumatra, and the Thai-Malay Peninsula, the flat-headed cat (Prionailurus planiceps) is an unusual, but adorable, member of the feline kingdom. It’s about the size of a house cat, but much stranger looking, with an elongated body, short legs, and a short tail, as well as its narrow head, flattened forehead, and big, closely-spaced eyes.
3. Andean Cat
Situated high in the Andes Mountains and the Patagonian steppe, the Andean mountain cat (Leopardus jacobita) is one of the world’s rarest and least-understood felines. Its range includes Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, and central Peru, at altitudes between 5,900 feet (1,800 meters) and over 13,000 feet (4,000 meters). This habitat is rocky, steep, arid, with sparse vegetation and the Andean cat itself is also sparse, with an estimated seven to 12 cats every 39 square miles (100 meters2).
2. Sand Cat
The small, solitary sand cat (Felis margarita harrisoni) is the world’s only feline species that is truly equipped to live in the dry, desert heat. It was first discovered in 1858 and is found in deserts throughout Africa and Asia, including the Sahara Desert, and parts of the Arabian Peninsula.
1. Iberian Lynx
The heavily-spotted Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), or Spanish lynx, was once the world’s most endangered feline species. It looks a lot like the Eurasian lynx, but is around half the size, with males weighing around 27-and-a-half pounds (12.5 kg) and females weighing 20 pounds (9 kg) on average. It has long legs and a short, black-tipped tail, as well as long, black ear tufts and a distinctive “beard.”
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