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Cats & the Feline Family

Cat, (Felis catus), also called house cat or domestic cat, domesticated member of the family Felidae, order Carnivora, and the smallest member of that family. Like all felids, domestic cats are characterized by supple low-slung bodies, finely molded heads, long tails that aid in balance, and specialized teeth and claws that adapt them admirably to a life of active hunting. Cats possess other features of their wild relatives in being basically carnivorous, remarkably agile and powerful, and finely coordinated in movement.

Cats & The Feline Family Encyclopedia Articles

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Male lion (Panthera leo).lion

lion, (Panthera leo), large, powerfully built cat (family Felidae) that is second in size only to the tiger. The proverbial “king of beasts,” the lion has been one of the best-known wild animals since...

Encyclopedia / Cats & the Feline Family

Wildcat (Felis silvestris)wildcat

wildcat, (species Felis silvestris), a small wild member of the cat family (Felidae) native to Eurasia and Africa. There are some three to five subspecies. The name wildcat is also used as a general term...

Encyclopedia / Cats & the Feline Family

Margay (Leopardus wiedii).feline

feline, (family Felidae), any of 37 cat species that among others include the cheetah, puma, jaguar, leopard, lion, lynx, tiger, and domestic cat. Cats are native to almost every region on Earth, with...

Encyclopedia / Cats & the Feline Family

Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis).lynx

lynx, (genus Lynx), any of four species of short-tailed cats (family Felidae) found in the forests of Europe, Asia, and North America. The Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) and the bobcat (L. rufus) live in...

Encyclopedia / Cats & the Feline Family

Bengal tigertiger

tiger, (Panthera tigris), largest member of the cat family (Felidae), rivaled only by the lion (Panthera leo) in strength and ferocity. The tiger is endangered throughout its range, which stretches from...

Encyclopedia / Cats & the Feline Family

Leopard (Panthera pardus)leopard

leopard, (Panthera pardus), large cat closely related to the lion, tiger, and jaguar. The name leopard was originally given to the cat now called cheetah—the so-called hunting leopard—which was once thought...

Encyclopedia / Cats & the Feline Family

Siamese catSiamese

Siamese, popular short-haired breed of domestic cat originally from Thailand, a country whose official name was Siam until 1939. The Siamese is a lithe long-bodied cat with slim legs and a long slim tail....

Encyclopedia / Cats & the Feline Family

ligerliger

liger, offspring of a male lion and a female tiger. The liger is a zoo-bred hybrid, as is the tigon, which is the result of mating a male tiger with a female lion. The liger and the tigon possess features...

Encyclopedia / Cats & the Feline Family

Puma (Puma concolor).puma

puma, (Puma concolor), large brownish New World cat comparable in size to the jaguar—the only other large cat of the Western Hemisphere. The puma, a member of the family Felidae, has the widest distribution...

Encyclopedia / Cats & the Feline Family

Persian catlonghair

longhair, breed of domestic cat noted for its long, soft, flowing coat. Long-haired cats were originally known as Persians or Angoras. These names were later discarded in favour of the name longhair, although...

Encyclopedia / Cats & the Feline Family

cheetahcheetah

cheetah, (Acinonyx jubatus), one of the world’s most-recognizable cats, known especially for its speed. Cheetahs’ sprints have been measured at a maximum of 114 km (71 miles) per hour, and they routinely...

Encyclopedia / Cats & the Feline Family

Himalayan catcat

cat, (Felis catus), domesticated member of the family Felidae, order Carnivora, and the smallest member of that family. Like all felids, domestic cats are characterized by supple low-slung bodies, finely...

Encyclopedia / Cats & the Feline Family

jaguarjaguar

jaguar, (Panthera onca), largest New World member of the cat family (Felidae), found from northern Mexico southward to northern Argentina. Its preferred habitats are usually swamps and wooded regions,...

Encyclopedia / Cats & the Feline Family

Florida panther (Puma concolor couguar)Florida panther

Florida panther, member of a population of large New World cats belonging to the species Puma concolor, family Felidae, confined to a small, isolated, and inbred group in southern Florida. This population...

Encyclopedia / Cats & the Feline Family

black pantherblack panther

black panther, colloquial term used to refer to large felines classified in the genus Panthera that are characterized by a coat of black fur or large concentrations of black spots set against a dark background....

Encyclopedia / Cats & the Feline Family

Ocelot Felis, or Lepardus pardalisocelot

ocelot, (Felis, or Leopardus, pardalis), spotted cat of the New World, found in lowland areas from Texas southward to northern Argentina. The short, smooth fur is patterned with elongated, black-edged...

Encyclopedia / Cats & the Feline Family

snow leopard (Panthera uncia or Uncia uncia)snow leopard

snow leopard, large long-haired Asian cat, classified as either Panthera uncia or Uncia uncia in the family Felidae. The snow leopard inhabits the mountains of central Asia and the Indian subcontinent,...

Encyclopedia / Cats & the Feline Family

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