19 Unseen Wildcats: Impressive Small Cats

TRENDING |

ADVERTISEMENT

Of the world’s 38 wildcat species, 31 are considered small cats. Small cats are amazing, high-performance predators that don't attract so much attention because they live in the long shadow cast by their larger cousins. Luckily, measures are being taken to protect small cats all around the globe.

#19. CARACAL

Photo: Courtesy of National Geographic

Exemplary predators, some small wildcats can take down larger prey. The caracal of Asia and Africa is less than two feet tall but has been filmed leaping over nine-foot fences to prey on sheep. Small Cats live in five of the world’s seven continents (excluding Australia and Antarctica) and are incredibly well adapted to an array of natural environments, from deserts to rain forests to city parks. Unfortunately, these lesser members of the family Felidae also live in the long shadow cast by their larger cousins, the big cats: lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, and their kin. These celebrity species attract all of the attention and conservation dollars, even though 12 of the world’s 18 most threatened wild felidae are small cats.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT