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Felis – Meet the Felidae Family

By Paige
Felis Genus

Image from eva101

The felidae family is a large and very diverse one, so we have been introducing you to them one genus at a time. If you haven’t already, go meet the mighty lions and tigers.

Felis is a smaller, but by no means a tamer bunch. They may look like your neighborhood cat but if you try to tickle one under the chin you may loose a finger.

Although these are wild cats, this is the genus that gave birth to the domestic cat of today.

Black-footed Cat

Black-footed Cat | Felis nigripes
Image from Abujoy

The Black-footed Cat can be found in the steppe & savannah areas of South Aftica, Botswana, Zimbabwe & Nambia. They are one of the smallest cat species on the planet & named for the black soles of their feet. The black-foot is a solitary, nocturnal creature and a fierce hunter for it’s size.

Although they are common enough within their natural habitat, this cat has been listed as a vulnerable breed.

Chinese Mountain Cat

Chinese Mountain Cat | Felis bieti
Image from Mousse

The Chinese Mountain Cat or Chinese Desert Cat is native to the north-eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau, the Quinghai Province, & the mountains of the southern Gansu & northern Sichuan. This cat is larger than the common domestic cat, they are nocturnal & solitary in nature.

These animals are protected in China, however their status isn’t in a precarious position.

Domestic Cat

Domestic Cat | Felis catus
Image from kenclareewis

This is a feral version of the domestic cat we know today. They were originally domesticated in the eastern Mediterranean around 3000 years ago. Although they can be found in all shapes and sizes & colors, feral cats will usually revert back to tabby or tortoiseshell after a few generations in the wild.

There is no shortage of this genus worldwide & they pose a direct threat to the ecosystems they are introduced to.

Jungle Cat

Jungle Cat | Felis chaus
Image from Shyamal

The Jungle Cat can be found in Indochina, Thailand, Burma, India, Sri Lanka, Mesopotamia & North Egypt and their territory covers a wide variety of habitats. This genus is solitary, but unlike most of its cousins they are active both day & night.

This animal’s numbers are not currently threatened.

Sand Cat

Sand Cat | Felis margarita
Image from Nick Lawes

Sand Cat’s can be found in three distinct areas of the world: Algeria, Niger & Morocco in the Sahara; The entire Arabian Peninsula; Turkmenistan, Iran, Pakistan & Afghanistan in Central Asia. These are the smallest of the wild cats, they are nocturnal, solitary and their specialized skill is digging.

This genus is listed as “near threatened” although their numbers have proven difficult to study due to their extreme habitat.

Wild Cat

Wild Cat | Felis silvestris
Image from Schorle

Probably one of the most simple names the Wild Cat is native throughout continental Europe, southwestern Asia & savannah areas in Africa. They are active day & night and like their family they are solitary creatures.

The Asian & African branches of the family still carry decent numbers, however the European branch is critically endangered in their native range.

One Big Family

Stay tuned to meet more members of the the felidae family, but for now why not meet the lions and tigers.

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